The Grand Jury is a group of citizens who serve for a definite period of time, whose sole job is to hear felony cases presented by Prosecutors. The Grand Jury includes not less than sixteen but no more than twenty-three people. A Grand Jury does not determine a defendant’s guilt of innocence. A Grand Jury simply decides whether or not they believe there is reasonable cause to believe that the Accused committed a felony offense.
In the Grand Jury, the District Attorney presents their evidence. There is no judge or Criminal lawyer in buffalo ny in the Jury chamber and It is up to the Prosecutor to make sure that he or she is following the applicable rules of evidence, or else risk the indictment being subsequently dismissed by a judge.
The Grand Jurors are allowed to ask questions and request that they receive proof, such a photographs, testimony from certain witnesses, and or other tangible evidence. As long as what the Grand Jurors’ request is legally permissible, the District Attorney must provide it.
There is no cross examination of witnesses in the Grand Jury because the accused and his or her Criminal attorneys in buffalo ny are not allowed in the chamber unless the Accused chooses to exercise his or her constitutional right and testify. If the Accused testifies, the Grand Jurors can ask questions and based upon the testimony, request to hear from other witnesses or see certain documents.
If the Grand Jury believes that a felony has been committed, they vote to indict the person. This is called a true bill. An indictment is not proof of any guilt; it is only the legal mechanism by which prosecutors can proceed to trial. If the Grand Jury believes that no offense has been committed, felony or misdemeanor, they vote to dismiss the charges. This is called a no true bill. The Grand Jury can also reduce the felony charges against a person to misdemeanor charges. This is called voting a Prosecutor’s Information.
Decisions and strategy concerning Grand Jury action are critical for a defendant in a felony and must be considered with the assistance of only a qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer in Buffalo New York