Grand Jury

Grand Jury
There are three types of Grand Juries - Regular, Special and Multi-Jurisdiction. A Regular 
Grand Jury is convened at each term of the Circuit Court of each city and county, to attend 
to the usual matters needing Grand Jury action. On infrequent occasions a court will 
convene a Special Grand Jury to investigate some particular matter. Multi-Jurisdiction 
Grand Juries involve more than one jurisdiction and are primarily used to investigate drug 
law violations.

A regular Grand Jury is composed of from five to seven citizens of a city or county, 
summoned by the Circuit Court of that city or county, to consider bills of indictment and to 
hear witnesses and determine whether there is probable cause to believe that a person 
accused of having committed a serious crime did commit the crime and should stand trial 
at a later date. The Court may summon up to nine people to ensure a sufficient number. 
The Grand Jury does not hear both sides of the case and does not determine the guilt or 
innocence of the accused person. This is determined by a "petit (trial) jury" if and when 
the accused is tried later. The Grand Jury only determines whether there is probable cause 
that the accused committed the crime and should stand trial. 

Please click here to access the Handbook for Virginia Grand Jurors published by the Virginia Supreme Court.