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Are Sealed Indictments Legal in Massage Parlor Arrests?

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Massage parlor arrests are on the uprise, and unfortunately, there are many tricky aspects in the legal process when it comes to getting someone out of jail on bond. It’s not uncommon for a massage parlor arrest to be put into a sealed indictment, which is legal, but they are problematic for defendants. Learn the best ways to help get your loved one get out of jail quickly for a massage parlor arrest.

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What Is the Difference Between an Indictment and a Sealed Indictment?

In the matters of massage parlor arrests, it's crucial to understand how sealed indictments work and how they can affect getting your loved one out of jail.

What is an Indictment?

  • An indictment happens when someone is suspected of committing a felony, and prosecutors will present to a grand jury the reasons why criminal charges should be brought against a suspect. The grand jury will take into consideration the evidence from the prosecution to determine if there is probable cause that the suspect committed the crime. If probable cause is determined, then an indictment will be issued.

What is a Sealed Indictment? 

  • A sealed indictment works the same way as an indictment except the suspect does not know they're about to be arrested. A sealed indictment is not a public record, and the offender and charges are kept under wraps. Once a defendant is arrested, the sealed indictment then becomes unsealed at arraignment.

Why is a Sealed Indictment a Problem?

A sealed indictment can be problematic for two reasons:

  1. It makes it nearly impossible to know if an arrest warrant is active or what the bail amount is set to.

  2. It presents difficulty in making arrangements for a self-surrender and quick bailout.

Typically, sealed indictments are used as a tool to arrest a defendant quickly and without notice. Even in the event that a client is cooperating with an investigation, a sealed indictment may still be utilized to arrest a defendant.

Unfortunately, arrests are often publicized and leaks to the press are common. This adds further humiliation for clients since an arrest can happen at any time, and it may be caught on camera by local news organizations.

How Do You Know If You Have a Secret Indictment Against You?

How do you know if there is a secret indictment against you? In short, you can't really know for sure, but there are a few things you can do now.

Grand juries that issue sealed indictments are the only ones that have knowledge of and are allowed to discuss them. Nevertheless, there are a number of resources that can be used to discover some information about criminal proceedings to determine if a sealed indictment is possible for a particular case.

  1. Review Police Reports & Local Arrest Records. A person who believes a secret indictment has been filed against them should search local arrest records and police reports for useful information. The majority of jurisdictions will offer some type of name-based background check to make this relatively easy, and it can provide the individual with valuable information, such as police reports and any arrests that may have occurred based on those reports.
  2. Review Local & State Court Records. Even though local and state court records overlap with some of the police records that may also have been searched, they can still provide useful information if you search for the names of individuals involved. As with searching for police records, the process involves going through the local court system to make the request.
  3. Perform a Google search. There are many useful tools on the Internet that can be used to find out if you have a sealed indictment. Users can search for news articles and public information about an incident, despite not being able to find the sealed document itself. If an incident that may lead to a sealed indictment occurred on a specific date and in a particular town or jurisdiction, users can search those terms in Google to see what results appear.
  4. Speak with a Criminal Attorney. Even after conducting all the other checks listed above, there may still be the question of “how do you know if you have a secret indictment?” It can only be determined so much information about a case after searching police and court records, and the question of a secret indictment may remain. The individual has very little choice at this point in terms of finding out more information.

Having exhausted all other options, the only reasonable course of action is to contact a criminal lawyer. Criminal lawyers will have access to more sensitive information not available to the general public, or at the very least will be able to learn more information than individuals. A lawyer will not only be able to answer the question of whether or not a secret indictment has been issued but can also advise the individual on how to proceed while they try to figure out the answer, as well as explain how long the police have to charge you.

When Are Secret Indictments Used?

So when exactly are secret indictments used? There are a number of situations in which individuals can use secret indictments. Typically, secret indictments are used when there is a fear that the person who the indictment is used for may flee the jurisdiction if he or she knows about the indictment, and that trial proceedings are in the procedure. In such situations, witnesses may also be protected.

Another reason for a secret indictment is so that the police can have additional time available to further investigate the particular case. If you suspect a secret indictment, our lawyers can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation, and let us help to protect your rights, your future, and your reputation starting today.

How Can A Bail Agent Help with Massage Parlor Arrests?

When it comes to massage parlor arrests, A-1 Bail Bonds has some tips:

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If you or a loved one have been exposed to criminal liability due to working in a massage parlor, we can help. Contact A-1 Bail Bonds today at (808) 664-5010 to learn more about how we can assist you with all your bail bond needs.

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