What is a Grand Jury?
In NJ, if your criminal matter cannot be resolved at the “pre-indictment” stage, the State will present the case to a Grand Jury for its consideration.
A Grand Jury is sworn panel of 23 individuals who listen to testimonial evidence presented by the State. It is a secret proceeding – defendants are not entitled to know when their matter is scheduled to be heard, nor do they have a right to be present. Upon listening to the evidence, the Grand Jury must determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support each element of the crime(s) that the State is asking the panel to consider. If the Grand Jury determines that there is sufficient evidence, they will issue an Indictment. If, on the other hand, the Grand Jury determines that there is insufficient evidence, they will “no bill” the case.
Morris County NJ Criminal Defense Attorney
Although criminal defense attorneys are not involved in the Grand Jury process, having an understanding of it is critical. For instance, certain commentary is not permitted before the Grand Jury. If introduced, it can taint the proceeding and serve as grounds for an indictment to be dismissed.
Alissa D. Hascup is a former assistant county prosecutor who presented hundreds of matters to Grand Jury panels for consideration. As a defense attorney, she now uses that knowledge and experience to attack presentation and attempt to have indictments dismissed.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in NJ and your matter was referred to the Grand Jury for consideration, having a zealous attorney who understands the nuances of the process is imperative. Contact Alissa D. Hascup at 862-257-1200 anytime for a free initial consultation.