An indictment refers to a state of finding a person liable to be charged with a crime. An indictment is a written accusation of a crime presented by a prosecutor to a grand jury to decide whether the accusation, if proved, would be sufficient to convict the person. An indictment approved by a grand jury is termed a true bill; one not approved is referred to as no bill.

Under the Fifth Amendment, the federal government must obtain a grand jury indictment in order to prosecute someone for an infamous crime, modernly construed as any felony.

State governments, by contrast, are free to initiate the prosecution of any criminal case by either indictment or information.
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