24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Client Testimonials



The BEST LAWYER ANYONE COULD ASK FOR!!! Todd changed our lives! He’s not JUST a lawyer representing us for a case. Todd and his office have become Family. When we entered his office in August of 2022, we entered with such anxiety, uncertainty, and so much stress. Honestly we were very lost. My husband and I felt alone. How could a lawyer who didn’t know us, know our family, know our background represents us, When this could change our lives for the next 5-7years that my husband was facing in Federal jail. By the time our free consultation was over with Todd, we left his office at ease. All our questions were answered and we had a sense of relief.

schedule a consultation


Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Defense Lawyers

April 16, 2024

What is a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena?

If you’ve received a federal grand jury subpoena, it means you or someone you know is the target of a federal criminal investigation by the U.S. government. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution requires a grand jury indictment for all federal felonies, unless the defendant waives that right.3A federal grand jury is a group of 16-23 citizens chosen by the courts, similar to a trial jury but meeting for an extended period to review numerous cases.5 The grand jury’s main job is to determine if there is probable cause to charge someone with a crime and secure an indictment. They don’t decide guilt or innocence.5Grand jury proceedings are secret. They have the power to subpoena documents and witness testimony to help their investigation.5 There are two main types of grand jury subpoenas:

  1. Subpoena ad testificandum – commands a person to appear and testify before the grand jury
  2. Subpoena duces tecum – orders a person or organization to produce documents, records, or other physical evidence3

These subpoenas are issued by the grand jury at the request of federal prosecutors. The subpoenaed materials or testimony is then returned to the grand jury to further their investigation.5

Responding to a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena

Receiving a federal grand jury subpoena can be a stressful and intimidating experience. But don’t panic. The most important thing is to take it seriously and consult with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney right away. Some key things to know:

You Can’t Just Ignore It

Failure to comply with a grand jury subpoena can result in the federal court finding you in contempt, which can mean fines and even jail time.4 So you can’t just ignore it or throw it away.

Challenging a Subpoena is Difficult

It’s possible to challenge a federal grand jury subpoena, but the grounds for doing so are limited. By law, these subpoenas are presumed valid, so it’s up to the recipient to prove a reason why it’s unjustified.5Some potential grounds for challenging a subpoena include:

  • It’s overly broad or unduly burdensome
  • It violates fundamental principles of fairness or federal law
  • It infringes on attorney-client privilege or other protected information5

An experienced attorney can examine the subpoena in detail to determine if there are grounds for a full or partial challenge. In many cases, filing a targeted partial challenge may be enough to secure necessary protections while still allowing timely compliance.5

Responding Takes Time

Whether you received a subpoena to testify or to produce documents, preparing your response is a time-intensive process. You need to get to work immediately to ensure you respond sufficiently. Failure to properly prepare could mean exposing yourself to prosecution or contempt charges.5For a subpoena duces tecum demanding documents, the burdens can be significant, especially for corporations. These subpoenas are often extremely broad, requesting years worth of records. Identifying, collecting, reviewing, and producing all the responsive documents can require substantial internal and external resources.5

You Have Important Rights

If you are subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, you have important constitutional rights, even if you are not the target of the investigation:

  • 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination
  • 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure
  • 6th Amendment right to counsel2

You should never testify before a grand jury without first consulting with your attorney. They can advise you on how to assert your rights and avoid making statements that could be used against you or others.

Protect Privileged Information

Certain communications and documents may be protected by attorney-client privilege or other legal privileges. It’s critical to have your attorney review any subpoenaed materials to identify and withhold privileged items before complying.2Prosecutors are not allowed to ask about privileged discussions you had with your lawyer. If a prosecutor starts to ask about your attorney communications, you can assert the privilege and refuse to answer.1

Hiring the Right Federal Defense Attorney

As you can see, properly responding to a federal grand jury subpoena is a complex and high-stakes process. Having the right attorney in your corner can make all the difference. Some tips for choosing a federal criminal defense lawyer:

Look for Specific Federal Experience

Federal court is very different from state court. You need an attorney who regularly practices in federal court and has experience with grand jury investigations. Ideally, look for a former federal prosecutor who knows the system inside and out.1

Seek Out a Proactive Approach

You want an attorney who will proactively strategize your best defense from day one. At our firm, we don’t just wait around for the next subpoena or indictment. We immediately get to work examining the facts, researching the law, and advocating for our clients at every stage.1

Find an Attorney You Can Trust

Facing a federal investigation is stressful and deeply personal. You need an attorney you feel comfortable confiding in and who will be responsive to your needs. At Spodek Law Group, we pride ourselves on treating every client like family and being available 24/7.1

Get a Free Consultation

Most federal criminal defense attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Take advantage of this to get your questions answered and feel out if an attorney is the right fit before hiring them.1

Spodek Law Group: Nationwide Federal Criminal Defense

At Spodek Law Group, our team of experienced trial lawyers has over 50 years of combined experience handling the toughest federal cases nationwide. Our founding attorney Todd Spodek is a second generation defense lawyer who has been featured as a legal expert on major media outlets from Newsweek to Fox News.1We understand what you’re going through and are here to help. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to guide you through every step of the federal legal process. We leave no stone unturned in fighting for the best possible outcome.

Lawyers You Can Trust

Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

view profile



view profile


Associate Attorney

view profile



view profile



view profile



view profile



view profile

Criminal Defense Lawyers Trusted By the Media

schedule a consultation
Schedule Your Consultation Now