What Does Being Indicted Mean? How Can an Attorney Defend My Pre-indictment Rights?


Every citizen has a right to remain innocent until proven guilty, but what may be a simple misunderstanding, can often result in the accused’s future and freedom being compromised. Do not take any criminal accusation lightly or try to go it alone.

Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge of the beginning stages of the system can land someone in prison before they know what’s happened. Most often, the accused doesn’t know they are being investigated until the law enforcement knocks at the door.

If you’re accused of a crime, you have rights, and you should assert them immediately by seeking the counsel of a central Ohio criminal defense attorney.

An Ohio criminal defense attorney may be able to stop the damage of an accusation during the pre-indictment stage – before it spins your life out of control, costing you your job, your reputation, and your freedom and more.

Pre-indictment is after someone has been accused of a crime, but before a Grand Jury agrees with the prosecutor that there is enough evidence or testimony that the charges are warranted.

Most pre-indictment steps happen WITHOUT the accused being present, including the Grand Jury decision as to whether or not the accused will be indicted.

If you have been accused of a crime, you should be aware of the pre-indictment steps of the prosecutorial process listed below.

  1. The accusation is reported to law enforcement.
  2. A police report is written, including a statement from the accuser.
  3. Police contact the accused. (STOP and contact a criminal defense lawyer NOW.)
  4. The defendant is arrested and charged. (STOP and contact a criminal defense lawyer NOW.)
  5. The accused has the right to an Initial Appearance – usually within 72 hours of arrest. (STOP and contact a criminal defense lawyer NOW.) The initial appearance is where the accused is informed of the allegations and a bond is set.
  6. If unable to make bond, the accused has a right to a preliminary hearing. (STOP and contact a criminal defense lawyer NOW.)
  7. If the judge finds there is probably cause to proceed with the charges, the case will be bound over to the Court of Common Pleas.
  8. The prosecution presents their case to a grand jury.
  9. The grand jury can return a No Bill or Indictment. (STOP and call a criminal defense lawyer NOW.)
  10. The indictment is a charge that has been issued by a Grand Jury. It can be delivered by summons or by warrant for arrest. (STOP and call a criminal defense lawyer NOW)
  11. If the indictment is issued by warrant, the accused will be arrested and held in jail until arraignment. (STOP and have a loved one call a criminal defense lawyer NOW)

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Before I’m Indicted?

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help at almost every step in the pre-indictment process. If contacted right away, he or she will have the best chance of being successful, and the accused may never be indicted.

At the Law Office of Brian Jones, we defend the rights of those accused of crimes in central Ohio by taking a holistic approach to your case.

  • We will help coordinate any contact you have with law enforcement, so that you are not alone.
  • We will be with you for the preliminary hearing and use this opportunity to begin your strategic defense.
  • If arrested, we will assert your rights to be out on the lowest bond possible and use that time to plan your defense.
  • We will conduct our own investigation as a trusted friend would and fight aggressively to see your case through.
  • We will argue to have charges dismissed before any indictment is returned.
  • If we are successful and an indictment does not occur, we will continue to monitor your case.
  • Our office will keep you informed throughout the pre-indictment stage and be available to answer any questions you may have.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in Ohio, do not wait until an indictment is returned to start asserting the defendant’s rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney will stand up for your rights during each step of the process and start planning a defense today.

www.findlaw.com, ORC: https://codes.ohio.gov, NOLO

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