A federal indictment can turn the life of any New York resident upside down. This is what could happen after it occurs.
Understanding a federal indictment
A federal indictment occurs when a person has criminal charges against them. It includes the information related to those charges. When felony charges are pursued against a person, the prosecution presents evidence to a grand jury. Witnesses often come in to testify to add to the evidence. After the grand jury has heard everything, it makes a decision on whether the individual should face criminal charges. If the grand jury decides the person should face charges, the case moves forward to a federal trial.
Typical steps with a federal indictment
After a federal indictment is decided by a grand jury, there are different pre-trial steps that might occur. A person facing an indictment has these options for challenging the charges or accepting them.
The discovery process involves information being obtained. The defense and prosecution can review evidence to determine whether it might help or weaken the case.
Plea negotiations can occur before the pre-trial phase or during the trial itself. Either party can come up with a plea deal. If it’s agreed upon, it gives an outcome to the case. Close consideration is needed before taking a plea.
Pre-trial motions give either side the ability to challenge evidence and request to exclude it from the trial.
The defense could also challenge the indictment itself. It’s possible to argue misconduct by the prosecution, claim insufficiency, claim inadequate notice of the charges or even show that the statute of limitations was expired. A dismissal could also be requested on other grounds. Determining these last two factors should be done strategically.
Federal charges should never be taken lightly. An indictment can change your future.