What Is a Felony Indictment?

felony-indictment Credit: Joseph Kranak/CC-BY 2.0

A felony indictment refers to a formal charge preferred against a person who has committed a serious crime and whose charge is a minimum of one year in jail. Some examples of felony crimes include kidnapping, rape, murder and robbery.

According to the common law, an indictment is a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime. In jurisdiction, a felony is considered the most serious type of criminal offence. Historically, in many common law jurisdictions, an indictment was referred to a grand jury to determine its fate. Where cause for charges was found, the jury returned a true bill or no bill, when cause was not found.