Under New York’s Criminal Procedure Law 190.50(5)(b), the accused may appear beofre the grand jury and provide testimony in the form of a narrative statement, after which the prosecutor and grand jurors may question the accused.
In felony cases, whether the accused testifies at the grand jury can have significant consequences. In many cases, there may be good reason for a Criminal lawyer buffalo ny to advise his or her client against testifying. Not only may the testimony be inculpatory (tends to establish one’s own guilt), but the version of the facts told by the accused at the grand jury is forever locked in place. This can be particularly damming given at this pre-indictment stage, the defense has not yet received discovery from the prosecution.
Again, the real danger is testifying is that a statement by the accused made before grand jury can be used by the prosecution at trial as an admission. Criminal lawyer buffalo ny should be wary of this unless the defense has sufficient information about the prosecution’s case. Put another way, it is critical the defense has enough knowledge of the prosecution’s case, so the accused will not testify to things that the defense may want to contradict later in the process. Clearly, this is not a simple issue.
There are also other reasons to be wary of testifying at the grand jury. First, the prosecution could nail down other issues that may arise before and at trial, such as pretrial issues including eliciting an admission from defendant that a statement to the police was made voluntarily, eliminating potential defenses, such as alibi/accused’s presence at the scene, others who were present, and the accused’s knowledge of their actions.
Clearly, this is a very complicated issue which cannot be addressed in full detail here. Please be advised, this is not legal advice. For a free consultation, contact a criminal attorney buffalo ny or criminal lawyer buffalo ny today.
Decisions and strategy in any legal case should be considered only with the assistance of a qualified Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo NY