Protecting Your Rights During Grand Jury Investigations
A grand jury is a panel of citizens from within the jurisdiction who are chosen to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to bring the defendant or defendants to trial. It is not a trial, where the prosecution evidence is weighed against the defense’s case. In theory, the grand jury can weed out cases begun by over-zealous prosecutors before the criminal charges are brought.
If the evidence is considered incriminating enough, the grand jury hands down an indictment. This allows the individual to be formally charged with the crime. If the grand jury determines the government has insufficient evidence, it can return a “no bill” and the charges will be dismissed.
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If, with counsel, the decision to not cooperate is made, then the federal prosecutors present the case to a grand jury, which typically issues an indictment. The indictment is the official charging document that presents to the accused/defendant with the formal acts which the government alleges constitutes a violation of federal law.
Before the grand jury, you are not obligated to speak with government agents, including pre-grand jury interviews. With skilled representation, you can avoid risky and unnecessary proceedings like this that lead to self-incrimination. If you are served with a subpoena, you are not required to cooperate beyond simply accepting the service.
Experienced Federal Indictment Defense Lawyers
Federal grand juries are made up of 23 members. Indictments are handed down by a vote of at least 12 of those members. An overwhelming amount of the time, grand juries return an indictment in cases presented by the federal prosecutor. It is absolutely imperative that you are represented by the highest caliber of legal representation possible if you are facing a grand jury session.
While your attorney is not permitted to be with you in the courtroom during grand jury proceedings, he or she can sit directly outside to be consulted whenever you feel you need direction. In most instances, you will be allowed to consult your attorney as much as you wish or need during the session.
During the grand jury proceedings, you are under no obligation to incriminate yourself. If there is a question that you feel would lead to confusion or be misconstrued against you, you are under no obligation to answer. Skilled representation will guide you through the process in a manner that allows you to exercise your full rights and privileges, avoiding devastating mistakes.
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At Hark and Hark, we are highly knowledgeable of the federal grand jury process. It is extensive and complex, providing many opportunities for error and failure. We are widely sought after for our experience and insight, guiding clients through the process. It is very important that
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