Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Federal Grand Jury

Federal grand juries are convened when the prosecution feels there is enough evidence of a felony offense to warrant felony charges. The grand jury reviews the evidence presented by the government and decides whether there is probable cause to require a federal defendant to stand trial. During a grand jury proceeding, witnesses may be called to testify on behalf of the government or the defendant.

Does A Grand Jury Always Result In A Bill Of Indictment?

Grand juries have a history of nearly always returning an indictment. In fact, a grand jury typically will only fail to indict a defendant when the government does not wish the defendant to be indicted but lacks the political courage to drop the investigation — sort of losing on purpose, common in sports.

It is often said that, “A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich.” That is because the only issue being decided is whether the government has sufficient evidence to indict a person on a possible criminal offense. The standard procedural rules and constitutional protections of a criminal trial are not followed; there is no judge, and defense attorneys are not allowed inside of the grand jury room. Even hearsay evidence is admitted and may be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, many “witnesses” who are not the target of the investigation end up saying something that may be self-incriminating.

Get Legal Help If You Are A Target Of A Federal Grand Jury

When a grand jury is convened, the “defendant” will receive a notification that he or she is the target of a grand jury investigation or hearing. If you receive a target letter notifying you that you are a target, or inviting you to testify or give your side of the events, it is actually nothing more than a formal invitation to prosecute yourself. Hire an attorney to decline politely.

Call Us · Free Consultation · Se Habla Español

If you have been notified of a grand jury proceeding targeting you in a U.S. district court in Florida, call Mark J. O’Brien, in Tampa or Orlando to turn the matter over to our criminal defense lawyers. We offer a free case evaluation and will explain ways we can help you protect yourself from a possible indictment on federal charges. Call us at 813-440-2347 or contact us by email with a brief description of the investigation involving you.