6/11/18 Indictment and information

Individuals must be formally charged with having committed specific crimes before they can be brought to trial. If issued by a grand jury, such a charge is called an indictment. A grand jury does not determine the guilt or innocence of an accused party; rather, it hears evidence presented only by the prosecution to determine whether probable cause exists for believing that a crime has been committed and that a trial should be held. Usually, grand juries are called in cases involving felonies. For lesser crimes, an individual may be formally charged with a crime by an information. An information will be issued by a government prosecutor if the prosecutor determines that there is sufficient evidence to justify bringing the individual to trial.