What is a grand jury and why does the victim/witness not need to be present?

The grand jury consists of a panel of citizens summoned by the Circuit Court to review any criminal charges brought against the defendant (an indictment) and to hear evidence from grand jury witnesses. The grand jury's role is to decide if there is sufficient evidence to go forward with a trial at the Circuit Court level. Grand jury witnesses are usually made up of lieutenants from the police department who present evidence from their police reports to the grand jury for review. Victims and/or witnesses are not needed for this court appearance; the defendant is not present for this hearing either.

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1. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge?
2. Why am I a witness? I didn't see the crime occur.
3. What if the defense attorney contacts me?
4. I was issued a subpoena for court. What happens if I don't show up?
5. What if my employer won't let me come to court?
6. Can I drop charges?
7. What is a preliminary hearing, and do I need to be there?
8. What is an advisement and why does the victim/witness not have to be present?
9. What is a grand jury and why does the victim/witness not need to be present?
10. Why are some misdemeanor cases not assigned to a prosecutor, leaving the victim/witness without legal representation at the court hearing?