Our exciting tour of the Grand Jury systems of Florida federal and state courts began with a look at What to do if a Grand Jury is investigating you, your conduct, your business or your friends and continues today with a look at what constitutes Federal Prosecutorial Abuse of the Grand Jury. Earlier when we looked at Eight Methods to Stop A Grand Jury Investigation it became clear that establishing that the prosecutor abused the Grand Jury process is an excellent way to quash a grand jury investigation or a grand jury subpoena.
The benefits of establishing prosecutorial abuse of a grand jury in the Middle District of Florida is clear in that if the abuse is shown to be prejudicial the grand jury indictment may be subject to a motion to dismiss or a subpoena may be quashed. The following four actions of a prosecutor constitutes abuse:
1. Using the grand jury to target someone out of malice or an intent to harass that person. For example, Federal courts have found that showing a fundamental unfairness of the process by gathering evidence for a civil suit or instigating the calling of witnesses for the only purpose of forcing them to assert the 5th, or granting a pocket immunity are inappropriate.
2. Issuing a subpoena to a witness for a grand jury hearing for the sole purpose of collecting additional evidence in a different pending federal case. This use of the grand jury as an investigative tool probably happens much more frequently than judges or federal defense lawyers are aware because it's difficult to prove that information gleaned from one case is being used to help nail another case down. But when a prosecutor is caught in a case that's falling apart using the grand jury as a discovery tool is tempting.
3. Using unlawfully gleaned evidence such as when government agents from the DEA or the FBI gather evidence before securing valid search warrant.
4. Using evidence or testimony which the government knows is false violates American standards of due process. There is no place in our justice system for false evidence or perjured testimony.
Once one or more of these prosecutorial abuses of the grand jury system are proven then there exists legal leverage to have the federal grand jury indictment dismissed.