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When will we find out if Zimmerman faces charges?

NEED TO KNOW
  • Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, February 26
  • Plenty of people are speculating about whether the shooter will be charged or not
  • Next week, we may get some answers
  • Nancy Grace is on the case! HLN Monday night 8 p.m. ET
When will we find out if Zimmerman faces charges?

Speculation is running rampant about whether or not George Zimmerman will face criminal charges for shooting Trayvon Martin.

READ MORE: Attorney says Zimmerman could walk

Police say Martin was shot as he walked to his father's fiancée's house after going to the store for some Skittles and iced tea. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, told police he shot Martin in self-defense.

Zimmerman is not charged with a crime and is free.

So when will we find out whether Zimmerman will face charges?

We may find out something next week, when a grand jury convenes to hear witnesses and to decide whether or not to indict him. If the panel rules in favor of indicting Zimmerman, it would be the basis for his arrest. However, the special prosecutor assigned to the investigation by Florida Governor Rick Scott has said she may or may not utilize the grand jury scheduled for April 10 to indict Zimmerman.

There are several scenarios in which Angela Corey could decide not to use the grand jury. Corey could decide to file charges on her own if she believes the evidence is strong enough. She could also decide to not utilize the grand jury if she doesn't believe there is enough evidence to indict him, or if she needs more time to develop her case.

In Session's legal experts say they believe Corey will use a grand jury in this case because of the controversy surrounding the shooting. Grand juries are often called the "conscience of the community," because they are made up of public citizens. If the grand jury decides to not indict Zimmerman after hearing evidence, a prosecutor can deflect criticism back to the "conscience of the community." 

That being said, it may not be that difficult to get an indictment out of the grand jury. The burden of proof is much lower in these proceedings because the threshold is probable cause, not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Probable cause is difficult to define in certain terms, but generally, probable cause exists where the facts and circumstances would warrant a reasonable person to believe that an offense was, or is, being committed.

Stay tuned to HLN, HLNtv.com, and In Session for the latest developments in the case.

Will there be an indictment in the Trayvon Martin shooting? All eyes are on the grand jury’s decision - And Nancy Grace is on the case! HLN Monday night 8 p.m. ET

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