Grand Jury Investigations
If you are the target of a grand jury investigation, or have been asked to be a witness in one, questions immediately arise: Should you provide testimony? Should you produce documents? Or, should you exercise your Fifth Amendment rights?
At Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers, we help grand jury witnesses, subjects and targets make the right decisions. With our help, you can make sure your rights are fully protected.
If you have received a grand jury investigation subpoena, or have questions on how to best exercise and protect your rights, contact Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers, at 908-301-9001 or contact us online.
Representation for Witnesses, Subjects and Grand Jury Targets
A grand jury is interested in witnesses, subjects and targets. A "witness" has information related to the investigation, but is not under any suspicion. A "subject" is someone the government believes has engaged in suspicious conduct, but it’s not clear if s/he committed a crime, so the prosecutor is looking for more information or evidence. A "target" is someone the prosecution believes committed a crime and is looking to indict on criminal charges.
Often, prosecutors have limited information prior to a grand jury investigation. Decisions you make about how to respond to a grand jury subpoena or what to do if you suspect that you are focus of an investigation, can make the difference between whether you are charged or not.
We have the knowledge and experience to help you make decisions that protect your rights. For instance, if you are asked to produce documents or testify, we can help make sure your don’t inadvertently provide evidence against yourself and help you avoid exposure to criminal liability.
It is important that you contact an experienced defense lawyer during—not after—the grand jury investigation, while prosecutors are still determining whether formal charges can and should be filed. Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers have represented hundreds of people accused of federal and state crimes and are committed to keeping your record clean, keeping you out of jail and helping you retain your assets.
Grand Jury Procedures
In addition to traditional police investigations, federal and state prosecutors often use the powers of a grand jury to investigate white collar crimes. A grand jury investigation has several advantages over normal police investigations, including:
- The power to subpoena witnesses and documents
- Closed, secret proceedings
- Grants of immunity to witnesses
- The prosecutor acts as legal advisor to the grand jury throughout the proceedings
During grand jury proceedings, the federal prosecutor (usually an Assistant United States Attorney) decides which witnesses will be called, questions witnesses and determines whether immunity will be granted for their testimony. The grand jury members listen to the evidence and decide whether to bring charges. The grand jury can also gather additional evidence by issuing additional subpoenas and questioning witnesses.
A federal grand jury subpoena commands the recipient to attend and give testimony before a grand jury at a particular time set by the prosecutor. A subpoena can also demand that a person produce particular documents, business files for example, without appearing before the grand jury.
Prosecutors and grand juries subpoena witnesses whom they believe have information that can help an ongoing investigation. If you receive a subpoena, it does not necessarily mean that you are the subject or target of the investigation.
If you receive a grand jury subpoena, it is important to have an experienced white-collar criminal defense lawyer review it and explain its implications. In some cases, you may be able to assert one or more privileges, such as the attorney-client privilege, regarding subpoenaed documents.
If you are under grand jury investigation, involving an attorney early on may help you avoid indictment. Don't delay. For questions regarding grand jury investigations, contact Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers. Our offices are located in Westfield, New Jersey and Manhattan. Contact us online or call us at 908-301-9001.
Contact Stahl Criminal Defense Lawyers in Westfield, NJ, today to schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.