DC Robbery Indictments

A robbery indictment is the official charging document that allows the prosecutors to proceed to a trial. DC robbery indictments occur if the grand jury found probable cause that the person committed a certain offense and can be taken to trial on that charge. The dangers of an indictment is that grand juries are only presented with evidence that prosecutors want them to see. Contact an experienced robbery attorney to discuss potential defenses for grand jury theft cases.

Role of a Robbery Grand Jury

Grand juries are hearings at the US Attorney’s Office that are closed to the public and considered sealed from public view. The goal of a grand jury is for the prosecutors to present the evidence in the light most favorable to their case. That happens because the standard of proof in a grand jury is much lower than it is at a trial. When the grand jury concludes that there is enough evidence to proceed on the case based on the evidence presented by the prosecutors, they can issue DC robbery indictments.

What is Probable Cause in a Robbery Case?

Probable cause means there is some reason to believe that a crime was a committed and that the accused person is the one who committed the crime. This does not mean that a grand jury can find that there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt or even proof that is likely the person committed the crime alleged.

If the prosecutors are not able to secure DC robbery indictments, they are not legally allowed to proceed to a trial on felony level charges. Prosecutors can still file misdemeanor charges which do not require a grand jury indictment. However, when a grand jury does not indict on a felony charge, the prosecutors cannot go to trial with that charge.

Understanding the Indictment Process Following a Theft Allegation

When a judge determines that the accused individual is not eligible to be released while their case is pending, the prosecutor must obtain an indictment within 90 days. If the prosecutor does not obtain DC robbery indictments within 90 days or provide a good reason why additional time is needed, the judge must then order that person’s release. When a person is released; the prosecutor has a longer period of time to obtain an indictment.

What Does Without Prejudice Mean?

When someone is not detained while their case is pending, the prosecutor has nine months to return an indictment. If the prosecutor does not obtain DC robbery indictments within nine months, the judge can order that case to be dismissed without prejudice. This means the prosecutor can still obtain the indictment after a case is dismissed. The full amount of time that a prosecutor has to obtain an indictment against the person depends on the statute of limitations for the offense.

In DC, in the event of a robbery charge, prosecutors have six years to obtain an indictment starting from the time the robbery is alleged to have been committed. If the prosecutors cannot begin the prosecution within the six years, they are barred from indicting someone for that offense by the statute of limitations.

Penalties Following DC Robbery Indictments

The maximum penalty a person faces when convicted of robbery is up to 15 years in prison. Any criminal offense where a person faces a maximum penalty of more than one year is a felony charge. Whenever a person faces felony charges, prosecutors can file the charges and take the person to trial on those accusations.

Certain procedures must be followed before a case can proceed to a trial. In a felony case, prosecutors must first obtain an indictment from a grand jury before a person can be taken to trial. A grand jury is different from a jury.

The only persons present during a grand jury proceeding are members of the grand jury, prosecutors, and a witness. Grand jurors like trial jurors are members of the DC public who are chosen at random to serve on the grand jury for an extended period of time. Prosecutors present witnesses and testimony before the grand jury to have the grand jury file an indictment against a person.