Defending Against Detroit Grand Jury Subpoenas

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Brian Kuester
Attorney Brian Kuester
Detroit Grand Jury Investigations Team Lead
Former US Attorney
Former District Attorney
Ellen Comley
Attorney Ellen Comley
Defense Team Lead
Senior Counsel
Roger Bach
Roger Bach
Team Consultant
Former Special Agent (OIG)

The Criminal Defense Firm has significant experience in representing clients in federal grand jury proceedings. Throughout our careers, we have handled over 1,000 grand jury subpoenas across the United States. All clients of The Criminal Defense Firm will be represented by senior attorneys, not by junior lawyers or paralegals. Our defense team consists of former Department of Justice prosecutors and former Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs).

Detroit Grand Jury Investigations

The Criminal Defense Firm represents individual and corporate clients in Detroit that are subject to grand jury proceedings. Our team offers the expertise of former federal prosecutors and experienced defense counsel to advise clients on the proper handling of subpoena requests. Recently, Detroit has seen a spike in federal investigations, and, with it, grand jury proceedings. The federal government currently investigates Detroit residents and Detroit businesses with particular focus on these offenses.

  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Securities Fraud
  • Government Program Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Bank Fraud
  • Tax Fraud
  • Procurement Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Computer Crimes

If you or your business received a grand jury subpoena, you should request a free and confidential consultation with one of the former Department of Justice prosecutors and experienced defense counsel at The Criminal Defense Firm. We have handled hundreds grand jury subpoenas throughout our careers and we help our clients minimize the risk of becoming part of a criminal case.

The Grand Jury Process Explained

The U.S. Constitution requires that federal felonies be charged by a grand jury indictment. In order to determine whether probable cause for an indictment exists, the grand jury has the authority to issue subpoenas as part of their investigative process. Two types of federal grand jury subpoenas exist.

  • Testimony. The first type of a subpoena orders an individual, typically a witness, to personally appear before the grand jury to provide sworn testimony. Given the potential exposure for self-incrimination, the prohibition against counsel being present in grand jury proceedings, and the inconvenience to face a grand jury, the attorneys of The Criminal Defense Firm are often able to negotiate a release of their clients and are able to avoid the need for testimony.
  • Documents. The second subpoena type expects the recipient of the subpoena to produce certain documents and records within a given deadline. This kind of a subpoena, called subpoena duces tecum, will ask to produce corporate records, contracts, financial information, email or text communications between certain individuals, pictures, videos, and other items of interest to the government. A document subpoena is enforceable only if the materials sought are relevant, properly described, and limited to a reasonable time.

Once the grand jury has obtained the information needed to form an opinion whether probable cause for the commission of a crime exists, the grand jury will either approve the prosecutor’s indictment or issue a so-called “No Bill.” In case of an indictment, the government will formally notify the target of the indictment of the charges. Because grand juries convene seclusively and absent from the public, many targets are completely unaware of an investigation against them, let alone pending criminal charges. The grand jury’s decision to indict someone must not be confused with a conviction or guilt. All the grand jury decides is whether probable cause of a crime exists. Whether or not the indicted individual is guilty of a crime is an entirely separate issue and will be addressed in the criminal proceedings following the indictment.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

The inherent function of a grand jury, to decide whether someone should be indicted or not, must encourage subjects to a grand jury proceeding to initiate deliberate defense plans. We have seen how poorly prepared responses or casual testimony have turned potential witnesses into criminal targets. Vice-versa, we have seen how potential targets can be downgraded to mere witnesses due to effective defense work.

  • Do Not Underestimate. Unless proper objections are made by counsel, subpoenas are fully enforceable and must not be ignored. Rather than delaying or disregarding the obligation to timely and accurately answer the subpoena, grand jury subjects should consult experienced lawyers to establish an effective defense plan.
  • Do Not Talk to Agents. When federal agents approach you or your business, do not get engaged in an interview with them. Irrespective of what the agents tell you or assure you of, there is nothing to gain from providing information to them without your lawyer being present. Further, while agents may (and likely will lie to you), federal law strictly prohibits you from misrepresenting or even lying to a federal agent. Provide your name and a form of identification and then insist that you won’t answer any questions without your attorney present. This is your constitutional right, so use it.
  • Do Not Delete. The moment you have actual or constructive notice that you under investigation or subject to a subpoena, you must not destroy, alter, or tamper with documents, communications, records, pictures, videos are other records that may be relevant here. There are many ways, from forensic analysis to comparison with responses from other subpoena recipients, for the government to detect evidence manipulations. Obstruction of justice constitutes a federal felony.
  • Do Not Volunteer Information. Receiving a subpoena does not mean that you have to hand over everything in your possession. Resist the temptation to be too cooperative. Consult an experienced attorney and have your lawyer decide what information to produce and which information to withhold. Have your attorney help you gather, filter, select, and organize your files prior to determining the appropriate response to the subpoena.

Organizing Subpoena Responses

Grand jury subpoenas and government investigations can present severe challenges to someone’s freedom. Witnesses to a federal investigation need to make sure that they don’t become entangled by providing inaccurate or incriminating information. Targets of grand jury investigations must rely on attorneys that understand how to minimize exposure. In either scenario, grand jury subpoenas present a good opportunity for experienced defense attorneys to intervene into the case and to confine and redefine the scope of the investigation.

1. Organize

If you have reason to expect a grand jury subpoena, plan your defense ahead of time. Make sure your corporate records are in order, and if they are not, use the time efficiently to re-organize your business. For example, if you run a healthcare practice, make sure that all compliance policies and training sessions are updated and all employment and 1099 contracts were reviewed and approved by counsel. Have accountants review your financials and approve your tax filings.

2. Preserve

Hiding, altering, and destroying records can lead to separate criminal prosecution. Businesses that are subject to a grand jury subpoena should immediately invoke a document preservation notice informing all staff, officers, and owners of the company to save and maintain all communications and records pertinent to the subpoena requests. In our experience, such a voluntary preservation effort will go a long way with prosecutors and can have a positive impact on the resolution of the case.

3. Produce

Immediately following receipt of the subpoena, your attorney should contact the prosecutor in charge to discuss the subpoena, negotiate an extension, and attempt to narrow down the requests. Parallel to your attorneys communicating with the government, the recipient needs to begin gathering records and documents. Although there are limits for how much information the government can ask for and how far in time the subpoena can go back, many subpoena responses will take several weeks regardless to be completed. Once all documents are collected, it is time for your attorney to carefully go through the files and decide which documents to produce and which ones to legally withhold from the government.

If you received a grand jury subpoena, contact us today. Call us and request to speak with one of the experienced attorneys of The Criminal Defense Firm. Initial consultations are free and confidential.

Our Record

The Criminal Defense Firm represents individual and corporate clients in federal grand jury proceedings with the goal to avoid criminal charges. Our attorneys assist clients in federal criminal cases, government investigations, and Grand Jury proceedings across the United States and we have most recently appeared on behalf of our clients in New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, and Michigan. The following represent case outcomes.

  • Grand Jury Subpoena against Physician
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Grand Jury Subpoena against Physician
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Grand Jury Subpoena against Pharmacy
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Grand Jury Subpoena against Business Owner
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Grand Jury Subpoena against Accountant
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.

If you received a government subpoena, contact us today. Speak to the experienced attorneys of The Criminal Defense Firm and request a free and confidential consultation to assess your case.

Dallas 214-817-2053
Houston 713-454-7814
Detroit 313-634-0925
Baton Rouge 225-269-8749
New York 332-239-7345
Winter Park 407-890-0460
Miami 786-751-3247
Portland 207-222-7742
Nationwide 866-603-4540