What does Indicted mean?



What does indicted mean?

Indicted is the past tense of indict. Indict means to formally charge someone with a serious crime. When someone is indicted, they have not been proven guilty, and may be acquitted of all of the charges against them. However an indictment is the first legal step to convicting someone of a crime.

How Does One Get Indicted?

What is necessary to indict someone varies across different legal jurisdictions. These jurisdictions, or regions may be cities, counties, states, provinces, or countries. The basic process of getting indicted is similar in most Western countries.

Here’s a basic outline of what happens, however keep in mind that the procedures will vary from place to place. These procedures will outline what generally happens in the American court system, but it is important to understand that there are many different levels of the American court system.

Where the crime takes place and how serious the offense is determines which court will have jurisdiction, and that will determine the rules that are followed. Therefore there is not one set of rules.

Not always, but often everything starts with an arrest. Then the police will file a report detailing the reasons for the arrest and the initial evidence that was found. This information is then given to a prosecutor, who will determine if they believe there is enough of a case to prosecute it, or try it in front of a jury.

At this point the prosecutor is just determining whether or not it makes sense for them to spend time further investigating what happened. If a case is not going to move forward, this is usually where it is stopped.

There are times when a person will be investigated and indicted before they are arrested. This usually only happens when one is suspected of committing a serious offense over a long period of time.

In these cases law enforcement thinks someone has done something wrong and may spend weeks, months, or years investigating if there is evidence of wrongdoing. This usually happens in cases of organized crime, money laundering, or other crimes that involve a complex network or structure to carry out.

If the prosecutor decides the case is worth pursuing, they can do one of two things. They can choose to charge the offender with a crime. Or they can choose to go to a grand jury and seek an indictment.

If the grand jury agrees with the prosecutor and thinks there is a reason to move forward with the case against this person, the person will be indicted.

How a Grand Jury Works?

It is important to note that America is the only Western country that has grand juries, although other countries have some form of preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for a prosecution to move forward. 

The role of the grand jury is to listen to the evidence that is presented by the prosecutor and determine if there is enough evidence for the case to move forward. Their job is not to determine if the accused is innocent or guilty. It is not their role to hear both sides of the argument.

While the accused usually has the right to speak to the grand jury, all of the evidence is presented by the prosecutor. The members of the grand jury can ask the prosecutor questions, they can ask witnesses questions, they can ask for more information.

Grand juries are usually held in confidence (secret), so that witnesses can speak freely and someone’s reputation is not tarnished if the case does not move forward. After hearing the evidence the members of the grand jury will then either return a “true bill” ( to indict) or a no bill (not indict).

If the grand jury brings bake a true bill, then the person is indicted and a trial determining whether they are guilty or innocent will proceed.

Indict/ Indicted Indictment in a Sentence

  • We are waiting to see if the jury will bring back an indictment.
  • He was indicted last night.
  • The grand jury chose not to indict.

Synonyms for indicted

Here are some synonyms for indicted.

Arraigned- means to bring someone forward to answer for criminal charges.

  • After a long car chase the man was brought in and arraigned on murder charges.

Brought to trial- refers to someone having to answer charges against them in a formal setting with a judge and possibly a jury.

  • He wants the charges to be brought to trial, so that he can clear his name.

Antonyms for indicted

Acquit- means that a jury or a judge has determined that someone has not commited the crime or crimes they were accused of doing.

  • She was acquitted of all charges.

Exonerate- means that someone has been absolved or found to have not done something that they were accused of doing.

  • She believes that she will one day be exonerated. 
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