What is an indictment?

An indictment is a formal accusation filed by a grand jury that alleges that a defendant committed a crime.

In Texas, all felony offenses are charged by indictment. Misdemeanor offenses may also be charged by indictment but they are more often charged by information or citation.

An indictment does not include proof of guilt but it must be specific enough to inform the defendant exactly what offense he is accused of having committed.  Chapter 21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure lists the requirements and allegations that comprise a proper indictment or information.