Grand jury subpoenas are powerful tools used by the government to initiate criminal charges. A grand jury subpoena typically asks for testimony, documents, or sometimes both. Regardless of what the subpoena is requesting, it is important to exercise extreme caution and act promptly. Retaining a competent and experienced federal attorney should be the first step. Your attorney will assist by communicating with the prosecutor, ascertaining the nature of the charges, advising on protecting your constitutional rights, and guiding the matter towards dismissal, mitigation, leniency, or, if applicable, a strong personalized defense strategy at trial.
Prior to testifying before the grand jury, a federal attorney will decide if it is feasible and proper to file any applicable challenges to the scope and extent of the subpoena. In addition, the attorney will prepare his client on what to say and how to say it as well as what to do during the proceeding.
Below is a list of how a federal attorney can assist with a grand jury subpoena:
1) The attorney will quickly communicate with the government to determine if any productive information can be gained;
2) The attorney will undertake is to narrow down the scope of your subpoena through communication with the government;
3) Through careful communications with the government, an attorney can help determine the degree of liability and culpability;
4) A federal attorney may be able to determine the nature of the investigation; the offenses; the recipient’s role;
5) A federal attorney can advise on the attorney-client privilege and other applicable constitutional privileges such as the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination;
6) An attorney can assess whether it is proper and feasible to move to quash your subpoena if compliance would be “unreasonable or oppressive” as per Rule 17(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure;
7) If necessary an attorney can negotiate with the government to help achieve leniency and mitigation; and,
8) If the subpoena calls for the production of documents—duces tecum—the attorney will guide you in starting to accumulate and compile responsive documents immediately.
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