FEDERAL GRAND JURY SUBPEONAS

What is a federal subpoena?

A subpoena is a court order issued by the government that requires a person to testify or to produce documents, or both, on or before a certain date. A grand jury subpoena’s primary service is to review evidence presented in a criminal trial to determine if the changes are possible. A grand jury has the ability to subpoena evidence for a case. The Eastern District of Louisiana is the Main Federal Court for the New Orleans Area including New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, Kenner, St. Charles Parish, and St. Bernard.

There are two kinds of grand jury subpoens:

1) A Subpoena ordering a person to testify before the jury;

2) Ordering a person to turn over evidence such as documents, test results, or tape

recordings to be presented to the jury.

What are the options?

When served with a court subpoena, one cannot just ignore it. Ignoring the subpoena may lead to charges of contempt of court. If a person chooses to comply with the grand jury subpoena, they must do everything that the subpoena requests. If the subpoena is asking for the person to testify then they must do that on the given date. If the subpoena orders a person to provide certain documents,  they must comply and produce the documents.

Providing testimony or documents could be very damaging to the person complying with the subpoena. One must always consult with a criminal attorney before considering the next step after being served with the subpoena. If a person feels that he or she shouldn’t have to comply with the grand jury subpoena, they may file a motion to suppress the subpoena. This may be extremely important. Under the Fifth Amendment, any person has the right not to be forced to incriminate themselves.  A Subpoena can be suppressed on the grounds that documents requested could contain privileged information that can incriminate the person who is providing the documents. Therefore it’s very important to weight the option when dealing with a sensitive situation. It’s also a sensitive matter when the information requested by the subpoena is in conflict with client confidentiality and a person as a professional is risking his or her reputation and license when complying with the grand jury request.

When served with federal subpoena, one should seek the advice of an experienced attorney to contact the federal prosecutor in charge of the investigation or prosecution and attempt to obtain additional   protection before disclosing any information.

If you were served with a federal grand jury subpoena in Louisiana, call our offices for professional legal advice at 504-358-2273.

3801 Canal Street New Orleans Louisiana 70119