i was involved in a secret indictment in ohio. the person was granted motion for discovery. will my statement be included on the document?

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i was involved in a secret indictment in ohio. the person was granted motion for discovery. will my statement be included on the document?

secret indicment HELP!

Asked on May 14, 2009 under Criminal Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A secret indictment is an indictment that is sealed so that it stays non-public until it is unsealed.  It may be unsealed once the named person is arrested.  A secret indictment is the basis in which the prosecutor brings the person giving the testimony before a grand jury to give a testimony so that the accused can be arrested with a warrant.  However, the person being accused of a crime is not aware that he/she is being charged with a crime because they have no idea they are being indicted.  That is why it is called a "secret" indictment.

But as with any other criminal case the accused has constitutional rights.  One of then is the right to see the evidence against you, otherwise known as "discovery".  However this is not an absolute right.  Under current Ohio Rule 16, a defendant has no access to secret grand jury testimony.  That means, for example, in the case of a secret indictment that the prosecutor has the right to withhold certain information against the defendant until trial, including witnesses names.  

That is for now however.  There was an article I found today on this very issue.  Ohio might start to follow federal law and open up the discovery process and allow the names of witnesses to be discovered. 

Here's the link: http://www.urbanacitizen.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=149367&TM=19338

However,  the current law in Ohio regarding the discovery rights of the accused are very narrow. 

Your best bet is to call the prosecutor on the case and ask him about this and any other matters that may be of concern.

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