What is A Grand Jury
#1
Stolen posts from a lawyer on Reddit - - hope that person finds this here and contacts me.

Part 1 of 9

What’s a crime, what's a felony, and how does someone get charged with one?
In most jurisdictions, criminal law is set out by statute (in Colorado, the Colorado Criminal Code). A felony is any offense that is punishable by a year or more in prison. (Misdemeanors, by contrast, are punishable by less than one year in prison.)
Because the potential charges here are felonies (and GJs are not really used for misdemeanors), let's assume going forward that the crimes we're discussing are all felony charges.
So what's the first step in bringing criminal charges? The investigation. The police have the primary job of investigating crimes. To widely varied extents, the police may consult with the prosecutor’s office over the course of their investigation, or they may call upon the prosecutor’s office to assist in the investigation itself. This is to ensure that the facts being developed would be sufficient to meet the elements of the offense charged. On the other side, the prosecutor's office wants to make sure that the police are complying with the law and procedure so that the case cannot be attacked later in court. The prosecutor office also works with the police to obtain things like search and arrest warrants.
By the end of the investigation, the police present their case to the prosecutor’s office. It's the prosecutor's office that has the power to decide whether to move forward with charges.
A prosecutor in Colorado can file charges in one of two ways: (1) by information; or (2) by indictment. An information is somewhat akin to a “complaint” in civil law. It sets out the basic alleged facts and the elements of the offense(s) charged. Charges by information can be instituted in a couple of different courts in Colorado, but we don’t need to get into that. For our purposes, it’s sufficient to say that this is the far easier way of bringing charges, and is used way more often that the grand jury. For most cases, it's pretty simple to lay out a basic description of the facts, plug in the statue being charged under, and file your information.
An indictment is the other way of bringing charges. The prosecutor convenes a grand jury, and they receive a presentation of the facts from the prosecution only. (I'll get into this more later.) The prosecutor then gives the jury pre-selected criminal charges that the prosecutor thinks applies, and the jury votes whether to indict on those charges (a "true bill"), or they vote not to indict (a "no true bill"). Ultimately, however, the decision to actually indict still rests with the prosecutor. I can’t emphasize this enough: ** The grand jury does not issue indictments! ** (The media, so sloppy on this distinction.)
Rather, if the GJ votes to indict (aka issues a "true bill"), the prosecutor can either decide to move forward by filing an indictment (thereby "indicting" the defendant), or he can decline to do so. If the GJ does not vote to indict, the prosecutor either will reconsider whether any options exist to proceed by information, or he will decline to move forward with charges.
In this way, whether proceeding by information or by indictment, the prosecutor has the final say on what chargers are brought.*
(* In rare, rare, cases, if the GJ votes to indict and the prosecutor declines to do so, the Court can get involved and basically force the prosecutor to move forward with the charges. I’ve literally never seen this happen.)
In either the case of an information or an indictment, the charging document must provide sufficient information to notify the defendant of the charges being brought against him. In simple terms, what are the basic who, what, where, when, why’s, and what statutes are charges being brought under?
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Messages In This Thread
What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:51 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:52 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:54 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:55 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:56 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:56 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 11:58 AM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 12:00 PM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by jameson245 - 08-07-2017, 12:01 PM
RE: What is A Grand Jury - by Toth - 08-07-2017, 01:42 PM

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