Georgia Federal Indictments
Committing a federal offense means you will be tried in a federal court. These convictions are oftentimes accompanied by hefty fines and prison sentences. The actions you take after receiving a federal indictment are critical.
What is an Indictment?
An indictment is a document sent by the federal government accusing you of a crime. If you receive an indictment, your case has already been reviewed by a grand jury. A grand jury’s job is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to accuse someone of having committed a crime.
Federal Grand Juries in Georgia
A grand jury is composed of 32 citizens who live within a federal district’s jurisdiction and are impaneled by the U.S. District Court. These citizens serve from 12-18 month periods, and meet regularly in Georgia’s three federal districts (Northern, Middle, and Southern).
Federal grand juries are essentially employed by the U.S. Attorney’ Office, and are not required to hear both sides of a case during deliberation periods. They can, however, call upon witnesses and seek additional evidence than what’s presented by the prosecution.
‘True Bill’ vs. ‘No Bill’ Rulings
If a grand jury determines that there is sufficient evidence to charge you with committing a crime, your indictment will be marked as a ‘true bill,’ and a warrant will be issues for your arrest. If a grand jury determines the evidence is insufficient to make a formal charge, your indictment will be marked ‘no bill’ — the case will not move forward.
These deliberations do not have to be unanimous, nor does the entire grand jury need to be present. A ‘true bill’ can be instituted if there’s a majority vote of 12 or more, and only 16 members need to be present at the time of deliberation.
If you’ve received a federal indictment, it’s likely that there’s enough evidence for a conviction. The steps you take during the pre-trial period can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. For assistance from the team at Wadkins & Wadkins, schedule a free and confidential review of your case online or call (706) 221-9451.