There are many ways that criminal charges can be brought against an individual. Authorities decided to use the legal mechanism of an indictment to file criminal charges against five Ohio men, following allegations of felony cheating. Identifying the different ways that authorities can bring criminal charges is one of the first steps in building a strong criminal defense.
There is a new casino in Hamilton County, the Horseshoe Casino. Local prosecutors note that the new casino is in an area that is under the most police surveillance in the county. This additional surveillance may have been one of the factors leading to recent criminal charges filed against five Ohio men, who were playing blackjack and craps. Each man has been charged with two counts of Casino Gaming Offense, a felony. They face several long-term consequences, including two years in prison.
Following the allegations of cheating, the Hamilton County prosecutor announced the men's indictments. An indictment by a grand jury involves the prosecutor reviewing evidence gathered by the police and then presenting this evidence to a jury. The jury will then determine if the matter should proceed. Often, a prosecutor chooses this method of charging if he is unsure whether a criminal trial will be successful. In this case, it appears that there is, at least initially, the perception that there is sufficient evidence to continue the criminal proceedings against these five Ohio men.
Although an indictment may be the first time that an individual formally learns of criminal charges, the indictment process is the first step in crafting a strong criminal defense. It is an individual's first opportunity to see the evidence collected against him. It is also an individual's first chance to identify and evaluate the prosecutor's arguments. This information can all be used to help identify and craft a strong criminal defense, including identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the case and what plea negotiations may be possible.
Source: The Cincinnati Herald, "Five indicted on cheating at Horseshow Casino," June 1, 2013