Witness Representation / Subpoena Help
When Connecticut state and federal law enforcement officials in Connecticut launch a criminal investigation, they frequently cast a wide net over possible suspects and witnesses. Here’s how it usually works: when a crime is suspected, state or federal authorities commence an investigation. State crimes are investigated by police officers, detectives, or Connecticut State troopers, who are often supervised and directed by prosecutors from the Connecticut State’s Attorney’s Office. Similarly, federal crimes are commonly investigated by FBI agents, DEA agents, Secret Service agents or IRS agents. These federal agents often receive their marching orders from federal prosecutors at the Connecticut United States Attorneys’ Office.
Regardless of whether the investigation is for a state or federal crime, these investigators are trained in executing search warrants, conducting electronic and telephonic surveillance, knocking on doors, and intensively questioning witnesses. Sometimes you may be contacted by police to come to the police station and tell detectives what you know about a crime or crime scene. And in many cases, if a case is already pending, then you may be served with a subpoena to come to court and testify at trial or before a secret federal grand jury which is reviewing evidence of crime. In all of these cases, however, you need to be very careful about what you say to law enforcement in response to their questioning or in response to a subpoena.
Most top Greenwich and Stamford criminal lawyers / attorneys agree: whatever you say can and will be used against you by law enforcement and can and will be publicly disclosed. There is no such thing as “off the record” when talking to law enforcement. Therefore, if you have received a witness subpoena in Stamford, Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Westport, Fairfield, Norwalk, or Wilton, you should contact a top Connecticut criminal lawyer to help you with witness subpoena representation. Needing help with a subpoena in Connecticut is understandable. Why take chances of exposing yourself to criminal issues when you can be assisted by a criminal lawyer experienced in helping witnesses in state and federal criminal investigations?Receiving a Subpoena in a State Court Criminal Case
Connecticut subpoenas and search warrants are served upon people during the course of many different types of criminal proceedings: criminal trials, suppression hearings, probable cause hearings, or other evidentiary hearings. If a state marshal, state investigator, or Connecticut police officer comes to your door with a subpoena or search warrant, then they must have “probable cause” to believe that you, a family member, or your property might be involved in a criminal investigation. Alternatively, you may just get a call from a Stamford of Greenwich police officer asking you to come down to the police station to talk to them about a crime they are investigating. In these situations, you have to be very careful to learn as much as you can about their investigation before working with the police. Are they investigating you? Someone in your family? Are you truly a witness or are you the actual person of interest or “target” in their investigation? Do you have any exposure to criminal charges as a conspirator or an accomplice?
All of these questions should be considered. What is frustrating for ordinary Connecticut citizens is that the police are under no legal obligation to share any information with you. Often they refuse to discuss the case with you, as they claim that disclosing too much information could jeopardize the integrity of their investigation. You also need to assume that prior to contacting you, the police have run a thorough background check of you and your family to see whether you have any kind of criminal record or outstanding arrest warrants. Their job is to glean as much information from you as possible and if they have to be heavy-handed with you, they will. For all of these reasons, it is critical to consult with a top Greenwich or Stamford criminal attorney for witness representation issues in criminal cases. Knowing your rights before speaking to Connecticut police investigating a serious criminal case is always a good idea.Witness Representation in Connecticut Federal Grand Jury Proceedings & Federal Criminal Trials
Federal criminal investigations are equally as serious as state criminal cases. If you have been contacted by an FBI agent, or have received a federal grand jury subpoena to appear at Connecticut District Court, or have been subpoenaed to produce documents to the FBI or United States Attorney’s Office, then you should contact a top Stamford criminal lawyer who can assist you in determining whether the subpoena is overly broad, harassing, or otherwise inappropriate or improper. More importantly, your Connecticut criminal witness lawyer can make contact with the FBI or United States attorney running the investigation to find out exactly what they are investigating and whether they sense that you have any exposure to federal criminal charges. The last thing you want to do is say something or produce documents that incriminate yourself. Remember, your federal and state constitutional rights against self-incrimination provide you with a right to remain silent. Let the witness representation criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law help you exercise that Fifth Amendment constitutional right if necessary. Call us today if you have been contacted by the FBI, received a target letter from the Connecticut United States Attorney’s office, or have received a federal grand jury subpoena. We will sit with you to explain the implications and consequences of these documents, and work with you and your family to determine the most appropriate response.Witness Representation in Depositions and Civil / Divorce Cases
One area of witness representation we have not yet discussed is when you are served with a subpoena in a civil lawsuit—whether it be a personal injury action, divorce case witness subpoena, business case, or SEC / IRS case. Overly aggressive lawyers can have you served with a subpoena at your home or work in an effort to intimidate or embarrass you. Further, these subpoenas—often called subpoenas duces tecum—can order you to bring a laundry list of documents, calling for you to assemble and deliver extremely sensitive health and financial records that you would never want to show to anyone, let alone provide to a lawyer to use in a public court proceeding. Understand that just because a subpoena calls for you to show up somewhere and bring documents does not mean you will automatically have to comply. Prior to the compliance date, some of the best Stamford and Greenwich lawyers can file subpoena objection papers in court such as motions to quash these subpoena and motions for protective orders which ask the Court to nullify and modify some or all of the demands in these subpoenas. Connecticut civil trial and deposition subpoenas that are harassing, frivolous, personally invasive, and overly burdensome, are looked upon very unfavorably by Superior Court judges. So if you have been served with a subpoena in a civil case, or have been subpoenaed for a deposition in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Westport or anywhere else in Connecticut, give a top Stamford or Greenwich witness deposition lawyer a call today.Contact a Witness Lawyer at Mark Sherman Law Today
As explained above, being a witness to a criminal or civil case—whether it be state or federal—requires many considerations. Do you cooperate? Do you produce documents? Do you openly testify in court or at the deposition? Do you have to invoke any Fifth Amendment rights against self-crimination? Do you have exposure to civil or criminal liability? These are all very critical questions that need to be contemplated and resolved before participating in a legal proceeding or complying with the Connecticut subpoenas. The best way to get answers to these questions is to consult a Connecticut criminal lawyer familiar with these legal issues to get help from a lawyer with your Connecticut subpoena. The Witness Representation lawyers at Mark Sherman Law have years of experience in aggressively defending the rights of witnesses in state and federal civil and criminal proceedings. We have regularly and successfully moved to quash subpoenas in court. We have moved for protective orders to protect highly sensitive and private financial, tax, and medical information of our Connecticut clients. We will do whatever it takes to try and protect our witness clients from overly burdensome subpoenas and document requests. We have no problem pushing back against rogue attorneys who have tried—unsuccessfully—to bully our witness clients with harassing subpoenas. We push back aggressively. So if you have been served with a criminal subpoena, civil subpoena, or deposition notice in a Stamford, Greenwich, or Connecticut criminal, civil or divorce case, give the witness representation lawyers at Mark Sherman Law a call today. Our priority is results, and we work for them quickly and cost-effectively. Call us today at (203) 358-4700.