Even though most people have heard of a grand jury or grand jury proceedings, many do not know what such proceedings entail. If you or a loved one is the subject of one, you will want to understand what is involved and what occurs at a grand jury hearing. If you think you may be facing a grand jury, it is crucial to get the counsel of an experienced Tennessee criminal attorney.
Most of the time, grand jury proceedings are not public and are held in confidence. They are designed that way in order to protect the defendant’s reputation should the grand jury not move forward with an indictment or criminal charges. In most cases, government attorneys, grand jury members and members of the court may not speak about the proceedings. If they do, they may be found in contempt of court.
During proceedings, a grand jury hears evidence and witnesses to decide if they should issue an indictment. It allows a prosecutor to test out the evidence to see if it is strong enough to hold up in court.
If information is leaked, it is difficult to prove information stemmed from a grand jury proceeding and who leaked the information.
Anyone subject to a grand jury proceeding may not be entitled to notice about the investigation or what it entails. Usually, neither defendants nor attorneys are allowed in the proceedings.
Grand juries do not need a unanimous decision from all members to indict, but it does need a supermajority agreement to issue an indictment. Even if an indictment is not issues, criminal charges may still be filed.
If you or a loved one are facing any type of criminal charges, it is important to find an experienced criminal defense attorney you can trust who will fight by your side. Call today for your free, initial consultation.