If you’ve received a grand jury subpoena to testify or provide documents to the grand jury, your response to the subpoena can be critical to your freedom. It is important to consult with a white collar defense attorney with experience in grand jury subpoenas as soon as possible and BEFORE talking to any law enforcement or prosecutors.
Grand jury subpoenas are used by prosecutors to build cases that are still being investigating by a grand jury. There are three ways in which you could receive a grand jury subpoena: 1) As a target; 2) As a Subject; or 3) As a Witness.
The Government, through the U.S. Attorney’s Office, or the State, through the District Attorney’s office or the State Attorney General’s office, decides who is a target, who is a subject, and who is a witness in an investigation. They also generally tell you which category you fall under when they send you a subpoena.
The grand jury is a process by which prosecutors present evidence to citizens, outside of the presence of criminal defense attorneys and even judges, to decide whether or not to charge someone with a crime. Given the heavy influence that prosecutors have over the grand jury and the power of a grand jury’s decision, responding to a grand jury letter or subpoena the right way is critical.