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What should you do if you get a grand jury subpoena?

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If the government suspects you have relevant information regarding a criminal case, you will likely be served a grand jury subpoena requiring you to appear before the court to testify or produce petitioned documents. Grand jury subpoenas are issued to obtain evidence or testimony to help jurors determine whether charges should be brought against a defendant. Most people are unsure whether they are legally required to comply with this subpoena as they fear they may be the target of an investigation. If you have been served a grand jury subpoena, contact a competent Astoria Criminal Defense Lawyer who can advise you on how to proceed to avoid criminal charges. Please continue reading to learn what to do if you get a grand jury subpoena. 

What is a grand jury subpoena?

A subpoena is an order issued by the court. Generally, when you are served a subpoena, you must legally appear before the court at a specific date and time to testify or produce petitioned documents. A grand jury subpoena differs from other subpoenas because a grand jury issues it. A grand jury comprises impartial citizens empowered by law to investigate potential criminal activity in legal proceedings to determine whether charges should be brought against a defendant. The main difference is that they are issued to obtain evidence or testimony to aid an investigation. These subpoenas are classified into two different categories:

  • Subpoena ad testificandum: A Witness Subpoena requires an individual or entity to testify before a grand jury.
  • Subpoena duces tecum: A Subpoena for the Production of Documents requires an individual or entity to produce petitioned documents relevant to a case before a grand jury.

If you have been served this subpoena, it is imperative to comply with the terms to avoid criminal charges. If you fail or refuse to respond to a grand jury subpoena, you will be deemed non-compliant, resulting in contempt of court charges. If you are in contempt of court, you may be subject to fines, imprisonment, and other significant penalties that will negatively impact your life. Many individuals question whether they can challenge this subpoena given the potential criminal charges.

Is it possible to challenge this subpoena?

If you want to quash this subpoena, it is in your best interest to retain the legal services of an experienced lawyer who can help you determine the best course for your unique circumstances. However, it is imperative to understand that you can only challenge it under the following circumstances:

  • The subpoena was improperly served.
  • The subpoena infringes upon your Fifth Amendment rights.
  • The petitioned documents contain privileged information.
  • The petitioned documents are irrelevant to the case.
  • Compliance with the subpoena would cause you unjustified embarrassment.

If any of the above-listed circumstances exist, our skilled lawyers can help protect your rights and help you understand your legal obligations. To prevent the repercussions of non-compliance, contact a determined Astoria criminal defense lawyer from Vasiliou Law today.

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