Law:Title 1. Code Of Criminal Procedure from Chapter 20. Duties And Powers Of The Grand Jury (Texas)

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Chapter 20. Duties And Powers Of The Grand Jury

Art. 20.01. GRAND JURY ROOM. After the grand jury is organized they shall proceed to the discharge of their duties in a suitable place which the sheriff shall prepare for their sessions.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.011. WHO MAY BE PRESENT IN GRAND JURY ROOM. (a) Only the following persons may be present in a grand jury room while the grand jury is conducting proceedings:

(1) grand jurors;

(2) bailiffs;

(3) the attorney representing the state;

(4) witnesses while being examined or when necessary to assist the attorney representing the state in examining other witnesses or presenting evidence to the grand jury;

(5) interpreters, if necessary; and

(6) a stenographer or person operating an electronic recording device, as provided by Article 20.012.

(b) Only a grand juror may be in a grand jury room while the grand jury is deliberating.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1011, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Art. 20.012. RECORDING OF CERTAIN TESTIMONY. (a) Questions propounded by the grand jury or the attorney representing the state to a person accused or suspected and the testimony of that person to the grand jury shall be recorded either by a stenographer or by use of an electronic device capable of recording sound.

(b) The validity of a grand jury proceeding is not affected by an unintentional failure to record all or part of questions propounded or testimony made under Subsection (a).

(c) The attorney representing the state shall maintain possession of all records other than stenographer's notes made under this article and any typewritten transcription of those records, except as provided by Article 20.02.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1011, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Art. 20.02. PROCEEDINGS SECRET. (a) The proceedings of the grand jury shall be secret.

(b) A grand juror, bailiff, interpreter, stenographer or person operating an electronic recording device, or person preparing a typewritten transcription of a stenographic or electronic recording who discloses anything transpiring before the grand jury, regardless of whether the thing transpiring is recorded, in the course of the official duties of the grand jury shall be liable to a fine as for contempt of the court, not exceeding five hundred dollars, imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) A disclosure of a record made under Article 20.012, a disclosure of a typewritten transcription of that record, or a disclosure otherwise prohibited by Subsection (b) or Article 20.16 may be made by the attorney representing the state in performing the attorney's duties to a grand juror serving on the grand jury before whom the record was made, another grand jury, a law enforcement agency, or a prosecuting attorney, as permitted by the attorney representing the state and determined by the attorney as necessary to assist the attorney in the performance of the attorney's duties. The attorney representing the state shall warn any person the attorney authorizes to receive information under this subsection of the person's duty to maintain the secrecy of the information. Any person who receives information under this subsection and discloses the information for purposes other than those permitted by this subsection is subject to punishment for contempt in the same manner as persons who violate Subsection (b).

(d) The defendant may petition a court to order the disclosure of information otherwise made secret by this article or the disclosure of a recording or typewritten transcription under Article 20.012 as a matter preliminary to or in connection with a judicial proceeding. The court may order disclosure of the information, recording, or transcription on a showing by the defendant of a particularized need.

(e) A petition for disclosure under Subsection (d) must be filed in the district court in which the case is pending. The defendant must also file a copy of the petition with the attorney representing the state, the parties to the judicial proceeding, and any other persons required by the court to receive a copy of the petition. All persons receiving a petition under this subsection are entitled to appear before the court. The court shall provide interested parties with an opportunity to appear and present arguments for the continuation of or end to the requirement of secrecy.

(f) A person who receives information under Subsection (d) or (e) and discloses that information is subject to punishment for contempt in the same manner as a person who violates Subsection (b).

(g) The attorney representing the state may not disclose anything transpiring before the grand jury except as permitted by Subsections (c), (d), and (e).

(h)  A subpoena or summons relating to a grand jury proceeding or investigation must be kept secret to the extent and for as long as necessary to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of a matter before the grand jury.  This subsection may not be construed to limit a disclosure permitted by Subsection (c), (d), or (e).

