Grand Jury Cases
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney
An important aspect of the criminal justice system is a grand jury proceeding. A grand jury is a group of individuals from the community who are sworn in for purposes of working with the state attorney or U.S. attorney to determine whether a suspect should be indicted for a crime. In the Florida State system this is usually reserved for capital death penalty cases or governmental corruption. In the Federal system all felony criminal charges are presented to the grand jury unless the defendant waives that right. Therefore, even if an individual was arrested for an offense, he or she may not have to appear in court to defend against charges until a grand jury indictment is presented.
When dealing with a grand jury, it is important that you understand your rights and the grand jury process. Experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer Mitch Stone has represented clients who are targets and subjects of grand jury proceedings in State and Federal courts. With 30 years’ experience in criminal law he has developed strategies to ensure clients are treated fairly in both state and federal grand jury proceedings.
KNOWLEDGEABLE REPRESENTATION BEFORE GRAND JURIES
When meeting at our offices, you can discuss your specific concerns as they relate to the grand jury and receive knowledgeable guidance regarding the way in which you should proceed. If a grand jury is investigating a case, and you or someone you know is subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury, it is imperative that you seek representation prior to appearing to protect your rights.
When subpoenaed for a grand jury proceeding, it is important to proceed with caution. The grand jury may be looking at you in one of three ways:
- As a witness: The government usually does not intend to indict an individual who is solely considered a witness by the government in grand jury proceedings. However, it is important to ensure that position does not change by virtue of a simple mistake while testifying in front of the grand jury. Although an attorney cannot appear with you in the grand jury, having counsel advise and guide you prior to testifying can be a good preventive measure.
- As a subject: The status of this individual could go either way. He or she could end up as a witness or as a target charged with a crime.
- As a target: This is someone who absolutely needs an attorney. An individual who is considered the target of a grand jury proceeding is the suspect and alleged perpetrator of the crime in question. If a target testifies at the grand jury it is likely that what they say will lead to problems later in defending the case. Having an attorney who understands the process can prevent this from happening.
If we are contacted before your grand jury appearance, Mitch Stone makes it a priority to determine your status on the front end and to negotiate for immunity if necessary before you are called to testify. If you are subpoenaed as a witness, then we will work to ensure that your status does not change. If you are being subpoenaed as a subject, we will determine areas of concern the government may have that could impact your status. If you have potential criminal liability, we will attempt to negotiate immunity in return for your testimony. If you are being subpoenaed as a target, we advise you to exercise your constitutional right to silence so that you don't inadvertently incriminate yourself with your testimony. If you do testify at the grand jury and they think you are not being truthful they can charge you with offenses of obstruction and perjury. It is always best to proceed with caution and to not go it alone.
CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN HOW WE CAN HELP
Mitchell A. Stone has helped clients successfully navigate through the grand jury process using proven methods to help them avoid serious consequences in the face of grand jury inquiries.
To learn more about grand jury proceedings, contact Mitchell A. Stone, P.A. today at (904) 263-5005 or through our contact page.