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Defending Against Michigan Grand Jury Subpoenas

Michigan Office

500 Griswold St #2450
Detroit, MI 48226
(Meeting location by appointment only)

Oberheiden, P.C. is a team of former U.S. prosecutors, former Department of Justice trial attorneys, and respected defense lawyers with significant experience in representing clients in federal grand jury proceedings. Throughout our careers, we have handled over 2,000 grand jury proceedings across the United States. Our attorneys have a profound understanding of how to help clients in Michigan who are faced with a grand jury subpoena, and are immediately available to assist client all across Michigan, including, among others, those in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, and Lansing.

Dr. Nick Oberheiden is one of the country’s most demanded media legal experts. He is frequently featured and interviewed by Michigan and national media stations to comment on federal law and the federal judiciary process. Most recently, Dr. Oberheiden appeared on the Jim Bohannon Show (with more than 500 radio stations), the Steve Gruber Show (syndicated across Michigan), Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries (national syndication) and 1320 WILS in Lansing, Michigan. Clients of Oberheiden, P.C. will have direct contact to Nick as well as his experienced team.

How Does a Grand Jury Proceeding Work?

A grand jury consists of 16 to 23 randomly selected citizens whose job it is to determines whether or not to bring criminal charges, or an indictment, against a targeted person or entity. In order to bring an indictment, the Grand Jury must conclude that “probable cause” exists that the person in question committed a crime. There are typically two ways for the jurors to gather the information and facts needed to reach a conclusion in favor of against probable cause: Grand Jury subpoenas and witness testimony. Given the heightened focus of government investigations in Michigan, Michigan residents should be aware of what a grand jury proceeding is and how to respond if faced with a grand jury subpoena.

On What Basis Does a Grand Jury Indict Someone?

Witness Testimony. A grand jury’s subpoena for testimony requires a person, generally a witness to the alleged crime, to come before the grand jury and testify, under oath, as to what they know about the incident(s) being investigated. This process can be extremely inconvenient for witnesses as grand jury proceedings often are lengthy and tedious. Furthermore, because any defense counsel is prohibited from being present during the grand jury proceeding or subsequent deliberation, persons may become subject to legal risks including potential exposure to self-incrimination. Given these risks, the attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. are often able to convince the government that our clients become released from their obligation to testify before the grand jury. This can be useful for Michigan clients who wish to avoid the inconvenience of testifying before a grand jury, particular those located in the following counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, and Genesee.

Document Subpoena. A grand jury’s subpoena for documentary evidence orders the recipient to produce documents and records within a particular deadline. A subpoena for documentary evidence is commonly referred to as a subpoena duces tecum, and often includes a request for the recipient to produce corporate records, contracts, communications between certain individuals, financial information, videos, pictures, and other items that the government believes will be informative on whether or not to bring criminal charges.

Grand Jury Decision Process

After the grand jury receives the testimonial and documentary evidence it believes to be needed to make a decision as to whether or not probable cause exists to charge a person with a crime, it will either approve the prosecutor’s indictment, and the case will then move into actual litigation, or the grand jury will issue a “No Bill,” at which point the prosecutor’s case for that person and that particular crime ends. If the grand jury does approve the indictment, the alleged person will be formally notified of the charges by the government. Michigan residents who receive such notification should immediately retain experienced counsel who can help protect their rights and avoid any further troubles.

Indictment Does Not Mean “Guilty”

Targets of grand jury indictments are often unaware that the government is investigating them, and considering bringing criminal charges. Although receiving notification of an indictment can certainly be a surprising and scary occurrence, targets of grand jury indictments should recognize that the grand jury’s decision is only that probable cause of a crime exists, not whether the indicted person is guilty of a crime. The latter is a completely difference issue that is litigated in the criminal proceedings that take place after the indictment, and in which more stringent rules of evidence apply. Nonetheless, Michigan residents should not take an indictment lightly as a failure to adequately respond can be highly consequential.

