What is a Grand Jury Investigation?

A grand jury investigation in Federal court is the process by which the Government or the United States Attorney brings Federal criminal charges against an individual with an indictment. The grand jury is not really so “grand”. There’s an old saying that, “a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich”.

The grand jury is composed of a group of citizens who hear evidence presented by the Federal Prosecutor about a person or a group of people they are investigating. The proceedings are closed and secretive. Defense attorneys are not allowed in the room. Witnesses are called to provide testimony about the investigation, and sometimes, the actual person being investigated may be served a subpoena to testify before the grand jury. In this case, it is very important that you contact an experienced Federal criminal defense attorney right away, so we can help determine whether you should testify or invoke your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. When the grand jury returns a true bill, or an indictment, formal Federal charges are filed and a warrant for the subject’s arrest is issued.

Even if you feel that you are only a witness and are not in any kind of trouble you should contact an attorney that knows grand jury investigations. We can make sure you are not a “target” of the investigation and advise you accordingly.

Written by

Ray Lopez has practiced since 1990, with prior experience as a Hillsborough County assistant State attorney and lawyer for the Tampa Police Department. He handles all criminal charges, from traffic violations and misdemeanors to serious felonies and federal drug charges. He practices in all state and federal courts of the Tampa Bay area and throughout Florida, as well as criminal appeals, juvenile court, administrative hearings, and civil forfeiture proceedings.

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