In criminal law, an indictment is the formal document which brings charges for a felony or indictable offence before a superior court for trial. In other words, a person cannot be tried for a felony unless an indictment is obtained.

How the indictment is issued depends on the particular system of criminal procedure in the jurisdiction involved, but there are two customary proceedures:

In both cases, the prosecutor must present evidence that shows that there is reasonable and probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. If the prosecutor fails to do so, they are generally not allowed to seek a new indictment unless they find new evidence.

In some jurisdictions, the executive branch of government, usually represented by the Attorney-General, may seek a preferred indictment in the absence of the usual proceedure.