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Chicago Grand Jury Attorney

Felony cases may be presented to a grand jury for a determination of probable cause. In Illinois, a grand jury consists of 16 persons selected from a list of the county’s registered voters or those 18 years of age or over who are holders of an Illinois driver’s license, an Illinois identification card, or an Illinois disabled person identification card. Twelve persons are necessary to constitute a quorum.

Grand Jury

The duty of a grand jury is to hear all evidence presented by the state’s attorney. If nine members agree that the evidence constitutes probable cause to believe that a person has committed an offense, the grand jury will return a true bill of indictment. The state’s attorney prepares the indictment charging the offense(s), and it is signed by the foreman and returned in open court. If the evidence does not warrant the return of an indictment, the grand jury returns a document called a “no bill.” The foreman presides during deliberations of the grand jury and administers the oath to each witness who appears to testify. 


Grand jury sessions are not open to the public or to the news media. When evidence is being presented, only the state’s attorney, a court reporter, the witness and the witness’ lawyer may be present. Only the grand jurors may be present during their deliberations and vote.

Under some circumstances a court may order an indictment to be “suppressed” or kept secret until the defendant is taken into custody. This information is not disclosed except as necessary to obtain an arrest warrant. In all cases, no grand juror or court officer may disclose matters occurring before the grand jury except by way of the official transcript when authorized by law.

Investigative Powers

The grand jury has broad investigative powers. It may compel, by subpoena, the appearance of any person, including the accused, and it may compel – subject to fifth amendment and other rights – answers to questions and submission of documents for examination. Counsel, who may advise a subpoenaed defendant of his rights but may not participate in any other way, may accompany the defendant or a person who may be the subject of the grand jury’s investigation, as any other witness. 

Chicago Grand Jury Hearing Attorney

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer William Carlos Weeden will work to protect your rights during the Grand Jury process with compassion and understanding. Contact our office at (773) 683-1060, to see how an Illinois Criminal Defense lawyer can help protect your rights and your freedom.

Call us: 773.683.1060 Criminal Matters 24hrs/7days

Law Office of William Carlos Weeden

The information on this website has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship or warrant that a certain result will be attained in a specific case. The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois. We encourage you to contact us or another legal professional for advice regarding your individual situation.

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