Grand Jury Functions
In criminal cases, oftentimes if you are charged with a criminal charge, you will have to appear before a jury. That can be a terrifying situation if you don’t know what the role of the grand jury is. You may be painting a picture of what you think will happen and it may be a scary one. Here is what you should know about how the grand jury functions to ease your worry.
Grand Jury Functions: The Role of the Grand Jury
Getting charged with a criminal charge may having you wondering what the purpose of the jury is. Furthermore, you may be wondering what the grand jury does and how that can affect you.
The purpose of the grand jury is two-fold. Its first function is to decide whether charges should be filed against a criminal defendant and the second is to examine charges against public officials. The grand jury considers two types of evidence, including testimony of witnesses and physical evidence. You have the right to testify at a grand jury investigation of yourself, but you’re not required to do so. Witnesses called by the prosecutor to the grand jury cannot refuse to testify. They are, however, given what’s called immunity so, even if they give testimony that incriminates them, they are immune from being prosecuted. Basically, a grand jury can either decide to indict someone, direct a prosecutor to file charges, dismiss charges, or simply issue a report without an indictment or prosecutor’s direction.
If you are called before a grand jury – or if a grand jury is investigating, you – you should contact a Buffalo criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Friedman and Ranzenhofer has the experience you need.