Grand Jury Representation
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Baltimore, Maryland & Washington, D.C.
Nathans & Ripke LLP has an impressive track record defending corporate executives, physicians, attorneys, and other persons called before the grand jury in federal and state white collar proceedings. Many of our clients, who are the targets of grand jury investigations, are never charged, and we frequently negotiate formal, statutory, or informal immunity on their behalf. As a result of our careful representation and negotiation, many clients who have received subpoenas are ultimately not required to appear before the grand jury.
The Grand Jury Process
The following is a brief description of the grand jury process that may assist clients in identifying when to seek legal counsel:
The grand jury subpoena is one of the most powerful tools of law enforcement at either the state or federal level. Without showing probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or any minimal evidentiary standard, the government can attempt to force an individual to answer questions under oath before grand jurors without an attorney being physically present.
Targets, Subjects, and Witnesses
Persons called to testify, or persons subject to grand jury subpoenas, generally fall into three categories: targets, subjects, and witnesses. Targets are usually considered to be people against whom the prosecutors intend to bring criminal charges at some point. Subjects are persons who may or may not become targets, but whose behavior falls within the scope of the grand jury's investigation. Witnesses generally have no potential personal responsibility for acts of interest to a grand jury. However, they may have information that the prosecutor believes the grand jury needs to indict a target. As investigations progress, sometimes individuals that are initially deemed to be witnesses become subjects or targets as additional information is uncovered or because investigators believe that they have not been truthful.
Grand Jury Testimony - Why You Retain an Attorney
Because prosecutors have considerable discretion in conducting grand jury investigations, and deciding whom to charge, attorneys for persons called to testify before the grand jury need to learn as much as they can about the incidents in question and to confer with prosecutors regarding the evidence in a case. Sometimes, witnesses called to testify should assert their Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions. Other times, witnesses may, after consultation with counsel, decide to testify. Sound advice on possible options, investigation of the pertinent facts, consideration of legal avenues to quash or limit the scope of subpoenas, and consultation with prosecutors is the key to effective representation before the grand jury.
Contact the Law Office of Nathans & Ripke LLP Today
Whether you are a target of an investigation or have been subpoenaed as a subject or a witness to participate in a grand jury proceeding, it is important to have an experienced attorney to provide effective legal counsel and protect your rights.