Under New York’s Criminal Procedure Law 190.50, a defense attorney can serve notice at arraignment that the defendant wishes to exercise his or her rights to testify before the grand jury pursuant to CPl 190.50. Now, if you paid any attention to the question, one may wonder how this relates to what stage the prosecution is at in the indictment process. Keep that thought in mind.
After serving the prosecution with the notice, defense counsel should follow up with a phone call to the prosecutor inquiring about when the client’s appearance before the grand jury is scheduled. For the best practice, written or faxed confirmation of any conversation is very good as it provides a record of communications with the State.
So what is the point of this? By providing the prosecution with the notice that the accused intends to testify, the prosecution must notify him of the date the grand jury is held. In other words, defense counsel will be able to determine whether the prosecution will be able to secure an indictment in time before the 120 hours elapse.