I received a grand jury subpoena what should i do?

Rollins and Chan Law Firm

Grand Jury Questions


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What is a Grand Jury in DC

Grand Jury in DC

In the District of Columbia, the grand jury is citizens serving on a jury to conduct legal proceedings, investigate potential criminal conduct, and determine whether criminal charges should be brought.    In DC, the grand jury may consist of sixteen to twenty-three members.  Twelve or more jurors must concur to return an indictment.    An indictment may be returned by less than twelve of the original grand jurors so long as the replacement jurors voting for the indictment are sufficiently informed of the evidence presented before their service began.    


What is a Grand Jury Subpoena?

A grand jury subpoena is a legal document ordering a person to appear in front of the Grand Jury.  

What should I do If I receive a Grand Jury Subpoena?

If you receive a grand jury subpoena you should contact a criminal lawyer to determine whether you have a 5th Amendment Privilege from self-incrimination.       Most criminal attorneys can determine quickly whether there will be issues that need to be addressed before testifying before the grand jury.  

Do I have to appear and what will happen if I dont appear for Grand Jury

If you do not appear a warrant may be issued for your arrest.   At the very least you should contact the prosecutor on the subpoena if you have scheduling problems.   DO NOT IGNORE THE SUBPOENA.

What will a criminal defense attorney do for me if I am subpoenaed for Grand Jury

  • Ask the government what questions it intends to ask the witness
  • Discuss these in advance and determine which questions are problematic
  • Request permission to allow the witness to consult with counsel between
    questions. If this request is denied, instruct the witness to invoke the Fifth
    Amendment for all questions asked
  • Strongly emphasize to the witness the importance of following this advice
  • If necessary provide a written form invoking the privilege and instruct the witness to read
    the form out loud whenever the witness has problems with the questions
See our other articles on Grand Jury issues.  

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