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What is an Indictment in Charles County, Maryland?

An indictment is a way of being arrested and accused of a crime. When most people think of an arrest, probably what comes to mind are scenes from movies and television shows. On crime shows and in movies, one often sees the police or law enforcement arresting a person on the street after a chase or near the crime scene, etc. Under some circumstances, that is a correct and lawful method of making an arrest (which is taking a person into physical custody). In those cases, the arrest comes first, and then the person is charged with the relevant crime.

Another process — which is much less dramatic — is called “obtaining an indictment.” With an indictment, the order of events is somewhat reversed. That is, through a process involving a grand jury, the criminal charges are approved, and then the person is arrested — taken into physical custody. An indictment is an official court-issued written document that is delivered to the person who is going to be charged with a crime (or to their attorney). Essentially, this formal notice — the indictment — states that the government prosecutors believe that the person committed a crime and informs the person of the charges that have been filed against them. If you have been indicted and arrested here in Maryland, you will need to hire top-tier Maryland criminal defense lawyers to defend yourself against the charges. Call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301) 705-5137. We are tough criminal defense lawyers located in Waldorf, Maryland, providing criminal defense services in Charles County, Prince George’s County, Calvert county, St. Mary’s county, and other parts of Southern Maryland. Below is some additional information about indictments in Maryland.

As noted, indictments are obtained through what is called the “grand jury process.” So, what is a grand jury in Maryland? A grand jury is like a regular jury that we may see depicted on television or in the movies. However, a grand jury is bigger. A regular criminal trial jury is 12 persons, while grand juries contain anywhere from 16 to 23 members. A regular criminal trial hears evidence and votes to convict or to render a verdict of not guilty. A grand jury hears evidence and votes to “indict” — to charge a person with a crime — or not to indict. When a grand jury votes not to indict, that means that there was insufficient evidence of the crime. At least twelve jurors must vote in order for an indictment to be issued.

What is the Process?

Grand juries are empaneled in the normal manner. Members of the local community are called for grand jury duty. They sit in secret and hear evidence that is presented only by the prosecuting attorney. No defense witnesses or evidence is heard, although the prosecutors must present exculpatory evidence in addition to the evidence that points to the commission of a crime. After the grand jury finishes, the proceedings and evidence are sealed.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301) 705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD, Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD, 20601.