At What Level Is Using a Grand Jury a Guaranteed Right?


Quick Answer

The Fifth Amendment requires that a grand jury bring charges against a person who is charged with a felony in federal court and in some state courts, explains the University of Dayton School of Law. The federal court system has regular and special grand juries.

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Full Answer

In the federal court system, a felony is a crime that requires a sentence of more than one year in prison or the death penalty, notes Cornell University Law School. After a prosecutor presents evidence to a regular federal grand jury, the jury votes whether to return an indictment, the document used to charge someone with a crime. The process does not require a unanimous vote; a majority vote suffices.

Special federal grand juries investigate organized crime and government corruption, states University of Dayton School of Law. Grand juries do not investigate civil matters.

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