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“No action” is a little-known option for the Grand Jury in a “politically delicate” situation

Recently, I represented a businessman in a neighboring county to Dallas before the Grand Jury. The particular crime he was charged with was against a police officer, which had caused the Chief of Police to testify personally at the Grand Jury, a rather rare phenomenon.

The problem for the District Attorney was this: Through my due diligence, I had shown the District Attorney that he lacked an essential element of the case, which was related to restraining the police officer. The District Attorney agreed, but had to deal with the insistence of the Chief of Police to indict my client.

I suggested a "no action" by the Grand Jury, which is a little-known third option for Grand Juries to take, the other two being a True Bill and a No-Bill. The District Attorney liked that idea because a No-Bill would be a slap in the face to the Chief of Police; a True Bill would have very likely resulted in a not guilty verdict; but, with a "no action" result by the Grand Jury, there is never a record of any official disposition of the "matter" (which was not a "case" because of no indictment).

A "no action" also had the additional benefit for my client of not having to file a Petition for Expunction, because the case had been a direct Grand Jury referral (i.e., no arrest), so there was nothing to expunge and no electronic entry as to what the Grand Jury did. In other words, 15 years from now, an archivist, researching the public records, would find nothing regarding this allegation.

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