Grand Jury Proceedings

Sacramento Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

Grand Jury Proceedings in Federal and State Court

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.”

– Voltaire

As noted by one district court judge:

“Today, the grand jury is the total captive of the prosecutor who, if he is candid, will concede that he can indict anybody, at any time, for almost anything, before any grand jury.”

The grand jury is a secret ex parte proceeding where the evidence is presented by the prosecutor and the grand jury votes whether to indict without ever hearing from the court or defense counsel. Unsurprisingly, under these circumstances the grand jurors tend to bond with the prosecutor and indict when the prosecutor indicates there should be an indictment.

Thus, the grand jury functions largely as an investigative tool of the prosecutor. Employing the power of compulsory process in a secret proceeding the prosecutor investigates and determines with virtually no check by the grand jury who gets indicted and for what.

A grand jury proceeding can be used to force individuals and companies to produce documents or give testimony. Grand jury proceedings are secret. You won’t know what happens in a grand jury investigation until it is too late.

Many times people are summoned to testify or provide documents to a grand jury and do so without consulting an attorney. They haven’t been arrested, don’t know that they are under investigation, and don’t anticipate a problem could arise. That is when the trouble starts. You won’t know you are a target until it is too late. Don’t take the chance that you are the target or that something you say, or don’t say may end up landing you in prison. What you don’t know can hurt you. The grand jury process is a complex and mysterious institution dating back to the 10th century with arcane rules and procedures. All you need to know is that you are not allowed to have your attorney present with you in the grand jury. That spells trouble for you.

Don’t make the mistake of going to the grand jury without consulting an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer first. You may wind up facing an indictment on criminal charges in federal or state court.

Protect Yourself

At the Law Offices of Patrick K. Hanly, clients receive experienced legal advice and guidance to help them prepare for and respond to a prosecutor’s questions in a grand jury proceedings or to respond to a request for documents. Even if you have not been charged with a crime at this time, you still have rights and it’s vitally important that you protect them. Only an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer can help.

On occasion the grand jury makes extraordinary demands, far exceeding the requirements of the law (for example, requiring a burdensome amount of documents under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act). As your defense attorney, Mr. Hanly will ensure that you understand the degree to which you must comply and when law enforcement or the prosecution has overstepped its authority.

Experience Counts in Complex Cases

Trial lawyer Patrick Hanly has extensive grand jury experience at both the federal and state level. He conducted hundreds of grand jury investigations as a prosecutor and now puts that experience to work for his clients when the grand jury comes calling for them. Whether you have been called as a witness or are the target of a grand jury investigation, he can help you understand and navigate within the system.

Contact the firm to schedule a consultation. Don’t take a chance with your future.