FORT SMITH, AR (KFVS) - Due to the government shutdown, the Grand Jury session for Western District of Arkansas for January 2019 has been cancelled.
That’s according to Duane Kees, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.
According to Kees, the cases that would normally be presented to the Grand Jury for indictment in January will be resolved in other ways.
Criminal defendants have the option to waive indictment by a Grand Jury and proceed to plead guilty to a criminal information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office.
Another option, according to Kees, is to request an order from the District Court to impanel a new Grand Jury later for each division that would be able to meet without incurring travel expenses by traveling to Fort Smith, Arkansas from throughout the state.
No criminal cases will be dismissed and no trials or other hearings will be moved right now due to the cancellation.