Grand Jury Proceedings
In a felony case in Texas, the process by which a person is formally charged with a crime involves the Grand Jury. When the police file a felony case with the District Attorney's Office, the case is sent to its Grand Jury Division. That division of the District Attorney's Office has several options. It may present the case to the Grand Jury as filed with the goal of seeking an indictment, may request additional information from the filing police agency, may decline to seek an indictment, or in some unusual cases, may decide that the case should be filed as a misdemeanor.
If the District Attorney's Office decides to seek a felony indictment, the case is presented to the Grand Jury. A Grand Jury is composed of not more than twelve citizens summoned to serve as grand jurors to consider whether an indictable offense has occurred in the cases presented to them. The District Attorney has broad discretion in considering the cases to present.
The Grand Jury proceeding is secret. It may come as a surprise to you to learn that, an arrested person whose case is being considered by the Grand Jury has no statutory right to be present when the evidence is being presented! The attorney representing the arrested person similarly has no right to be present. Only the grand jurors themselves, the attorney for the state, the bailiffs and stenographers may be present. Generally, however, the arrested person may submit written material for the Grand Jury to consider.
When the Grand Jury has considered the case, a vote is taken and if at least nine members of the Grand Jury concur with the bill presented by the attorney for the State, the Grand Jury has found a "true bill" and an indictment will issue. An indictment is the written statement of a grand jury accusing a person of a crime. If an indictment issues the case will be filed in the District Clerk's office, assigned to one of the District Courts and a criminal prosecution will commence. On the other hand, if less than nine of the grand jurors concur in the bill, the Grand Jury has issued what is referred to as a "no bill" and no indictment will issue.
In the appropriate case, an attorney may prepare what is known as a Grand Jury packet. In some situations, your attorney may file a Grand Jury packet and request that the Grand Jury refuse an indictment- a No Bill. In some cases, the Grand Jury Packet is an effective tool to dispose of a case without Indictment. As a practical matter, if you are "No Billed" the case is almost always over.
In numerous cases I have filed Grand Jury packets and received No Bills from the Grand Jury in serious felony cases including
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Injury to a Child
Felony Assault Family Violence
Contact us today if you have been arrested for a felony; have been notified that you are under investigation; have been notified that you have a case pending against you that is to be considered by the Grand Jury, or received a Grand Jury subpoena.
Call us at 972 369 0577 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation