Grand Jury Investigations: Are you a Target, Subject, or Witness? Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer, Kevin J. Mahoney, Explains the Differences.
If you have been subpoenaed or think you might be subpoenaed before a grand jury, you and your Boston criminal defense attorney must immediately determine your status: Are you a target, a subject, or a witness? Your status will affect how your lawyer assesses the risks and the strategy he employs to protect you.
The “target” is the person the prosecutor seeks to charge with a crime (or “indict”). A target is also called a “putative defendant.”
“Witnesses” are people with information and knowledge about the incident. Often, there is very little likelihood a prosecutor will seek an indictment against a witness, though it can happen, especially if the witness has not been candid or lies to the grand jury.
“Subjects” may be targeted for indictment. The grand jury investigation may reveal a subject’s unlawful conduct, leaving him at risk for prosecution. Prosecutors base their decisions on the extent of the subject’s involvement in the crime, the degree to which he benefited from the crime, and whether he deliberately assisted in the crime or in covering it up. A subject may avoid prosecution by cooperating in the investigation or prosecution of the target, though that will depend on many factors.
These definitions are not always exact. Many prosecutors consider only two categories: targets and witnesses. Other prosecutors consider every witness a subject, at least until they actually determine who to indict. Finally, a prosecutor’s statement to your Boston criminal defense attorney about your status does not ensure that your status will not change as the investigation continues or evolves.
Contact Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Kevin J. Mahoney
If you think that you or someone you love is or will be a target, a witness or a subject in a grand jury investigation, contact Boston criminal defense attorney Kevin J. Mahoney as soon as possible, to ensure your rights are protected. Call the Mahoney Criminal Defense Group, at (617) 492-0055, to schedule a free consultation.
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