Grand Jury Investigations in Michigan

In recent years, Michigan has had a dramatic increase in the number of federal investigations. This has led to a correlative increase in grand jury proceedings. Michigan residents and businesses have been particularly been targeted in the following areas:

  • Healthcare Fraud
  • Securities Fraud
  • Computer Crimes
  • Government Program Fraud
  • Tax Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Bank Fraud
  • Procurement Fraud
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

If you are the target or witness of a grand jury proceeding, or more critically a grand jury indictment, you should consult with experienced attorneys right away. Federal indictments and federal criminal proceedings are very serious and a lack of action or the wrong advice can have a devastating impact on someone’s life.

Oberheiden, P.C. represents individual and corporate clients in Michigan that are subject to grand jury proceedings. Our team offers the expertise of former federal prosecutors and experienced defense counsel to advise clients on the proper handling of subpoena requests. We are prepared to help clients all across Michigan, including those located in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Flint.If you or your business received a grand jury subpoena, you should request a free and confidential consultation with one of the former Department of Justice prosecutors and experienced defense counsel at Oberheiden, P.C.. We have handled a large amount of grand jury subpoenas throughout our careers and we help our clients minimize the risk of becoming part of a criminal case.

What to Avoid Before and After an Indictment

The primary purpose of a grand jury is to decide whether or not someone should be indicted. This purpose must be taken seriously and should incline targets and witnesses to prepare an effective plan of action in defending themselves from criminal charges. Targets and witnesses who present ill-prepared responses or careless testimony can make, and have made, potential witnesses into criminal targets. On the other hand, a grand jury proceeding can be an opportunity for well-prepared targets or witnesses to shield themselves from criminal charges. Effective defense work can, and has, downgraded potential criminal targets to merely potential witnesses. In order to be effectively prepare, potential targets and witnesses in Michigan should avoid the following mistakes:

Underestimating the Seriousness of a Grand Jury Subpoena

Subpoenas are fully enforceable legal instruments that must be taken seriously by any recipient, unless proper legal objections are made by legal counsel. Upon receipt of their subpoena, potential targets and witnesses in Michigan should immediately consult with experienced lawyers who can identify objections and develop an effective defense plan. Timely and accurate response to the subpoena is of utmost importance, and should not be delayed or disregarded.

Talking to Agents

Federal agents often approach targets or witnesses in person, and often at the target or witness’s place of business. It is critical not to submit to their interview, regardless of what the agent says or promises. There is simply no potential gain from providing the agent with information without having a defense lawyer present. This is particular true because agents may, and often do, lie to you, but you are strictly prohibited, by law, from lying or misrepresenting any information to a federal agent. Not complying with the questioning of a federal agent can be an intimidating position to take. The best approach is to first state your name and provide a form of identification and then demand the presence of your attorney before you proceed with any questioning. Regardless of what the agent might tell you, this is your constitutional right, and can save you from a great deal of trouble in the future.

Destroying Potential Evidence

Once your receive notice, whether actual or constructive, that you are under investigation or subject to a grand jury subpoena in Michigan, you must not destroy, alter, or tamper in any way with any documents, records, communications, pictures, videos, or other things that may be relevant to the case. This is true of even though items that might only be slightly relevant to the case. The government, and its particular investigatory presence in Detroit, has many ways in which it can detect the destruction or manipulation of evidence, including forensic investigation and witness comparisons. Destroying evidence constitutes obstruction of justice, a federal felony, which the government takes very seriously.

Volunteering Information that Has Not Been Requested

Being cooperative with the government’s demands is important, but being overly cooperative can be detrimental to your case. Subpoenas are generally specific as to what is or will be requested. Targets and witnesses in Michigan should stay within the terms of the subpoena and refrain from handing over everything in possession at that time. They should consult with an experienced lawyer in deciding whether certain information needs to be produced or not in adequately responding to the subpoena. Our attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. are prepared to assist clients in Michigan in gathering, filtering, selecting, and organizing business records prior to forming an appropriate response to the subpoena. Individuals and businesses in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, Genesee counties, and beyond, can call us any time, even on weekends, for a free consultation.

