Served with Grand Jury Subpoena
If you are given a grand jury subpoena, even a subpoena directing you to provide documents, you should immediately retain counsel. A grand jury subpoena means there is an ongoing criminal investigation. You need to discuss your involvement and role in a confidential setting with a qualified attorney. The attorney can help you decide what to do. It is best for even mere witnesses to consult with and obtain assistance from counsel.
Given “Target Letter”
A so called “Target Letter” informs you that you are being investigated by a grand jury. Should you get such a letter, you must immediately retain counsel and invoke your right to remain silent, should officers attempt to interview you. You will not be able to “talk you way out” of the problem all by yourself. You need to talk with an attorney in a confidential setting.
Am I a “Subject” of a Grand Jury Investigation?
Just because you have not been given a Target Letter does not mean that you will avoid being indicted. After all, remember the saying “a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.” You may be considered a subject in a criminal investigation, and subjects can also be indicted. As discussed above, retain counsel immediately and invoke your right to remain silent.
Selecting Counsel–Hire a Grand Jury “Specialist”
Not every attorney is experienced with handling grand jury matters. You should seek out an attorney with this experience. Often the experienced trial lawyer that your friends or family recommend will not have a clue about handling someone under investigation by a grand jury. I have seen cases where counsel with years of experience advised their clients to testify pursuant to a grand jury subpoena. The clients were indicted and convicted based upon their own statements. Counsel handling grand jury matters should be prepared to spend a great deal of time interviewing the client and conducting a factual investigation. While counsel will not be able to stand at your side if you are called to testify at a grand jury, competent counsel will wait outside the grand jury room, and give clear advice concerning the Fifth Amendment privilege.
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