A no-bill verdict means the grand jury declines to indict or charge a defendant after hearing their case. This verdict means they don’t believe there is enough evidence, or probable cause, to go ahead with an indictment.
That’s why you need the support of an experienced criminal defense attorney if you want to ensure a more successful outcome for your criminal case.
Below are some talking points you want to keep in mind about a no-bill verdict. For example:
1. A no-bill does not preclude the prosecutor from presenting the case to another grand jury in the future. Therefore, they can reopen the case if they obtain more evidence.
2. As a result, a no-bill effectively terminates the case against the defendant for the time being. It does not prevent law enforcement officers from continuing to investigate and build a case against a defendant.
3. It’s important to note that a no-bill is not a finding of innocence. Again, it simply means the grand jury did not find probable cause to charge the accused with the evidence presented. The defendant may still face charges in the future.
Twelve jurors are chosen to sit on a jury. Of that number, at least nine jurors must vote for an indictment. Each of the jurors votes after they review the facts of an allegation.
If at least nine of the participants find probable cause (proof) for the charges, then the court proceeds with an indictment and schedules a trial. In this instance, they return a true bill so the prosecutor can pursue the case.
If at least nine of the jurors do not believe there is enough evidence to find probable cause, a no-bill is returned, and the criminal charges are dismissed.
Grand juries are typically used in criminal cases, especially if the defendant is charged with a felony. A trial (petit) jury is common in both criminal and civil cases.
A petit (trial) jury listens and considers evidence presented in a court trial before returning a verdict. A grand jury, on the other hand, does not appear at trial but listens in a private setting to a prosecutor’s argument.
If an accused’s case is no-billed, they may be eligible for an expunction. This means the charge is erased or will not appear in their criminal history on a background check.
If a case is presented again, the Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Amendment does not apply. That’s because the doctrine of double jeopardy does not pertain to crimes in grand jury trials.
Double jeopardy only applies to petit (trial) juries.
Collateral estoppel bars the reintroduction of a criminal case that was ultimately established by a prior verdict. Because a no-bill or true-bill does not represent an ultimate finding of fact, re-presentment is not barred in instances of collateral estoppel as well.
Do you need a criminal defense attorney in Texas? If so, contact Mendoza Law now about your criminal case. Get legal representation for a more successful outcome.
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