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Understanding Federal Grand Jury Cases
At Lotze Mosley, our criminal defense attorneys have been representing clients for more than 25 years, inside and outside of Washington D.C. and Maryland courtrooms. When those cases include federal investigations, the U.S. Attorney’s office may seek the compilation of a grand jury.
The United States Courts outline a grand jury investigation to establish whether there is probable cause to believe an individual has committed a crime and establishes an agreeance or decent with the prosecutor on their case proceeding to trial. This means the purpose of a grand jury is not to determine innocence or guilt but to decide whether to proceed with the defendant’s prosecution for a felony crime in the appropriate courtroom, before a judge and jury.
Major Differences Between the Grand Jury and a Trial Jury
Trial jury cases are established to determine whether an individual is innocent or guilty of a crime, based on the presentation of evidence from both the prosecutor and the defense attorney. The jury will hear the facts of the case from both sides, and render a verdict establishing the innocence or guilt of the defendant. A judge presides over the trial and may rule on the admittance or exclusion of evidence or witness testimony.
The grand jury differs in many ways, including:
- The prosecutor runs the proceedings and no judge is present
- Defendants and their attorneys do not have the right to appear before the grand jury
- Jurors are selected to examine the validity of an accusation before a trial is held
- Jurors may compel the production of documents and sworn testimony of witnesses for their review
- Court officials, jurors, and witnesses are sworn to secrecy regarding the information heard or obtained
- Standard rules of evidence do not apply
The grand jury will decide whether to indict the defendant, which allows the prosecutor to proceed with the charges, or will acquit, leaving the prosecutor to use their professional discretion to proceed with the charges.
Why Will You Need an Attorney During Grand Jury Proceedings?
When an individual is served with a federal grand jury subpoena, the charges being pursued by the prosecutor’s office are federal felony charges. When a grand jury subpoena is served in Washington D.C. or Maryland, you are only under obligation to accept the service. You do not have to speak with the agents, nor supply a statement of any kind.
If you are facing a federal felony charge and have not already obtained legal representation, you will need an attorney before proceeding as the charges are serious. While the attorney nor the defendant can appear before a grand jury simultaneously, the attorney will advise you of your rights, and submit any appropriate motions on your behalf. You will not want to face the prosecutor’s office alone. The experienced Washington criminal defense attorneys at Lotze Mosley will provide you with exceptional representation to build your case after the grand jury convenes, giving you the best outcome available for your criminal case.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lotze Mosley for a consultation
If you are being investigated by the prosecutor’s office on federal felony charges, contact the dedicated attorneys at Lotze Mosley in Washington D.C. or Maryland today at (202) 759-7571 to schedule a consultation. We would like to hear the details of your case and provide you with the legal facts that relate to your personal circumstances. Our side-by-side representation that will allow you to face the charges waged against you with a competitive drive while getting ahead of the prosecutor’s office.