Grand Jury Proceedings
In theory, grand jury proceedings are merely part of the criminal investigative process. In reality, the presentation of evidence to a grand jury almost always means that the government has made a decision to indict. What remains to be determined is who will be charged and what they will be charged with. This critical stage of the criminal process is particularly fraught with peril.
Individuals subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury may have constitutional rights which need to be asserted or will be lost forever. Subpoenas for computers, cell phones, and documents are subject to an increasingly-complex body of judicial decisions. The proper response to a grand jury subpoena must be carefully analyzed in light of the client’s circumstances and ultimate objectives.
In Massachusetts state cases, we are with our clients in the grand jury room when they are required to testify so we are able to give them advice immediately. In the federal system, the process is more cumbersome, and our clients are required to leave the grand jury room to consult with us just outside. In either case, diligent preparation is necessary to make sure the client avoids numerous potential pitfalls, which could include prosecution for perjury or obstruction of justice. It is always prudent to consult counsel before appearing before a grand jury. If you have received a grand jury subpoena, please call us for a free initial consultation.