Thomas G. Fallis, P.A.
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What is a grand jury? Why is it important to my case?

Most people familiar with the criminal justice system understand the role of an arraignment, especially if they have been arrested and are being held in custody pending their first appearance. But before an arraignment (or an arrest for that matter), chances are that charges are brought against the accused through a grand jury indictment, especially if the accused has not been arrested. This is a formal notice that the state is bringing criminal charges against a defendant and it is a call for the accused to appear and answer to them.

This naturally begs the question: What is a grand jury?

In Florida, grand juries are groups of selected people (much like a formal jury for a criminal trial) that hears evidence presented by the state. Instead of deciding guilt or innocence, the grand jury determines whether enough information has been presented to support the charges alleged. If the grand jury finds that there is sufficient evidence, an indictment will be issued.

Again, a grand jury indictment is not an indication that a defendant is guilty. It merely means that the accused could be convicted of the crime charged if the prosecution proves all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Grand jury indictments themselves are not immune from legal challenges. A experienced criminal defense attorney can raise a number of evidentiary and procedural issues that may eventually nullify an indictment. This is why a skilled criminal defense attorney is essential for those called to answer criminal charges.

The preceding is not legal advice.

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Thomas G. Fallis, P.A.
2064 Park Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204

Phone: 904-717-6684
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