Indictable Offense Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Indictable Offense, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Indictable Offense?

It refers to the crime, which has suffcient evidence or which has prima facie case, where the judge and jury can formally charge the person commiting the crime. Such crime can range from rape, kidnapping, murder, robbery etc.

History and Meaning of Indictable Offense

An indictable offense is a serious criminal offense that can be prosecuted in a higher court. In the United States, it is similar to a felony charge, and in the United Kingdom, it is a crime that is tried by a jury in a crown court. The term "indictable" comes from the process of indictment, which is a formal accusation or charge of a serious crime, given to a suspect or defendant after a grand jury has examined the evidence.

Examples of Indictable Offense

  1. Murder - The killing of another person with malice aforethought is an example of an indictable offense. This means that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the suspect committed the crime, and that the case can go to trial.

  2. Fraud - Any type of fraud that results in a significant financial loss, such as embezzlement, is usually an indictable offense. The prosecution would need to prove that the suspect knowingly and willingly committed fraud, with the intention of stealing money or property.

  3. Sexual assault - Rape and other forms of sexual assault are also indictable offenses. The Crown would need to provide evidence such as DNA, witness statements, and medical examinations to prove that the accused committed the crime.

Legal Terms Similar to Indictable Offense

  1. Felony - Felonies are serious criminal offenses that can result in prison sentences of more than one year. In the US, they are usually equivalent to indictable offenses.

  2. Grand Jury - A grand jury is a group of citizens who are responsible for examining evidence and determining whether there is enough evidence to indict a suspect.

  3. Criminal Trial - A criminal trial is a legal process where a suspect is tried for committing a crime. If found guilty, they may face a range of consequences such as imprisonment, probation, or fines.