How to Organize Subpoena Responses

Government investigations and grand jury subpoenas are serious matters that can have a severe impact on an individual’s rights and freedom. Therefore, responses that are provided to the government in such situations should be accurate and should avoid unnecessary self-incriminating information. Targets and witnesses in Michigan who are involved in an investigation or have received a subpoena should consult an experienced attorney who knows how to minimize exposure. Doing this can transform either an investigation or subpoena from an additional risk to an opportunity to limit the scope of the investigation and its potential consequences. Taking the following steps, with the help of experienced attorneys, helps ensure a favorable result in an investigation or grand jury proceeding.

Prepare Ahead of Time

If you are a Michigan resident, and have any reason to believe that you may become a recipient of a grand jury subpoena, it is critically important to organize your defense ahead of time. This includes ensuring proper organization of corporate records, re-organizing your business as needed. For example, relevant preparation for healthcare providers would include making sure that all compliance systems and training manuals are up to date, and ensuring that all employment and independent contractor contracts were reviewed and approved by legal counsel. Another wise form of preparation for most individuals or businesses in Michigan would be to have all financials and tax filings reviewed and approved by an accountant.

Preserve Relevant Information

Destroying, altering, or tampering with relevant information in any way constitutes obstruction of justice, which itself can result in separate criminal charges and prosecution. Any business that receives a grand jury subpoena should immediately institute a document preservation notice to inform all owners, officers, and employees of the company to save and preserve all records and communications that might be relevant to the subject of the subpoena. In our experience, we have found that a voluntary preservation effort indicates to prosecutors your willingness to comply, and can therefore have a positive impact on the resolution of the case.

Produce Requested Information

Immediately after you receive a grand jury subpoena, you should retain an experienced attorney to contact the lead prosecutor on the case in order to discuss the subject of the subpoena, negotiate a less intrusive set of requests and a longer deadline to respond. In addition to these communications between attorneys, the recipient of the subpoena should begin to gather any records and documents that might be relevant. Although the government is limited, to a small extent, in what it can ask for and how far in time the subpoena’s requests can go, many subpoena requests can be very extensive, and take up to several weeks to respond to. After you have collected relevant documents and records, your attorney should carefully examine the files and determine which ones should actually be produced and which ones should be legally withheld from the government.

If you are a Michigan resident who has received a grand jury subpoena, contact us today. Call us and request to speak with one of the experienced attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C.. Initial consultations are free and confidential.

Our Track Record

Oberheiden, P.C. represents individual and corporate clients in federal grand jury proceedings with the goal to avoid criminal charges. Our attorneys assist clients in federal criminal cases, government investigations, and Grand Jury proceedings across the United States and we have most recently appeared on behalf of our clients in New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, and Michigan. The following list represents recent case outcomes.

  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • Federal Grand Jury Subpoena
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.
  • OIG Subpoena against Business
    Result: No criminal charges.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Michigan

Nick Oberheiden is routinely interview as a legal expert on Michigan and Mid-West media to comment on federal law and procedure. Dr. Oberheiden has taught U.S. Constitutional Law and U.S. Criminal Law around the world and he has successfully represented clients in federal Grand Jury proceedings across the United States.

If you are a Michigan resident who has received a government subpoena, contact us today. Speak to the experienced attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. and request a free and confidential consultation to assess your case.

Including Weekends

Oberheiden, P.C.
Serving Detroit & Michigan

Why Clients Trust Oberheiden P.C.

  • 1,000+ Cases Handled
  • Available Nights & Weekends
  • Experienced Trial Attorneys
  • Former Department of Justice Trial Attorneys
  • Former Federal Prosecutors, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Former Agents from FBI, OIG, DEA
  • Cases Handled in 48 States
Email Us Call: 888-680-1745