I had been indicted by the State of West Virginia. What does that mean and what should I expect?

You have been indicted for a crime, not convicted of crime. In that capacity, and during a meeting of the grand jury, approximately twelve of sixteen people felt there was probable cause to believe a crime was committed and that you were somehow involved with it.

Although at least twelve members of the grand jury felt that probable cause existed, probable cause warrants only further investigation of this matter by virtue of initiating a formal criminal prosecution. The fact that you have been indicted for a crime has no bearing on whether you will ultimately be convicted for that crime. Instead, the indictment has merely compelled you to answer for your implication in a certain matter of public concern. In order to be convicted of the crime for which you have been indicted, a twelve person jury must be unanimously convinced that you are guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Unlike the proceeding that caused you to be indicted, you will have an opportunity to cross examine the witnesses, as well as exclude certain testimony and evidence that was considered by the grand jury in their decision to indict you.

It is important to note that a grand jury is exposed to a great deal of testimony and evidence that would not otherwise be allowed during the trial of the case. During grand jury proceedings there are virtually no safeguards or procedures in place to ensure that the testimony and evidence presented is accurate, or that it came from honest people. In short, the jury in the criminal trial will hear both sides of a story, instead of just one.