Do I have the right to testify before the grand jury?
In most cases you have a constitutional right to testify before the grand jury, but you must give the prosecutor timely notice of your intent to testify. Once notice is given, the prosecutor is required to tell you when and where you must appear and give you the opportunity to testify. If the prosecutor submits the case to a grand jury immediately upon your arrest but before your arraignment your right to testify will not be considered violated even though you have effectively been denied the opportunity to testify. Additionally, in certain cases the prosecutor will present a case to the grand jury before arresting a defendant in order to obtain a sealed indictment in which case you will not be given the opportunity to testify. If you believe that you could be the target of a grand jury investigation, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately since your attorney may be able to file a notice to testify with the prosecutor thereby preserving your right to testify.
If you were denied the right to testify after having filed proper notice of your intent to do so, your attorney can file a motion to dismiss the indictment. If the dismissal is granted the prosecutor may still have the opportunity to re-present the case. The motion for dismissal must be made within five days of Supreme Court arraignment on the indictment or it will be considered waived. This time limit is very strictly enforced. CPL §190.50(5)(c).
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