Rights of Accused at Grand Jury

Grand Jury Proceedings: Rights of the Defendant

New Jersey grand jury case judge with defendant

If you have been charged with a criminal offense or are otherwise the target of a grand jury investigation, then you want to know your rights with reference to indictment. The information that follows addresses some of the more important rights that apply to indictable charges presented to a grand jury. If you would like additional information, please feel free to speak to an attorney at our firm. Our lawyers possess over 60 years of experience and would be happy to answer your questions. Attorneys are available immediately at 1-877-450-8301.

Right to Testify

An accused has no right to testify at a N.J. grand jury. However, the prosecutor may extend an invitation for a defendant or target of investigation to testify. Under this circumstance, a defendant will have the “privilege” of testifying provided he waives his Miranda rights and right to counsel as defense attorneys are not permitted to be present at grand jury proceedings.

Right to Presentation of Exculpatory Evidence

While the prosecutor represents the state and has no obligation to present the defendant’s side of the story, he has an obligation to present evidence to the Grand Jury that is “clearly exculpatory.” In order for evidence to satisfy this threshold, it must refute an element of the crime charged. If the prosecutor fails to present evidence that is exculpatory and meets this standard, that conduct warrants dismissal of the indictment.

Right to Introduction of Defenses or Justifications

An accused is also entitled to have a valid defense or justification presented to the Grand Jury where it exonerates the accused. This obligation does not, however, impose a duty on the prosecutor to investigate or cultivate every potential defense or justification for a felony offense for which indictment is being sought. Defenses which must be disclosed to the Grand Jury are those that clearly tend to establish innocence.

Exclusion of Illegally or Unconstitutionally Obtaining Evidence

The Grand Jury is permitted to consider evidence that was obtained illegally, improperly, or in violation of law.

Give our attorneys a call for further assistance at 1-877-450-8301.