What is a “grand jury” and how does it work?
The constitution guarantees that no person can be required to stand trial for a felony offense unless a grand jury decides they should have to stand trial. The grand jury is made up of a panel of citizens who are called in to serve for 1 day every 2 months.

The grand jury’s role is to listen to the evidence presented for the indictment and make a decision whether a person will have to stand trial or not for the alleged crime. Grand jury proceedings are secret and are not open to the public. The witnesses are usually police officers who present summaries of the case and answer any questions the jury members may have.

If you have questions about whether a defendant was indicted or not in a case you are involved in, then call our office at 434-432-7900 after 2 p.m. on the day the case went to the grand jury, our office usually knows the grand jury’s decision by then.

Show All Answers

1. Who is my Commonwealth’s Attorney, and what does he do?
2. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
3. What happens if I get subpoenaed as a witness and I don’t show up for court?
4. What if my employer does not want me to go to court?
5. Can I drop charges?
6. What is an “advisement” hearing and why don’t I need to come as a witness?
7. What is a preliminary hearing and do I really need to come?
8. What is a “grand jury” and how does it work?
9. Who can come be with me in court?
10. Will I have to testify in front of the defendant?
11. How do I find out which prosecutor will be with me in court?
12. How do I find out if my case has been “called off”?
13. What do I do if my court date is set during my vacation?
14. Who pays for my travel expenses to get to court?
15. Is there any financial help available for a crime victim’s medical expenses?
16. What do I do if someone threatens me for being a witness?
17. My husband promised never to hit me again. Can I drop the charge against him?
18. This is my husband’s 1st time being prosecuted for hitting me. Is there a way the court can do something about it without finding him guilty?
19. What contact information does the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office need for me if I am a witness?
20. What if the defense attorney contacts me?
21. Are there any registered sex offenders living near me?