Frequenty Asked Questions
- Providing information about recent indictments and convictions of offenders.
- Offering support services for victims of crimes, including information about Victims Rights and Victim Notification programs.
- Educating you about the judicial process, answering questions regarding your role as a juror and providing contact information for any questions you may have for our office.
What is a Commonwealth Attorney?
The Commonwealth Attorney is the elected felony prosecutor for the circuit in which he or she lives. (The Eleventh Judicial Circuit is composed of Washington, Marion, Taylor and Green Counties.)
What is the primary difference in a County Attorney and a Commonwealth Attorney?
A county attorney is the elected misdemeanor prosecutor for the county in which he lives.
What does a Commonwealth Attorney do?
The Commonwealth Attorney prosecutes all felony cases that are committed in his/her circuit. A felony is any crime in which the minimum punishment is one (1) year in prison.
What is a Grand Jury?
The Grand Jury is a 12-member body of randomly selected persons who reside in the county in which the Grand Jury is meeting. The Grand Jury hears evidence of felony crimes and issues an indictment (official charge) against the defendant if at least nine (9) members of the Grand Jury believe there is probable cause that the defendant committed a felony.
What happens after a person is indicted?
Normally a person indicted by a Grand Jury is arrested. If he/she can make the bond that is set, he/she is released. If not, he/she remains in jail until the case is resolved, the bond is lowered or he/she is able to make the original bond. After indictment, the defendant appears at an arraignment at which time the Judge will schedule a pre-trial conference and a trial date. The case is then disposed of by plea negotiation or is tried by a 12-member jury.
How many new indictments does the 11th Judicial Circuit have each year?
Most years, this circuit indicts between 500-700 new indictments per year.
What is the punishment range for a felony indictment?
What role does the Judge play in criminal cases?
What happens if a felony criminal case goes to jury trial?
A 12-member jury hears evidence presented by both sides. Before a guilty verdict can be handed down, all 12 members of the jury must believe beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant committed the crime. Before a person can be found not guilty, every member of the jury must have a reasonable doubt about the guilt of the defendant. If all jury members cannot agree, it is called a hung jury and the defendant will have to be re-tried at a later date with a different jury panel.