If so, you should contact an attorney. How will you know if you’re a target? The most obvious indicator is the receipt of a target letter from a federal prosecutor alerting you to exactly that.
These target letters are routinely sent by U.S. attorneys when an individual is subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury. In fact, they are often included with the actual subpoena itself. These letters are intended to advise you of your rights, including the right to consult an attorney and the right to not answer questions that may incriminate you. Anything you say during grand jury testimony may be used against you later on during the federal criminal process.
The target letter will identify you as either a “target” or a “subject:”
- Targets are people, “whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime.”
- Subjects are people, “whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.”
The target letter will also advise you, if you are the target, what federal criminal offenses you are alleged to have committed or have been involved with.
A grand jury subpoena of a target will often result in that person being indicted for the federal crime(s) for which he or she is being investigated. Once you are asked to testify before a grand jury, it’s highly likely that you have been under investigation for a period of time prior to receiving the subpoena.
Learn More: What Should I Do If I Received A Target Letter?