Key Words: What is an indictment, and what does being indicted mean for Trump? Legal terms explained.

by | Apr 2, 2023 | Stock Market

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted, and he’s expected to be arraigned next week — which has left plenty of people wondering what exactly these legal terms mean.  In fact, in the 12 or so hours after news of Trump’s indictment was made public, Google searches along the lines of “What is an indictment,” “What does it mean to be indicted,” and “What does Trump indictment mean” spiked more than 5,000%. There were also breakout queries of “indictment vs. arrest” and “what is an arraignment?” 

Also see: Trump set to surrender Tuesday — here’s what’s next after his indictment So let’s break things down, drawing from the United States Courts glossary and the Cornell Law School’s free legal dictionary. An indictment is what formally charges a person with a crime. During the indictment proceeding, as we saw with Trump, a grand jury decides whether there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial.  On Thursday, a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump, marking the first time in U.S. history a former or serving president will face criminal charges. The specific charges against him have not been unsealed yet. Next, Trump will be arraigned in New York, which his lawyer told MarketWatch is expected to happen on Tuesday, April 4. In an emailed statement Thursday, a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said arrangements are being made for Trump’s surrender: “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.” So, what is an arraignment? This is the first step in a criminal proceeding, where the defendant is brought into court and told of the charges against them in the indictment. This is also when the defendant is asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. …

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