Have you been indicted on felony criminal charges in Mercer County? If so, we strongly recommend that you contact and discuss your options within an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An “indictment” is way of bringing a formal accusation against an individual who is alleged to have committed a serious indictable (felony) offense. As you will see below, in order to do so, the prosecution must first present their case to what is known as a Grand Jury. To speak to one of the criminal defense lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law, please feel free to contact our Hamilton office at 609-789-0779.
Will I be Indicted in Mercer County New Jersey?
In order to be indicted, it must first be alleged that the individual committed what is known as an indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony. If that is to occur, then the prosecution must present their evidence to what is known as a Grand Jury. A Grand Jury is a group of twenty-three individuals from the County, who are given the task of determining whether or not the prosecution has put-fourth enough evidence to believe that the individual may have committed the offense(s) in which they allege. If the majority of the grand jurors conclude that the individual may have committed the offense(s) alleged, then they will return what is known as a True Bill. If the grand jurors decide that the prosecution has not met their burden, they can either No Bill all of the charge(s) or if they believe that the individual may have committed a lesser included offense(s), they can vote to remand those charges back to the local municipal court. So, in layman terms, the grand jurors have three options:
- Return a True Bill;
- Return a No Bill;
- Decided to Remand the Charge(s) back to the local municipal court.
It is very important to point out here that if the Grand Jury does return a True Bill, it does NOT mean that the individual is guilty, it simply means that their is enough evidence to force them to defend those charge(s) in court.
What Happens During a Grand Jury Proceeding?
First and foremost, only the prosecution and their witness(es) will be present during a Grand Jury proceeding. So neither the Defendant, nor their attorney or a Judge will be present. With that being said, in rare instances, the prosecution may seek to allow the Defendant to testify during the proceeding, however, that could be a very risky move.
During a Grand Jury proceeding the prosecution will provide to the grand jurors, via live testimony, whatever evidence they may have in order to try and convince the jurors that the Defendant may have committed the offense(s) alleged. The rules of evidence do not apply. In other words, hearsay is admissible and more often than not, that will be the fast majority of evidence provided for strategic reasons.
Will my case be Presented to a Grand Juror?
Most Defendant’s charged with an indictable offense will be scheduled first for a central judicial processing hearing and then a pre-indictment conference. If their case is unable to resolve during those hearings, then the case will be marked for the Grand Jury. With that being said, if the charges are serious enough, the prosecution may decide to forgo the other two hearings and mark the case for Grand Jury immediately. Some of the most common indictable offenses marked for grand jury in Mercer County, include the following:
- Aggravated Assault
- Death by Auto
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child
- Eluding Police
- Armed Robbery
- Theft by Deception
Need a Lawyer for an Indictment in Mercer County NJ
If you have been indicted in Mercer County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our office has been defending those indicted on serious felony offenses like heroin possession, marijuana distribution, assault by auto, shoplifting, money laundering and receiving stolen property in courts throughout the New Jersey. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options, then please contact our office at 609-789-0779 or you can try contacting us online. Our attorneys serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Lawrenceville, Ewing, West Windsor, Hamilton, East Windsor, Trenton, Princeton, Robbinsville and Hightstown. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.