What to do if my husband received a notice that he is the “target” of a grand jury investigation for some severe charges but he hasn’t even been arrested?

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What to do if my husband received a notice that he is the “target” of a grand jury investigation for some severe charges but he hasn’t even been arrested?

Although we make too much to qualify for a Public Defender but we don’t make enough to hire an attorney. I’m very scared and confused and have no idea what to do.

Asked on November 30, 2012 under Criminal Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Even if it is a burden, you should hire an attorney if at all possible--your husband could potentially be facing felony charges, so you want legal representation from the start.

Regardless of whether you hire an attorney or not, remember that *anything* your husband says could be used against him, and even though a wife may not generally be compelled to testify against her husband, if you say anything to another person, there are situations under which that other person can testify as to it. Therefore, the two of you need to not say anything that could, in any way, be construed as an  admission of guilt. When your husband testifies, he cannot lie--anything he says must be truthful--but he has the right to assert his 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and decline to answer questions that would result in him incriminating himself.


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