The criminal justice system has several stages. In some cases, these stages can appear to overlap, which can confuse individuals who are facing criminal charges. For instance, many people tend to think that being indicted means one has been arrested, while others believe that the two terms are interchangeable.
In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between being indicted and being arrested in Texas and explain what you should do if you are arrested or indicted in the Lone Star State.
What Is an Indictment?
An indictment is often the first formal accusation made against an individual by a grand jury in a criminal proceeding. It usually means that prosecutors have gathered enough evidence to present to the grand jury to show that the individual has committed a crime.
The grand jury will then determine whether there is enough evidence to formally charge the individual with the crime. Indictments are issued in serious felony cases or when a person may potentially face significant penalties.
What Is an Arrest?
Being arrested, on the other hand, is an entirely separate concept. Generally, an arrest takes place when law enforcement officers take someone into custody for the purpose of charging them with a crime. The arrest is usually made after an officer has probable cause to suspect that the individual has committed a crime.
This usually means that the officer has seen the individual commit the crime, received information from witnesses, or has other reason to believe that a crime has occurred.
Indictments Versus Arrests
While indictments can lead to arrests, it is important to note that an indictment is not the same as being arrested. An indictment is a formal accusation of a crime, while an arrest is a physical act of taking someone into custody.
When an individual is arrested, they are read their Miranda Rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. After that, they are usually taken to court and formally charged with the crimes they are suspected of committing.
This is also the time when the individual can choose to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court. An experienced attorney can help the individual understand their legal rights, evaluate the evidence against them, and develop a strong defense strategy.
Have You Recently Been Arrested or Are You Facing an Indictment in Texas? Talk to Our Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Situation. Contact Us Now!
At Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law, we have a deep understanding of the challenges that can arise if you or someone you care about is arrested or indicted in Texas. Our top priority is to safeguard our clients' rights and ensure they are treated justly. As our case results prove, we have had decades of success when it comes to defending our clients against arrests and indictments and getting the charges against them reduced or dismissed.