The decision whether to testify before a grand jury is an important and strategic one. If handled correctly, a person can avoid being charged with a crime altogether, or the charges can be reduced substantially.
Our firm has been very successful in using the grand jury to our clients’ advantage. In many cases, we have taken the proactive approach of having a client testify before a grand jury in order to force the government’s hand. When done in the proper case, the prosecution may not have enough time to gather sufficient evidence necessary to proceed. Our firm has successfully enabled clients to avoid indictment for statutory rape, felony assault against a police officer, drug crimes, burglary, robbery, fraud and other criminal accusations in the grand jury.
When our firm is contacted early enough in a case before charges are filed, we can assess whether a client would benefit from testifying before the grand jury or whether to allow the case to proceed. In New York criminal courts, the prosecution has 144 hours from the time of a person’s arrest to indict on felony charges when bail is set at arraignment bail is not posted. Often times, a person is desperate to get out of jail and makes the ill-advised decision to testify in the grand jury solely in the hopes of being released from jail. Our firm spends extensive time evaluating what evidence or witnesses the prosecution may have and whether the client will be able to testify successfully and withstand cross-examination. If you are not adequately prepared to testify, or should not testify at all, you will can shackle your defense down the line.
The grand jury works to the greatest advantage when the prosecution has not had a long time to develop it’s case. Our firm works quickly to find out where our clients stand.
If our clients are able to make bail, we often times will contact the prosecutor about possible resolutions of the case, including reductions in the charges or diversionary programs that will keep a conviction off a person’s record. If no favorable deal can be reached, we are prepared to present our clients to the grand jury.