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Difference between "indictment" and "prosecution" and "sueing" Options
789789
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 11:35:29 AM
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thanks.
excaelis
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 12:42:27 PM

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In criminal law I believe an 'indictment' is a statement of charges, 'prosecution' is the court process ensuing from those charges, and 'suing' is a civil suit between two individuals.
alliejoan
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 4:10:42 PM
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To add just a bit more clarification:

-an indictment is the written statement of charges against a defendant in a criminal case for felony charges, after a prosecuter has persuaded a grand jury to vote to indict; lower charges (misdemeaners/offenses) are typically not prosecuted by an indictment/grand jury review.

-a "prosecution" is sometimes broadly used to refer to a civil case, but the term is more appropriate for the criminal case, as there is no "prosecutor" in a civil case, only a "Plaintiff" (the person bringing the lawsuit).
excaelis
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 5:16:52 PM

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Thanks for the clarification aj. While we're on the subject ( and if it's not too much trouble ), what would a " True Bill " be, in a legal sense ?
kitten
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 5:25:53 PM
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excaelis wrote:
Thanks for the clarification aj. While we're on the subject ( and if it's not too much trouble ), what would a " True Bill " be, in a legal sense ?



Hello - excaelis,


true bill
n. Law
A bill of indictment endorsed by a grand jury.

true bill
n
(Law) Criminal law (formerly in Britain; now only US) the endorsement made on a bill of indictment by a grand jury certifying it to be supported by sufficient evidence to warrant committing the accused to trial

Traditionally an indictment was handed up by a grand jury, which returned a "true bill" if it found cause to make the charge, or "no bill" if it did not find cause. Most common law jurisdictions (except for much of the United States) have abolished grand juries.

peace out, >^,,^<


kitten
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 5:52:31 PM
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Joined: 12/28/2009
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Location: the city by the bay
789789 wrote:
thanks.


Hello - 789,

In the common law legal system, an indictment is a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In those jurisdictions which retain the concept of a felony, the serious criminal offence would be a felony; those jurisdictions which have abolished the concept of a felony often substitute the concept of an indictable offence, i.e. an offence which requires an indictment.

United StatesThe Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states in part: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Military when in actual service in time of War or public danger..."

In many (though not all) U.S. jurisdictions retaining the grand jury, prosecutors often have a choice between seeking an indictment from a grand jury, or filing a charging document directly with the court. Such a document is usually called an information, accusation, or complaint, to distinguish it from a grand jury indictment. To protect the suspect's due process rights in felony cases (where the suspect's interest in liberty is at stake), there is usually a preliminary hearing where a judge determines if there was probable cause to arrest the suspect in custody. If the judge finds such probable cause, he or she will bind or hold over the suspect for trial.

The substance of an indictment or other charging instrument is usually the same, regardless of the jurisdiction: it consists of a short and plain statement of the time, place and manner in which the defendant is alleged to have committed the offense. Each offense is usually set out in a separate count. Some indictments for complex crimes, particularly those involving conspiracy or numerous counts, can run to hundreds of pages, but many indictments, even for crimes as serious as murder, consist of a single sheet of paper.

Indictable offenses are normally tried by jury, unless the accused waives the right to a jury trial. The Sixth Amendment mandates the right of having a jury trial for any criminal prosecution. Notwithstanding the existence of the right to jury trial, the vast majority of criminal cases in the U.S. are resolved by the plea bargaining process.


Prosecution - the institution and conduct of legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behaviour. (Law) the lawyers acting for the State to put the case against a person(s).


To SUE. To prosecute or commence legal proceedings for the purpose of recovering a right.


Law
a. To petition (a court) for redress of grievances or recovery of a right.
b. To institute proceedings against (a person) for redress of grievances.
c. To carry (an action) through to a final decision.


Hope some of this helps.

I love this site Applause Dancing Applause So much knowledge, so little time. I just looked up the three words plus it helps to have a lawyer around. Anxious

peace out, >^,,^<



Investigator
Posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 6:59:15 PM
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Good job Kitten!

I would just add that the majority of criminal cases are brought with an information or complaint followed by a preliminary hearing. The grand jury system was originally intended to ensure there was probable cause before the alleged criminal was brought to public trial. The grand jury is supposed to be confidential. It is currently often used for political purposes or for a "witch hunt" to test whether a defendant can be bound over or to test the efficacy of the State's case since there is no double jeopardy attached to the proceeding.

All criminal charges are subject to trial by jury, including misdemeanors.

A plaintiff's attorney can be said to prosecute the case or be the prosecutor of the case. In addition, there are several laws that allow a private citizen to act as a State's attorney to prosecute a criminal act on behalf of the State with the incentive of receive a portion of the funds obtained from the malfeasor. This is referred to as a qui tam action. The False Claims Act is one such law. Sometimes they are referred to as "whistleblower" laws.
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