Once a criminal investigation has been concluded, and a felony case has been referred to the prosecutor, the accused will receive a letter indicating that he or she is the target of a grand jury investigation. The letter is called a target letter. The target letter will indicate the date and time of the grand jury hearing.
In the past, the grand jury has been a mere procedural formality prior to the filing of felony charges. It was said that the grand jury would indict a ham sandwich. The prosecutor was able to pick and choose evidence as it saw fit often neglecting to present clearly and readily available exculpatory evidence.