An indictment is a formal written accusation brought forth to a court by a grand jury. 

To be exact, the Texas Criminal Code defines an “indictment” as a written statement by a grand jury accusing a named defendant of “some act or omission which, by law, is declared to be an offense.“

In Texas, minor misdemeanor crimes are carried out as a “criminal complaint” while felony charges are brought forth through an indictment. To obtain an indictment a prosecutor will provide evidence to the grand jury who will then decide through a vote if the accusation has enough probable cause to prove guilt. 

Your guilt or innocence is not determined by the indictment. 

PROBABLE CAUSE

You don’t need to be arrested to be indicted. The process of presenting evidence to a grand jury can be carried out by a prosecutor without your knowledge. This is called a “sealed indictment”. Once the grand jury agrees that there is probable cause, then it is returned a “true bill” and an arraignment is set. The jury will hear the evidence presented by a prosecutor and they will conclude the hearing with a vote to decide if the case should proceed. A “true bill” is the term when a case or accusation is brought forth via an indictment. 

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

A case can go without being indicted for the whole length of its statute of limitations. 

The statute of limitation for felony cases in Texas is 3-10 years.

 There is no statute of limitations on these crimes: 

  • Murder and manslaughter
  • Sexual assault or aggravated assault
  • Offenses against young children
  • Leaving the scene of an accident which resulted in death
  • Human trafficking

The statue of limitation period begins when the alleged criminal offense is committed. 

TEXAS PROCESS CODE

The Texas Penal Code requires that the grand jury must clearly list all of the offenses in plain and intelligible words in such a way that the person being accused can plead guilty or not guilty, where it will then proceed to sentencing in the former case or a trial in the latter. 

It is important to know that most cases brought forth by a prosecuting party will be indicted. The burden of proof is low until the case is brought to a criminal court. The defendant is always innocent until proven guilty in a criminal court of law. 

BAIL PROCESS TIMELINE

If you are indicted or arrested, an arraignment typically occurs within 72 hours. 

The arraignment is the first time that an accused citizen makes an appearance before the court. A judge will publicly read the charges brought forth against the accused. If the accused pleads “not guilty”, then a trial will be brought to the criminal court at a later date. 

If the accused posted bail following their arrest, it will be continued over by the court during this entire process as long as a judge believes that the defendant is not a danger to himself or to others. 

At this point in a case, a defendant will be represented by an attorney but when it comes to the bail posting process, you can rest assured that our agents at ABC Bail Bonds will always provide top-quality and confidential personal assistance throughout the bail process. 

Houston Bail Bonds

ABC Bail Bonds can bail you out of jail fast! Visit our website to get in contact with our experienced bondsman, who will educate you about your options to get yourself or a loved one released from jail. Let us help you get back to your life, and prepare for your upcoming hearing.