Baltimore County, MD criminal defense attorney near me Stephen Shepard

What is an Indictment?

An indictment is a charging document or written accusation that a prosecutor submits to a grand jury to aid the prosecutor in deciding whether or not to charge a person with a crime. If the grand jury finds that there is probable cause to believe that (i) a crime was committed and (ii) the Defendant was the one who committed it, then a “true bill” indictment is issued. Alternatively, the grand jury may find that the probable cause does not exist and the person should not be charged with a crime. In the latter situation, the indictment will be marked as “no true bill.”

Grand Jury Proceedings

Secrecy

Grand jury proceedings are highly secret. They are such a secret that the accused does not even have a right to appear (or be notified) when the grand jury is convened to review the accused’s case. The prosecutor completely and unilaterally controls the proceedings of the grand jury, from the presentation of evidence to the testimony of witnesses. A judge is not a party to the grand jury’s proceedings.

Format

Grand jury proceedings are typically conducted inside a courthouse. The prosecutor controls the format of the proceedings.

Evidence

Because the prosecutor controls the grand jury proceedings, he or she gets to decide what evidence and witness testimony is presented to the grand jury in analyzing the case. This means that evidence or witnesses that may exonerate the accused does not have to be disclosed to the grand jury.

Baltimore County, MD Indictment Attorney

Have you been indicted with a criminal offense? Our criminal defense attorney has extensive experience representing people who are charged with a crime by way of an indictment. Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule a phone or office consultation with an experienced Baltimore County, MD indictment attorney. During your consultation, our criminal defense attorney will discuss the facts of your case, possible defense strategies, and possible ways to avoid a conviction.