(KTXL) — On Thursday, a New York grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on criminal charges for his part in putting together hush money payments to an adult film star during his 2016 campaign.
What is an indictment though and what happens after someone is indicted?
Forming a Grand Jury
Before an indictment can be made a grand jury must first be formed to hear witnesses and be presented evidence related to the alleged crime before an indictment can be made or not.
According to the Offices of the United States Attorney’s, a grand jury is an impartial group of citizens that is typically made up of 16 to 23 people.
In California, a grand jury is made up of 23 members that meet once a week on the same day of the week with an average five hour work day, according to the US District Court Central District of California.
Absences may be allowed but 16 members must be present to conduct business.
What is an Indictment and How is it Issued?
Plainly an indictment is the formal criminal charge and informs the person the charges are against of the basic information of the grand jury’s decision.
If it is believed by the grand jury that crime has been committed it is put to a vote for indictment. At least 12 jurors must concur in order to issue an indictment.
Following the vote, the US Attorney’s Office then prepares the documents and presents it to the court.
When the indictment is issued all of the proceedings of the grand jury are sealed and no other person(s) besides the people in that room know what was said about whom by who.
What Happens after the Indictment is Issued?
Following the defendant being charged and/or indicted they can hire an attorney and federal cases are tried in a United States District Court.