What is an Indictment?


What is an Indictment?

All adult criminal case proceedings follow similar steps, with cases involving more serious charges often having more steps. Some Arizona criminal cases may end up before a grand jury. Typically, this is reserved for felony offenses, although some misdemeanor cases may also appear before a grand jury as well.

For those cases that are grand jury eligible, the evidence of the case will be presented to the grand jury following an eligible arrest or crime report. The grand jury will review the evidence to see if it sufficient to constitute a formal charging of the defendant for the crime.

If the grand jury concludes that there is indeed sufficient evidence, this formal charging of a crime is known as an “indictment.” An indictment is not a conviction. Instead, it simply means that there is believed to be enough evidence against the defendant to formally charge them with the crime at hand and move them forward in criminal proceedings. Indictments are sometimes known as a “true bill.”

If an indictment is issued by a grand jury, the judge may issue an arrest warrant or a summons to appear to the defendant.

Following an indictment, the defendant will move through the remaining steps in the criminal case, potentially leading to a trial where a judge or jury will come to a final verdict that leads to sentencing.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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