Q: Is it possible for a member of society to read a criminal indictment against the accused defense? If so how ?
A: Not really sure what you are asking here. Adult criminal matters are all a matter of public law, so anyone can review the file on any adult defendant unless the case has been sealed or expunged.
A: Your question is not clear.
An indictment is a formal accusation where the accused is charged formally with a felony by a Grand Jury.
This accusation, also known sometimes as a charging document, must be in writing and set forth what act by the defendant broke the law, and what law the defendant is specifically accused of breaking.
These documents are almost always public records. By going to the Clerk's office for the local jurisdiction where the case started, you can ask to see a copy for yourself. This is because we live in a country where we don't try someone in secrecy.
The indictment is usually limited to what the crime is that is being charged, and doesn't directly discuss the accused's possible defense or defenses. I say directly because, for example, a sexual assault charge refers to sexual contact by the use of force or the threat of force. That force element is something the prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The lack of force, if the defendant is admitting that sexual contact took place, is central to a consent defense.
I hope this helps.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.