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.
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."
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:
The answer to the question of how to handle the investigation can be expressed in two four-word sentences:
If you are facing a potential grand jury investigation, find a good criminal defense lawyer to help you handle the process today!