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 1011, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 628, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Art. 20.03. ATTORNEY REPRESENTING STATE ENTITLED TO APPEAR. "The attorney representing the State" means the Attorney General, district attorney, criminal district attorney, or county attorney. The attorney representing the State, is entitled to go before the grand jury and inform them of offenses liable to indictment at any time except when they are discussing the propriety of finding an indictment or voting upon the same.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.04. ATTORNEY MAY EXAMINE WITNESSES. The attorney representing the State may examine the witnesses before the grand jury and shall advise as to the proper mode of interrogating them. No person other than the attorney representing the State or a grand juror may question a witness before the grand jury. No person may address the grand jury about a matter before the grand jury other than the attorney representing the State, a witness, or the accused or suspected person or the attorney for the accused or suspected person if approved by the State's attorney.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Art. 20.05. MAY SEND FOR ATTORNEY. The grand jury may send for the attorney representing the state and ask his advice upon any matter of law or upon any question arising respecting the proper discharge of their duties.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Art. 20.06. ADVICE FROM COURT. The grand jury may also seek and receive advice from the court touching any matter before them, and for this purpose, shall go into court in a body; but they shall so guard the manner of propounding their questions as not to divulge the particular accusation that is pending before them; or they may propound their questions in writing, upon which the court may give them the desired information in writing.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.07. FOREMAN SHALL PRESIDE. The foreman shall preside over the sessions of the grand jury, and conduct its business and proceedings in an orderly manner. He may appoint one or more members of the body to act as clerks for the grand jury.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.08. ADJOURNMENTS. The grand jury shall meet and adjourn at times agreed upon by a majority of the body; but they shall not adjourn, at any one time, for more than three days, unless by consent of the court. With the consent of the court, they may adjourn for a longer time, and shall as near as may be, conform their adjournments to those of the court.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.09. DUTIES OF GRAND JURY. The grand jury shall inquire into all offenses liable to indictment of which any member may have knowledge, or of which they shall be informed by the attorney representing the State, or any other credible person.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.10. ATTORNEY OR FOREMAN MAY ISSUE PROCESS. The attorney representing the state, or the foreman, in term time or vacation, may issue a summons or attachment for any witness in the county where they are sitting; which summons or attachment may require the witness to appear before them at a time fixed, or forthwith, without stating the matter under investigation.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.11. OUT-OF-COUNTY WITNESSES.

Section 1.

The foreman or the attorney representing the State may, upon written application to the district court stating the name and residence of the witness and that his testimony is believed to be material, cause a subpoena or an attachment to be issued to any county in the State for such witness, returnable to the grand jury then in session, or to the next grand jury for the county from whence the same issued, as such foreman or attorney may desire. The subpoena may require the witness to appear and produce records and documents. An attachment shall command the sheriff or any constable of the county where the witness resides to serve the witness, and have him before the grand jury at the time and place specified in the writ.

Section 2.

A subpoena or attachment issued pursuant to this article shall be served and returned in the manner prescribed in Chapter 24 of this code.

A witness subpoenaed pursuant to this article shall be compensated as provided in this code.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 787, ch. 350, Sec. 1, eff. June 12, 1973.



Art. 20.12. ATTACHMENT IN VACATION. The attorney representing the state may cause an attachment for a witness to be issued, as provided in the preceding Article, either in term time or in vacation.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.13. EXECUTION OF PROCESS. The bailiff or other officer who receives process to be served from a grand jury shall forthwith execute the same and return it to the foreman, if the grand jury be in session; and if the grand jury be not in session, the process shall be returned to the district clerk. If the process is returned not executed, the return shall state why it was not executed.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.14. EVASION OF PROCESS. If it be made to appear satisfactorily to the court that a witness for whom an attachment has been issued to go before the grand jury is in any manner wilfully evading the service of such summons or attachment, the court may fine such witness, as for contempt, not exceeding five hundred dollars.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.15. WHEN WITNESS REFUSES TO TESTIFY. When a witness, brought in any manner before a grand jury, refuses to testify, such fact shall be made known to the attorney representing the State or to the court; and the court may compel the witness to answer the question, if it appear to be a proper one, by imposing a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and by committing the party to jail until he is willing to testify.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.16.  OATHS TO WITNESSES. (a) The following oath shall be administered by the foreman, or under the foreman's direction, to each witness before being interrogated:  "You solemnly swear that you will not reveal, by your words or conduct, and will keep secret any matter about which you may be interrogated or that you have observed during the proceedings of the grand jury, and that you will answer truthfully the questions asked of you by the grand jury, or under its direction, so help you God."

