What Should You Do If You Get A Grand Jury Subpoena in New York?

Contact me today


A grand jury subpoena is used by prosecuting offices to obtain testimony or documents during the investigation of potential criminal conduct.  Most commonly, subpoenas are issued in investigations of white collar crimes such as frauds or corporate malfeasance, although they can be used to investigate any kind of crime.  The first thing you should do if you receive a grand jury subpoena is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advise you properly about your options.  You should do this even if you think you have nothing to worry about.  Because grand jury investigations are secret, you cannot know why the subpoena was issued, and you may be at risk of incriminating yourself without even realizing it.  Also, if you fail to comply with the subpoena, you may be sanctioned for contempt of the court.

Why You May Be Investigated

If you receive a grand jury subpoena, you may not know what role prosecutors believe you to play in the investigation.  An attorney can help you determine how prosecutors think you’re involved and whether you have criminal liability. The three most common reasons you may receive a grand jury subpoena include:

  • You’re the target of the investigation. This means you’re being investigated because the prosecutor believes you’re directly involved with criminal activity and you may face charges.
  • You’re a subject of the investigation. This means the prosecutor isn’t sure if you have criminal liability, but this may change in the course of the investigation.
  • You’re a witness in the investigation. This means the prosecutor doesn’t believe you’re directly involved, but you may have relevant information to assist the investigation. However, this categorization may change based on the information you or others provide.

A Subpoena may also ask you to submit a wide variety of documents and information. A lawyer can help narrow the prosecutor’s request for documents and offer possible avenues for resisting production. Do not destroy documents or you could be charged with obstruction of justice, or worse.

How An Attorney Can Help

Once you’ve been issued a subpoena, it’s important you comply. While your attorney can attempt to quash the subpoena, there must be valid legal reasons for doing so. If you are required to testify, you must be careful about what you say because you are testifying under oath. If you lie, you can be prosecuted. You may be able to invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify, but an attorney can help you determine if that’s appropriate in your unique situation.


The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Other answers about Criminal Law

Jon J. Saia

What are the penalties for marijuana possession in Ohio?

In Ohio, it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess marijuana (except for persons authorized to possess medical marijuana). Like many other …Sponsored answer by Jon J. Saia

Andrew M. Coffey

How do I file a restraining order in Broward County, Florida?

If you are asking this question, you may have been threatened with violence, or have been subject to physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse or …Sponsored answer by Andrew M. Coffey

Robert Tsigler

How Do I Select The Right Criminal Defense Attorney In New York?

If you or a loved one has been arrested, accused or charged with a crime or placed under police investigation, it is extremely important to find the …Sponsored answer by Robert Tsigler

Call me:

Contact me

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

To: Florian Miedel Super Lawyers: Potential Client Inquiry

The information contained in this web site is intended to convey general information. It should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. It is not an offer to represent you, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The use of the internet or this contact form for communication is not necessarily a secure environment. Contacting a lawyer or law firm email through this service will not create an attorney-client relationship, and information will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential.

Your IP address and location have been logged to assist in preventing abuse of this service.

Page Generated: 0.34055805206299 sec