If you receive a federal grand jury target letter, it is important to understand its implications. This is not a document to be taken lightly, and could have serious repercussions for you and your life if dealt with improperly.
What is a Grand Jury Target Letter?
A federal grand jury target letter indicates that you are the target of an investigation. This means that the federal government has evidence of criminal activity that you may or may not be charged with. This is different from being named a “subject” in a case, which indicates that you fall within the realm of interest and the government
is likely (though not necessarily) seeking additional information from you.
It is important to note that if you are named a target in a case, the prosecution believes that it is likely you will be indicted. The target letter serves as a formal indication that you are under investigation, offering you the opportunity to make contact with the federal government. You may do this alone, or you may seek out legal counsel.
What should I do if I receive a Grand Jury Target Letter?
Federal investigations can often take years to complete, but there are several things that are important to keep in mind, and relevant immediately.
Seek Professional Counsel Immediately:
There is no reason to delay seeking professional counsel. While not all target letters lead to prosecution,
it is important to protect yourself. The most important and valuable action that you can take is to seek out a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with defending against federal criminal cases and dealing with federal investigations.
Do not attempt to negotiate alone:
The benefits of having an attorney on hand are priceless, and could lead to a complete avoidance of charges. Hiring someone who is experienced with the process is your best course of action.
Do not contact anyone involved in the investigation:
If you contact those involved in conducting the investigation, anything you say may be used against you as further evidence. Similarly, contacting anyone involved in the investigation, whether they are agents or other individuals who have been named targets or subjects, may be used against you. All communication regarding your case should be conducted through an attorney.
Protect yourself and protect your future by seeking legal counsel immediately. Do not wait for the investigation to drag on, and do not try to negotiate on your own. Find someone with experience who you are comfortable with, and who you feel will protect your interests.