(b)  A witness who reveals any matter about which the witness is interrogated or that the witness has observed during the proceedings of the grand jury, other than when required to give evidence thereof in due course, shall be liable to a fine as for contempt of court, not exceeding $500, and to imprisonment not exceeding six months.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722. Amended by Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 968, ch. 399, Sec. 2(A), eff. Jan. 1, 1974.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 28, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Art. 20.17. HOW SUSPECT OR ACCUSED QUESTIONED. (a) The grand jury, in propounding questions to the person accused or suspected, shall first state the offense with which he is suspected or accused, the county where the offense is said to have been committed and as nearly as may be, the time of commission of the offense, and shall direct the examination to the offense under investigation.

(b) Prior to any questioning of an accused or suspected person who is subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury, the accused or suspected person shall be furnished a written copy of the warnings contained in Subsection (c) of this section and shall be given a reasonable opportunity to retain counsel or apply to the court for an appointed attorney and to consult with counsel prior to appearing before the grand jury.

(c) If an accused or suspected person is subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury prior to any questions before the grand jury, the person accused or suspected shall be orally warned as follows:

(1) "Your testimony before this grand jury is under oath";

(2) "Any material question that is answered falsely before this grand jury subjects you to being prosecuted for aggravated perjury";

(3) "You have the right to refuse to make answers to any question, the answer to which would incriminate you in any manner";

(4) "You have the right to have a lawyer present outside this chamber to advise you before making answers to questions you feel might incriminate you";

(5) "Any testimony you give may be used against you at any subsequent proceeding";

(6) "If you are unable to employ a lawyer, you have the right to have a lawyer appointed to advise you before making an answer to a question, the answer to which you feel might incriminate you."

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1065, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Art. 20.18. HOW WITNESS QUESTIONED. When a felony has been committed in any county within the jurisdiction of the grand jury, and the name of the offender is known or unknown or where it is uncertain when or how the felony was committed, the grand jury shall first state to the witness called the subject matter under investigation, then may ask pertinent questions relative to the transaction in general terms and in such a manner as to determine whether he has knowledge of the violation of any particular law by any person, and if so, by what person.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.19. GRAND JURY SHALL VOTE. After all the testimony which is accessible to the grand jury shall have been given in respect to any criminal accusation, the vote shall be taken as to the presentment of an indictment, and if nine members concur in finding the bill, the foreman shall make a memorandum of the same with such data as will enable the attorney who represents the State to write the indictment.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.20. INDICTMENT PREPARED. The attorney representing the State shall prepare all indictments which have been found, with as little delay as possible, and deliver them to the foreman, who shall sign the same officially, and said attorney shall endorse thereon the names of the witnesses upon whose testimony the same was found.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.



Art. 20.21. INDICTMENT PRESENTED. When the indictment is ready to be presented, the grand jury shall through their foreman, deliver the indictment to the judge or clerk of the court. At least nine members of the grand jury must be present on such occasion.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1033, ch. 463, Sec. 1, eff. June 7, 1979.



Art. 20.22.  PRESENTMENT ENTERED OF RECORD. The fact of a presentment of indictment by a grand jury shall be entered upon the record of the court, if the defendant is in custody or under bond, noting briefly the style of the criminal action and the file number of the indictment and the defendant's name.  If the defendant is not in custody or under bond at the time of the presentment of indictment, the entry in the record of the court relating to said indictment shall be delayed until such time as the capias is served and the defendant is placed in custody or under bond.

Acts 1965, 59th Leg., vol. 2, p. 317, ch. 722.


Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 1033, ch. 463, Sec. 2, eff. June 7, 1979; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 580, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 628, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.


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