There are two broad types of grand jury witnesses: “targets” and “witnesses.” A target is someone who the government may charge with a crime. A general witness just provides evidence to the grand jury.
Sometimes the letter from the United States Attorney’s office will say that the witness is a target. At other times, the witness will just suspect that he or she is a target. In either of those situations, the witness should either immediately hire an attorney or contact our office and seek appointment of counsel. A private defense counsel or public defender can review the facts of the case, contact the prosecutor to determine the government’s interest, and can either negotiate for immunity for a grand jury witness or instruct him/her to assert the Fifth Amendment, if appropriate, and decline to answer questions.