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How To Handle A Grand Jury Investigation
The grand jury is among the most venerated traditions of our country. The United States is currently the only country that still uses grand juries in criminal indictments.
What Is A Grand Jury
A grand jury investigation is almost always preliminary to a serious felony charge. It consists of a group of 16-23 citizens who convene to decide if there is enough evidence to try the individual in question. This is just the first step before the trial. If the grand jury decides that there is not enough evidence, its judgment will prevent the trial from happening.
When the grand jury presents its case before a judge, the criminal defense attorney can present a legal defense, claiming that there isn't enough evidence of wrongdoing to bring the case to court. This is a lot like a standard criminal trial, except the grand jury takes the place of the prosecutor, and it only has to prove probable cause rather than "beyond a shadow of a doubt."
What Your Lawyer Will Attempt To Do
In its investigation, a grand jury may behave similarly to a police detective and call you in for questioning. Your lawyer will coach you for this questioning both to make sure that you answer questions properly and to coax out the grand jury's strategy. A criminal defense attorney will also:
- Help you collect, produce and submit the proper documents requested by the grand jury
- Analyze information collected by the grand jury to learn about the particulars of the case
- Develop a defense to counter the case being made by the grand jury
- Keep tabs on communications between the grand jury and other targets of the investigation
- Ensure that the grand jury does not overreach in its investigation
- Safeguard your legal privileges
- Work out deals with potential prosecutors who will handle the case if the grand jury decides to indict
What You Should Do
The answer to the question of how to handle the investigation can be expressed in two four-word sentences:
- Keep Your Head Down
- Let Your Lawyer Work
If you are facing a potential grand jury investigation, find a good criminal defense lawyer to help you handle the process today!