Grand Jury Indictments Phoenix AZ

By: James Novak, Phoenix DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer
What is a Phoenix Grand Jury Indictment?

Phoenix Felony criminal charges require a finding of probable cause. In some cases, probable cause is found by a grand jury. A grand jury is a group of fifteen citizens who are presented evidence by a prosecutor. The grand jury must then decide whether or not there is probable cause of a crime by the accused. At least 9 of 15 grand jurors must find that there is probable cause. This is a secret proceeding and the defendant and DUI defense attorney are not entitled to attend. Because of the one-sided nature of this hearing, there are special rules that require the prosecutor to make a fair presentation to the grand jury.

What is probable cause?
Probable cause is a set of facts, information, circumstances or conditions which would lead a reasonable person to believe that what is presented or alleged is true and that the suspect allegedly committed the crime.

Who is the Grand Jury?
A grand jury is a group of fifteen citizens who are presented evidence by a prosecutor.

Who decides if Phoenix felony charges should go to a Grand Jury?
The Phoenix prosecutor decides if the Phoenix felony charges should go to the Grand Jury. The prosecution reviews the police or other law enforcement or investigating agency’s report and evaluates if there is sufficient evidence to support a conviction. If so, the prosecutor will either file a criminal complaint or seek an indictment from a Grand Jury.

What type of Phoenix Criminal or DUI charges go Grand Jury?
What type of felony cases sent to the Grand Jury can be varied. But the Phoenix Felony charges that typically go to a Grand Jury are crimes of a more serious nature or violent crimes such as homicide.

What happens when the charges go to the Grand Jury?
Charges may be dismissed by the grand jury or preliminary hearing stage if the grand jury determines that the evidence is insufficient to justify a trial. However, if they determine that probable cause in fact exists, the defendant is then “bound over” for trial in the Superior Court, and an arraignment date is set, and the court issues a summons for the defendant to appear at arraignment in Superior Court.

What is an Arraignment?
An arraignment is the first appearance of the defendant in Superior Court. This is when and where a defendant is officially read their formal charges. The defendant may plead “guilty” or “no contest” (this means they are claiming neither guilt nor innocence). The judge will set a date to sentence the defendant. The defendant or the criminal defense or DUI defense attorney on his behalf may plead “not guilty,” as well. If the plea is “not guilty the judge will then set the case for a pre-trial hearing or trial.


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If you have been arrested in Maricopa County for AZ DUI other criminal charges contact the Law Office of James Novak, for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499. Speak directly with experienced Arizona criminal Defense and DUI Defense Attorney and James Novak (Former Prosecutor). The Law Office of James Novak is devoted 100% to defending DUI, Drug & criminal charges in valley wide within Maricopa County including Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert Arizona and surrounding cities.

This article is intended to provide general information only, to generate discussion, and increase awareness of a particular topic. It is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstances.

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