Indicted vs Charged in Nevada

Many people think “indicted” and “charged” mean the same thing regarding crimes in Nevada. But there are some significant differences between these words that are important to understand.

Indicted vs Charged in Nevada

What It Means to Be Indicted

If a grand jury votes that there is enough evidence against you, you are indicted.

This means felony criminal charges are formally being brought against you.

A grand jury is a small group of citizens who listen to evidence from prosecutors.

If they think you committed the felony crime, they indict you.

What It Means to Be Charged

When police or prosecutors file official charges against you, you have been charged with a crime. This can happen for felonies or misdemeanors. The prosecutor or District Attorney directly decides to charge you. With indictments, the grand jury decides first.

The Main Differences

Here are the critical differences between indicted and charged:

  • Indicted cases go to a grand jury first. Charged cases do not.
  • You can only be indicted for felonies. You can be charged with felonies or misdemeanors.
  • Prosecutors decide on charges. Grand juries decide on indictments.


Fictional Examples

Let’s say Jim is arrested for robbing a gas station at gunpoint. This is a felony crime. The prosecutor will present evidence to a grand jury about Jim’s case. If they indict Jim, he is formally accused of armed robbery.

But if Sally is caught shoplifting from a store, she may just be charged by the prosecutor directly. She was charged because shoplifting is a misdemeanor crime, so no grand jury is needed.

The Bottom Line

Now you know indicted and charged don’t mean the same thing. Indicted cases go to a grand jury first. Charged can happen for any crime. Knowing the difference is vital if you’re accused of a crime in Nevada!

Why You Have Not Hired a Felony Defense Attorney Yet

Watch this short video to take the next big step toward defending your rights against a felony charge.

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The main takeaway is that “indicted” and “charged” are legal words that do not mean the same thing in Nevada’s criminal justice system.

Being indicted means a grand jury looked at just felony crimes and decided there is enough evidence to take your case to trial. Being charged simply means the prosecutor filed official charges against you for either a felony or misdemeanor.

Both words accuse you of a crime, but the steps to get there differ. Understanding and tracking whether your case was indicted or charged in Nevada can help you make smarter choices when dealing with criminal accusations.

The first step is always to talk to an experienced attorney to protect your rights!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a grand jury in an indictment?

A grand jury hears evidence presented by the prosecutor and votes on whether to issue an indictment if they believe there is probable cause of a crime. It’s their job to determine if there’s enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

Does a grand jury decide if someone is guilty?

No, a grand jury only determines if there is enough evidence for probable cause. A trial jury determines guilt or innocence. They’re responsible for determining whether there’s sufficient evidence to justify a trial, not for determining guilt.

Can I be charged with a felony without an indictment?

Yes, the prosecutor can file felony charges without a grand jury indictment. In some cases, particularly for less severe felonies, the prosecutor may choose to file charges directly without involving a grand jury.

What happens once a grand jury indicts me?

After the indictment, you will be arraigned and enter a plea. Then, the case will proceed to trial unless a plea deal is reached. It’s the formal beginning of the legal process against you.

Can a case proceed after charges but without an indictment?

Yes, misdemeanor cases, as well as felonies charged directly, will proceed despite no grand jury indictment. The legal process can still move forward based on charges filed directly by the prosecutor.

What should I do if indicted or charged?

Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Early legal advice is critical to build the most vigorous defense. An attorney can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.

Is an indictment worse or more severe than being charged?

Legally, they carry the same weight, resulting in criminal proceedings. However, the indictment shows probable cause was found. Both indicate serious legal proceedings ahead.

What is the first step after being indicted or charged?

The first step is to appear for your arraignment, enter a plea, and request bail/bond terms to release you pending trial. It’s crucial to comply with legal procedures and seek appropriate representation.

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Arraignment – The first court appearance after charges or an indictment where the defendant is read the charges and enters a plea.

Bail – Money or bond paid to the court to secure the temporary release of a defendant awaiting trial.

Criminal complaint – A formal charging document filed by the prosecutor alleging a person committed a specific crime.

Defendant – The person facing criminal charges or indictment.

District Attorney – The local prosecutor representing the city/state in criminal cases.

Felony – A serious crime punishable by over one year in prison, such as robbery, assault, or murder.

Grand jury – A group of citizens who listen to prosecution evidence and decide if an indictment is warranted.

Indictment – When a grand jury formally accuses someone of a felony crime after finding probable cause.

Misdemeanor – Minor crimes punishable by less than one year of jail time, such as petty theft, DUI, and disorderly conduct.

Probable cause – Reasonable belief that a crime was committed based on the evidence needed for indictment.

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Additional Resources for You

In addition to her exemplary legal representation, our lead attorney, Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq, has also dedicated significant effort to creating comprehensive resources to assist you during challenging times. These resources encompass a wide range of legal topics, ensuring you have access to the information you need. Here’s a brief overview of the valuable guides and articles available on the Rosenblum Law website:

  1. Double Jeopardy: Gain a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding the principle of double jeopardy and how it applies to your case.

  2. Hung Jury: Discover the implications of a hung jury in the legal system and what it could mean for your trial.

  3. Circumstantial Evidence: Learn about the nuances of circumstantial evidence and how it is utilized in the court of law.

  4. Difference Between Jail and Prison: Clarify the distinctions between jail and prison, helping you understand the specifics of each institution.

  5. What are Miranda Rights: Familiarize yourself with Miranda Rights, a fundamental aspect of the legal process, and how they protect you.

  6. How to Check if You Have an Outstanding Warrant: Find out the steps you can take to check for any outstanding warrants against your name.

  7. What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer: Learn the crucial factors to consider when choosing a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

  8. Possible Ways to Reduce a Felony Charge: Explore the strategies that may be available to reduce the severity of a felony charge.

  9. Should You Accept a Plea Bargain: Delve into the considerations surrounding the decision to accept a plea bargain.

We encourage you to visit these links and enrich your knowledge with the valuable insights provided by Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq. Whether you’re seeking general legal information or guidance on a specific issue, these resources are designed to aid you in navigating the complexities of the legal system.

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Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

Here are some additional resources that might be useful in understanding the concepts of indictment and charges, as well as the criminal justice system in Nevada:

  1. FindLaw’s Guide on Grand Juries: This resource explains the role of a grand jury in the indictment process.

  2. Legal Information Institute’s Article on Probable Cause: This article explains the concept of probable cause, which is often used in the context of indictments and charges.

  3. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Resources: This organization provides a wealth of resources about criminal defense law, which could be helpful in understanding the steps to take if you’re indicted or charged.

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A Special Message from Our Lead Attorney

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Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Thank you for reading through these legal resources explaining the difference between being indicted and being charged with a crime in Nevada.

I hope you understand these formal accusation processes and how grand juries function.

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal allegations, I encourage you to call my firm at (702) 433-2889 to set up a free initial case review.

My experienced team of Nevada defense attorneys is here to listen, provide honest assessments, explain your rights and options, and start building a solid defense strategy.

Don’t navigate the complex criminal justice system alone. We are here to support and advocate for you each step of the way.

Call today to learn how our firm can help guide you through these challenging circumstances.

I look forward to speaking with you.

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