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Note: The comments and questions on this page came from people who visited this website. Please feel free to send your comments and questions to Professor Brenner (brenner@udayton.edu). She will respond privately, and may ask permission to post your message on this page. No one's e-mail will be used without first obtaining their permission, and names and e-mail addresses are removed before a comment is posted. Starting in 2002, the responses posted to the site indicate which of us replied: The initials SWB mean Professor Brenner wrote the response; the initials LES mean Professor Shaw wrote the response. We are also putting the year down, to indicate when the response was posted. If no initials appear, Professor Brenner wrote the response.

Do you have a right to know a grand jury is investigating you?

Can a grand jury be presented a case without the person who is being investigated being notified?

In other words, can someone have a case against them already before a grand jury without being "charged" by police or being notified of this action?

Response: Absolutely - remember, grand juries work in secret, and their whole purpose is to bring charges . . . so a presentation before a grand jury comes before charges are filed (since that is what they decide).

Now, in some states, I believe one who is being investigated with an eye to being charged (called a "target") has a right to know of the investigation and the government's intent to bring charges. You'd have to check your local laws for that . . . and in the federal system the Dept. of Justice has a practice of informing someone that they are a target, but that a courtesy, a rule they have adopted, not a legally binding obligation.


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