Los Angeles Grand Jury Investigation Attorney
Grand Jury Investigation Lawyer in LA
We specialize in defending our clients in Grand Jury proceedings. With over 50 years experience, our Los Angeles criminal attorneys are familiar with state and federal courts’ Grand Jury practice. We regularly counsel witnesses, defendants, and indicted individuals on grand jury defense matters. In fact, firm partner Dmitry Gorin is the author of multiple published works on Grand Jury Investigations. And firm partner Alan Eisner has worked on a number of high-publicity cases. Our law firm aggressively represents client to prevent them from being indicted.
What is a Grand Jury?
A grand jury investigates civil and criminal matters in proceedings closed to the public. A civil grand jury investigates the operation, management, and fiscal affairs of the county and the cities in the county. A criminal grand jury has constitutional authority to indict a suspect after finding probable cause that he or she committed an offense. The prosecutor presents the case to the grand jury in the form of testimony and other evidence and may answer questions that members of the grand jury have concerning the law. A grand jury is not supposed to receive evidence that would be inadmissible over objection at trial. However, even if the grand jury hears evidence that would be inadmissible at trial, the indictment is not void if there is sufficient competent evidence to support the indictment. Once the presentation of evidence is completed, the grand jury deliberates in secret. A 19-member grand jury may bring an indictment when 12 or more jurors conclude that the evidence presented establishes probable cause to believe that the accused committed the offense. Probable cause is the same standard used by the magistrate at a preliminary hearing: whether the evidence would lead a person to believe and conscientiously entertain a strong suspicion of the guilt of the accused.
Why are celebrities and public officials often investigated through Grand Juries?
The proceedings are secret investigations, witnesses are ordered not to reveal what they testified to in front of the Grand Jury, and thus the media is often unaware that an investigation is even happening, or the details surrounding it. The grand jury process often precludes the glare of media attention on witnesses, as well as the subjects of the investigation. The process is fair, in part; because an ongoing grand jury investigation does not mean someone will necessary be indicted for a crime. Thus, if there is insufficient evidence for an indictment, a person’s name and reputation may be preserved without the taint of a criminal investigation reported in the media. On the other hand, the prosecutors can coax reluctant witnesses to testify, and can take years to gather evidence and testimony they need to a build a case against a target. Also, the “secret” aspect of the process harkens back to the inquisitorial processes in criminal courts centuries ago. Keep in mind that an indictment is just a criminal accusation made by a grand jury. The defendant still has the right to a jury trial to defend himself. Additionally, there are numerous defense strategies available to attack a Grand Jury Indictment and get it dismissed.
Contact a Los Angeles grand jury defense lawyer for a free consultation.