Johnny McFarland, Administrative Assistant
It is the function of the Grand Jury Section of the District Attorney General’s Office to prepare criminal cases for presentment to the grand jury of Shelby County for indictment. The Shelby County Grand Jury is separate and independent of the District Attorney General’s Office.
The grand jury section receives reports of investigations by various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies regarding violations of state criminal law which have occurred in Shelby County. These reports are reviewed by the assistants assigned to the grand jury section to determine if there is sufficient evidence of criminal conduct to submit the case to the grand jury.
The staff of the grand jury section also assists the prosecutors in the Special Units of the District Attorney General’s Office, who vertically prosecute certain cases in reviewing and submitting their cases to the grand jury. The Grand Jury of Shelby County returned over eight thousand two hundred (8200) indictments in 2010.
If a person charged with a criminal offense waives his or her right to indictment by a grand jury and agrees to plead guilty, the District Attorney General may file a “criminal information”, which is the legal equivalent of an indictment. These “criminal informations” are prepared in the grand jury section.
In 2015, over one thousand four hundred (1500) criminal informations have been filed by the District Attorney General.
The assistants assigned to the grand jury section serve as legal advisors to the Grand Jury and participate in the training and advising of law enforcement officers.