What They Do
The grand jury doesn’t listen to the actual trial. They won’t determine whether you are guilty or innocent. The purpose of the grand jury during an indictment investigation is to determine if there should be any federal charges before turning the decision over to the court. If the jury decides that there is enough evidence to proceed, then you’ll go through a trial. This is when you’ll meet with your attorney on a regular basis to discuss the evidence that the prosecution has against you and the way to deliver details about your background in order to dispel the evidence presented.
The prosecution will usually be the person who is over the grand jury indictment process. The attorney will be able to show the jury the evidence and possibly keep evidence away from the jury until the trial begins. If any evidence could create questions among the jury members, then the prosecuting attorney might not show these details as it could mean that the jury won’t deliver an indictment. There is no requirement to show any proof to the jury. The only thing that the prosecution usually wants during this part of your trial is to secure charges so that the case can go to court.
Witnesses can be subpoenaed during the grandy jury indictment process. The jury can also ask that documents pertaining to the case be seen in order to make the decision possible. Some documents that the jury might request include bank records or records that businesses have kept on file. Since probable cause has not been established by law enforcement, the prosecuting attorney can utilize the members of the grand jury in order to obtain the evidence needed for the trial.
If the prosecutor wants a witness to take the stand during the grand jury indictment process, then the witness would need to talk in court. This is a bit different from officers talking to witnesses as they can stay quiet until they are asked to speak by a judge or prosecuting attorney.
There won’t be as many technical rules and regulations to follow during the grand jury indictment process as there are during the actual trial. Information that might not be shown in court or after you’re arrested can be shown to the grand jury so that they can make an informed decision about whether charges can be made and whether a trial should proceed.
If the grandy jury decides that there is enough evidence, then the prosecutor can bring formal charges. This means that you would stay in jail until your trial and the sentencing are over or that you would have someone bail you out of jail until your trial. Keep in mind that you might not be eligible for bail regarding some charges. These are often violent crimes, arson, or crimes involving a large number of drugs.
Most of the time, a grand jury is used for felonies and federal charges. If it’s possible to make a plea, then you could speak with your attorney so that you don’t have to go through the process of a grand jury indictment. Keep in mind that this would mean taking responsibility for the charges against you. Sometimes, the prosecuting attorney will offer a shorter length of time in jail or a shorter probation term if you make a plea deal, which could be beneficial for you and your family.