The return of an indictment simply means that federal prosecutors have presented their case against you to a Grand Jury. Grand Juries sit in all federal jurisdictions and consist of between 16 and 23 citizens from the jurisdiction. If the prosecutor can convince 12 members of the Grand Jury that there is probable cause to believe that you committed certain offenses, the Grand Jury will return an indictment against you for those offenses. The term “indictment” refers to the document that formally lists the charges against you. It is important to understand that federal cases typically proceed to trial very quickly — sometimes in as few as two months.
If you are under federal indictment, it is imperative that you hire good, competent counsel experienced in federal criminal defense as soon as possible.