All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated


A presentment is a written accusation of criminal offense prepared, signed, and presented to the prosecutor by the members of a grand jury, acting on their own initiative rather than in response to a bill of indictment brought before them by the government. By returning a presentment, the grand jury forces the prosecutor to indict. The presentment procedure permits the grand jury to circumvent prosecutorial inertia or recalcitrance to initiate criminal proceedings. The grand jury's presentment power originated long before there were government prosecutors. The presentment is a descendant of the grand jury's original function: to initiate criminal proceedings by accusing those whom the grand jurors knew to have reputedly committed offenses.

Charles H. Whitebread


Teslik, W. Randolph 1975 Prosecutorial Discretion: The Decision to Charge. Washington, D.C.: National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

views updated


Agrand jurystatement that a crime was committed; a written notice, initiated by a grand jury, that states that a crime occurred and that an indictment should be drawn.

In relation tocommercial paper,presentment is a demand for the payment or acceptance of a negotiable instrument, such as a check. The holder of a negotiable instrument generally makes a presentment to the maker, acceptor, drawer, or drawee.

views updated

pre·sent·ment / priˈzentmənt/ • n. Law, chiefly hist. a formal presentation of information to a court, esp. by a sworn jury regarding an offense or other matter.

More From

You Might Also Like