The proceedings of a grand jury aren’t valid unless at least sixteen of its members are present. An indictment’s finding, a direction to file a prosecutor’s information, a decision to submit a grand jury report, and really every other affirmative official action or decision actually requires at least twelve members to concur. The foreman or any other grand juror can administer an oath to a witness who’s appearing before the grand jury. Also, during the deliberations and voting of a grand jury, only the grand jurors are allowed to be present in the grand jury room. During other proceedings, the following people, in addition of course to witnesses, may also be present: the DA, a clerk or other public servant who’s been authorized to assist the grand jury in the administrative conduct of the proceedings, a stenographer who’s been authorized to record the proceedings of the grand jury, and an interpreter. On the request of the grand jury, the prosecutor needs to provide an interpreter to interpret the testimony of any witness who doesn’t speak English well enough to be understood. This interpreter must, if they haven’t before taken the constitutional oath of office, first take an oath in front of the grand jury that they’ll faithfully interpret the testimony of the witness and that they’ll keep secret all matters before the grand jury within their knowledge.
When a person being held in official custody’s a witness before a grand jury, a public servant who’s been assigned to guard them during their grand jury appearance can accompany them in the grand jury room. Said public servant must, if they haven’t previously taken the constitutional oath of office, first take an oath in front of the grand jury that they will keep secret all matters in their knowledge.
As for a social worker, rape crisis counselor, psychologist or other professional providing emotional support to a child witness twelve years old or younger who’s called to give evidence in a grand jury proceeding that concerns a crime defined in the penal law provided that the district attorney consents, that support person must not provide the witness with an answer to any question, or else otherwise participate in the proceeding, and must first take an oath in front of the grand jury that they will keep secret all of the matters before the grand jury in their knowledge.
On the request of a deaf or hearing-impaired grand juror, the prosecutor must provide a sign language interpreter for said juror. This interpreter must be present during all of the proceedings of the grand jury that the deaf or hearing-impaired grand juror attends, including deliberation and voting. The interpreter must, if they haven’t previously taken the constitutional oath of office, first take an oath in front of the grand jury that they’ll faithfully interpret the testimony of the witnesses and the statements of the prosecutor, judge, and grand jurors. That they’ll keep secret all of the matters before said grand jury in their knowledge, and won’t seek to influence the deliberations and voting of the grand jury.
It’s important to understand the intricacies of the New York state law in all cases, but especially when it comes to grand juries, so you can be sure that you’re ready no matter what your situation is. So if you’re facing charges, or would like to make sure that you’re protected should charges ever be leveled against you, you can count on the years of experience that our firm, with an experience that’s sure to illuminate for you the complexities of New York state law without overwhelming you.
A grand jury is a body that consists of at least sixteen but no more than twenty-three people, impaneled by a superior court and which constitutes a part of said court. The functions of it are to hear and examine evidence that concerns offenses as well as misconduct, nonfeasance and neglect in public office, whether criminal or not, and to take action with respect to any evidence that’s provided.
The appellate division of each judicial department must adopt rules that govern the number and terms that grand juries will be drawn for and impaneled by the superior courts in its department. This is provided, of course, that a grand jury can be drawn and impaneled for any extraordinary term of the supreme court, on the order of a justice assigned to hold said term.
A term for a superior court that a grand jury has been impaneled for stays in existence at least until/including the opening date of the next term of the court that a grand jury has been designated for. On this date, or within five days before, the court is allowed to, on declaration of both the grand jury and the DA that the grand jury hasn’t yet completed or won’t be able to complete certain business before it, actually extend the term of court and the existence of the grand jury to some specified future date, and is allowed to order further extensions for this purpose. At any time when a grand jury’s in recess and no other appropriate grand jury’s in existence in the county, the court is allowed to, on application of the DA or of a defendant held by a local criminal court for the action of a grand jury, order the grand jury to reconvene so they can deal with a matter that requires grand jury action.
The mode of selecting grand jurors and drawing/impaneling grand juries is governed by the judiciary law. Neither the grand jury panel nor a grand juror can be challenged, but the court is allowed at any time before a grand jury is sworn to discharge the panel and instead summon another panel if it finds the original panel doesn’t conform to the requirements of the judiciary law. They can also, at any time after a grand juror is drawn, refuse to swear them, or discharge them after they’ve been sworn, on finding that they’re disqualified from service or incapable of performing their duties because of either bias or prejudice, or that they’re guilty of misconduct in the performance of their duties in a way that impairs the functioning of the grand jury. After a grand jury’s been impaneled, the court needs to appoint one of the grand jurors as foreman and another one to act as foreman during any absence or disability. The grand jurors must also appoint one of themselves as secretary to keep records about the conduct of the grand jury`s business. The grand jurors must be sworn by the court. The oath can be in any form that requires the grand jurors to perform their duties faithfully. After a grand jury has been sworn, the court must deliver to each grand juror a printed copy of all the provisions, and the court can also give the grand jurors oral and/or written instructions relating to the proper performance of their duties as deemed necessary. If two or more grand juries are impaneled at the same court term, the court is allowed to transfer grand jurors from one panel to another, and any transferred grand juror is deemed to have been sworn as a member of the panel they’ve been transferred to.
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