Indictment By California Grand Jury
By San Diego Defense Attorney
In some California Criminal Cases the defendant is indicted (ie charged) after grand jury proceedings. If there is Probable Cause, the grand jury will issue a formal written document known as an “indictment”.
This article explores an indictment, or the official charging document in felonies initiated by Grand Jury Proceedings.
The indictment is an Accusatory Pleading that is presented by a grand jury of 11, 19 or 23 grand jurors, based on probable cause to a magistrate.
California Grand Jury Proceedings
Someone from the County’s District Attorneys Office will issue and summon a grand jury. This body will meet and go over evidence in a room. If they feel that the individual or corporation has committed a Felony Offense (or multiple felonies) they will reduce those charges down to writing in the “indictment”. An Arrest Warrant will issue by a magistrate and the defendant(s) will be arrested and held to answer.
Differences From Criminal Complaints
An individual that is indicted does not go through a Preliminary Hearing phase like those charged with a Criminal Complaint. The case starts on a track to a Trial.
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