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Old 08-07-2008, 05:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Indictment Requirements

My friend was recently arrested under an Indictment and was told that he was videotaped in September 2005 selling drugs (this was the first he had heard of this charge). The indictment he received stated he "sold cocaine to a human being". The amount of the cocaine and the person was not mentioned. He was supposedly indicted in 2007. The indictment stated it was the August 2007 term of the grand jury(no date by the signature of the foreman), but it was not signed by the court until the later part of September 2007(which would have made the indictment over two years old).

My questions are: 1) How do you know if the statue of limitations is gone? Do you look at the date the indictment was signed by the court or do you just go by "August term"?

2) Is the wording of the indictment enough for a charge, since the amount of cocaine was not mentioned or who the drugs were sold to not mentioned?

He swears he is innocent and I believe it. They would not show him a videotape.

Please help ASAP.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youcantbandme View Post
My friend was recently arrested under an Indictment and was told that he was videotaped in September 2005 selling drugs (this was the first he had heard of this charge). The indictment he received stated he "sold cocaine to a human being". The amount of the cocaine and the person was not mentioned. He was supposedly indicted in 2007. The indictment stated it was the August 2007 term of the grand jury(no date by the signature of the foreman), but it was not signed by the court until the later part of September 2007(which would have made the indictment over two years old).

My questions are: 1) How do you know if the statue of limitations is gone? Do you look at the date the indictment was signed by the court or do you just go by "August term"?

2) Is the wording of the indictment enough for a charge, since the amount of cocaine was not mentioned or who the drugs were sold to not mentioned?

He swears he is innocent and I believe it. They would not show him a videotape.

Please help ASAP.

What state?
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Mississippi
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youcantbandme View Post
My friend was recently arrested under an Indictment and was told that he was videotaped in September 2005 selling drugs (this was the first he had heard of this charge). The indictment he received stated he "sold cocaine to a human being". The amount of the cocaine and the person was not mentioned. He was supposedly indicted in 2007. The indictment stated it was the August 2007 term of the grand jury(no date by the signature of the foreman), but it was not signed by the court until the later part of September 2007(which would have made the indictment over two years old).

My questions are: 1) How do you know if the statue of limitations is gone? Do you look at the date the indictment was signed by the court or do you just go by "August term"?

2) Is the wording of the indictment enough for a charge, since the amount of cocaine was not mentioned or who the drugs were sold to not mentioned?

He swears he is innocent and I believe it. They would not show him a videotape.

Please help ASAP.
The statute of limitations is five years, so whether the indictment was signed before, after, or when in the 'august term' isn't relevant. It is still within the five year time frame.

Also, the wording of the indictment is precise--cocaine being sold to another human being ( not stored in a storage building, kept in the basement, etc.) The degree of specificity will narrow as the case progresses and enters the discovery phase, at which time any and all evidence against him ( including the tape ) will be given to his defense attorney.

If he is innocent, there is no video tape and his being cleared should be a fairly simple straight forward affair.

Good luck.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was always told an indictment must be entered within 2 years in Mississippi. Also, he sat in jail for 9 days before he made his initial appearance/arraignment, in which he did not see a judge and only went in a room where the public defender set him a bond. Is this legal?
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you are very patient, you can peruse the law yourself:

[COLOR=#800080]Legal Resources[/COLOR]


The subject matter jurisdiction of a state grand jury is limited to criminal violations of the Mississippi Uniform Controlled Substances Law or any other crime involving narcotics, dangerous drugs or controlled substances, or any crime arising out of or in connection with a violation of the Mississippi Uniform Controlled Substances Law or a crime involving narcotics, dangerous drugs or controlled substances if the crime occurs within more than one (1) circuit court district of the state or transpires or has significance in more than one (1) circuit court district of the state. The venue for the trial of indictments returned by a state grand jury shall be as prescribed by general law.

Regarding the video you say you have not seen:


A court reporter shall record either stenographically or by use of an [COLOR=black][COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=black]electronic[/COLOR][/COLOR] [/COLOR][COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=black]recording[/COLOR][/COLOR] device, all state grand jury proceedings except when the state grand jury is deliberating or voting. Subject to the limitations of [COLOR=#0066cc]Section 13-7-29[/COLOR] and any rule of court, a defendant has the right to review and to reproduce the stenographically or electronically recorded materials. Transcripts of the recorded testimony or proceedings must be made when requested by the Attorney General or his designee. An unintentional failure of any[COLOR=black] [/COLOR][COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=black]recording[/COLOR][/COLOR] to reproduce all or any portion of the testimony or proceeding shall not affect the validity of the prosecution. The [FONT=Lucida Console][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#ffcc00][COLOR=black]recording[/COLOR][/COLOR] or reporter's notes or any transcript prepared therefrom and all books, papers, records and correspondence produced before the state grand jury shall remain in the custody and control of the Attorney General or his designee unless otherwise ordered by the court in a particular case[/FONT]. [/FONT]
[FONT=Lucida Console][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#800080][COLOR=black] Here is a case that closely mirrors the one you outlined.[/COLOR] [/COLOR][/FONT][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=#800080]http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/Images/Opinions/CO48782.pdf[/COLOR][/FONT][FONT=Verdana][/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana][/FONT][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Verdana]In this case, the statute of limitations is three years, but do realize that laws change constantly. The best way to get accurate information is to call a local attorney----I am not in Mississppi. [/FONT]



[/FONT]
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I say videotape, I am referring to the fact the police said they videotaped him selling drugs, not a copy of a grand jury proceeding. He was not arrested when they claimed they videotaped him and this is the first time he has heard of these charges.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youcantbandme View Post
When I say videotape, I am referring to the fact the police said they videotaped him selling drugs, not a copy of a grand jury proceeding. He was not arrested when they claimed they videotaped him and this is the first time he has heard of these charges.
Right. I understood what you meant. My point was this part: "all books, papers, records and correspondence produced before the state grand jury [COLOR=red]shall remain in the custody and control of the Attorney General[/COLOR] or his designee unless otherwise ordered by the court in a particular case."

I'm guessing that is why he hasn't seen the tape yet.

If there is no videotape and he is innocent, why is he worried? If the indictment said the grand jury viewed video tape, I would tend to take their word for it over your friend. Doesn't mean he is guilty, but tape IS tape and a grand jury has to be convinced some wrong doing has been done-----So... for what its worth, I would prepare myself.

Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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He is not worried. I am simply wondering if the statue of limitations was over and if the wording of the indictment was legal. That's all. Thanks for your help.
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