The purpose of a grand jury is to assist prosecutors in determining whether there is probable cause to file charges. Therefore, when you’re subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury or to turn over specified documents, then you’re either considered a witness or someone the prosecution believes to have been implicated in the alleged crime. You should assume that you’re considered by the prosecution to fall into the latter category.
Why you need an attorney on your side
With that in mind, it’s important that you have an attorney by your side as you navigate your grand jury subpoena. After all, you’ll be giving sworn testimony that may be used against you in some fashion at a later date. Therefore, your attorney may start by considering whether you can quash the subpoena which, if successful, means that you wouldn’t have to appear. A motion to quash will only be granted, though, if complying with the subpoena would be unreasonable or oppressive. If that doesn’t work, then an attorney may be able to narrow the scope of the subpoena to give you as much protection as possible.
If you end up having to testify, though, then it will be beneficial for you to go over your testimony with your attorney beforehand and how best to deliver it. This preparation can better ensure accuracy and persuasiveness, and it can help you identify your Constitutional protections and privileges that can block the prosecution from eliciting certain testimony from you.
Here are some other ways that an attorney can help you with your grand jury subpoena:
- Gathering subpoenaed documents
- Implementing a document preservation practice at your business
- Negotiating with the government to get out ahead of serious charges
- Advise as to your degree of culpability, if any exists
In other words, an attorney can help you get a better sense of where you stand in your case and what you need to do to protect your interests throughout the process.
Don’t misstep during the federal government’s investigation
There’s a lot of investigation that goes into the prosecution’s case before they bring it before a grand jury. If you want to protect your interests as fully as possible, then it’s wise to seek legal counsel from the outset. That way you can best ensure that you have the legal strategy on your side that best positions you for the most favorable outcome possible under the circumstances.