indictment

(redirected from Indictments)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

indictment

(ĭndīt`mənt), in criminal lawcriminal law,
the branch of law that defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment. A tort is a civil wrong committed against an individual; a crime, on the other hand, is regarded as an offense committed against the public, even though only one
..... Click the link for more information.
, formal written accusation naming specific persons and crimes. Persons suspected of crime may be rendered liable to trial by indictment, by presentment, or by information. An indictment is issued by a grand jurygrand jury,
in law, body of persons selected to inquire into crimes committed within a certain jurisdiction. It usually comprises a greater number than the trial, or petit (also, petty) jury, having since early common law days had between 12 and 23 members.
..... Click the link for more information.
 when the jury's investigation is initiated by the public prosecutor's presentment of a bill of indictment. A presentment is an accusation issued by the grand jury on its own knowledge, without any bill of indictment having been previously drawn up by the prosecutor. An information is an accusation presented directly by the prosecutor without consideration by a grand jury. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution safeguards the right to a preliminary hearing by a grand jury in major federal cases. It provides in effect that no person outside military service may be tried in a federal court for a capital "or otherwise infamous" (i.e., a felony) crime except on indictment or presentment. Fewer than half of the states similarly require grand jury action. When an indictment or presentment is approved, the foreman of the grand jury marks it "true bill." Indictments, presentments, and informations are similar to the plaintiff's complaint in a civil action (see procedureprocedure,
in law, the rules that govern the obtaining of legal redress. This article deals only with civil procedure in Anglo-American law (for criminal procedure, see criminal law).
..... Click the link for more information.
).

indictment

Criminal law
1. a formal written charge of crime formerly referred to and presented on oath by a grand jury
2. any formal accusation of crime
3. Scot a charge of crime brought at the instance of the Lord Advocate
References in classic literature ?
The Jury had each formed a different view(Long before the indictment was read), And they all spoke at once, so that none of them knew One word that the others had said.
Aroused from studying the indictment by this appeal, the attorney got up, and after a short dialogue with the hunter in a low voice, he informed the court that they were ready to proceed.
I shall leave you to judge, gentlemen, from the testimony, how far the witness in this prosecution can be so considered, feeling less reluctance to submit the case thus informally to your decision, because there is yet another indictment to be tried, which involves heavier charges against the unfortunate prisoner.
District Attorney,” said Judge Temple, affecting to busy himself with his minutes, “proceed with the second indictment.
But the feelings of the old hunter were awakened by some of the expressions in the indictment, and, forgetful of his caution, he exclaimed:
But there is another part of the indictment which says that he teaches men not to receive the gods whom the city receives, and has other new gods.
Again, when Socrates argues that he must believe in the gods because he believes in the sons of gods, we must remember that this is a refutation not of the original indictment, which is consistent enough--'Socrates does not receive the gods whom the city receives, and has other new divinities' --but of the interpretation put upon the words by Meletus, who has affirmed that he is a downright atheist.
To this indictment, Christopher Nubbles, in a low and trembling voice, pleaded Not Guilty; and here, let those who are in the habit of forming hasty judgments from appearances, and who would have had Christopher, if innocent, speak out very strong and loud, observe, that confinement and anxiety will subdue the stoutest hearts; and that to one who has been close shut up, though it be only for ten or eleven days, seeing but stone walls and a very few stony faces, the sudden entrance into a great hall filled with life, is a rather disconcerting and startling circumstance.
Charles Darnay had yesterday pleaded Not Guilty to an indictment denouncing him (with infinite jingle and jangle) for that he was a false traitor to our serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, prince, our Lord the King, by reason of his having, on divers occasions, and by divers means and ways, assisted Lewis, the French King, in his wars against our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth; that was to say, by coming and going, between the dominions of our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, and those of the said French Lewis, and wickedly, falsely, traitorously, and otherwise evil-adverbiously, revealing to the said French Lewis what forces our said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, had in preparation to send to Canada and North America.
I shall never forget the indictment of the Senior Subaltern by his wife.
The grim old man of Torn had sat motionless throughout this indictment, his face, somewhat pale, was drawn into lines of malevolent hatred and rage, but he permitted Father Claude to finish without interruption.
The reading of the indictment was got through, as it always is, without any incident.