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Note: The comments and questions on this page came from people who visited this website. Please feel free to send your comments and questions to Professor Brenner (brenner@udayton.edu). She will respond privately, and may ask permission to post your message on this page. No one's e-mail will be used without first obtaining their permission, and names and e-mail addresses are removed before a comment is posted. Starting in 2002, the responses posted to the site indicate which of us replied: The initials SWB mean Professor Brenner wrote the response; the initials LES mean Professor Shaw wrote the response. We are also putting the year down, to indicate when the response was posted. If no initials appear, Professor Brenner wrote the response.


"Infamous crimes"--part 1:

Thanks for answering my questions. Just a couple more and I'll put my curiosity to rest.

1. Has the Supreme Court made any rulings determining what constitutes an "infamous crime?"

2. Is being charged with a crime the same thing as being indicted for a crime, or is there a legal distinction between "charged" and "indicted?"

Thanks again.

Response:  The Supreme Court has held that an "infamous" crime is one that is punished by imprisonment for over one year.   See Green v. U.S., 356 U.S. 165 (1958).  Since this is essentially the definition of a felony, infamous crimes translate as felonies.  As to the second question, there is essentially no difference between being charged and being indicted, except that you can be charged either by an indictment (which is a charging document returned by a grand jury) or by an information (which is a charging document a prosecutor files without using a grand jury).  If you're indicted, you have been charged with crimes and are a defendant in a criminal case; the same thing is true if you've been charged by an information.

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