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Commonwealth v. LeClair

Justia Opinion SummaryMark Sheehan, a nonimmunized witness in a criminal trial, refused to answer questions posed by the prosecutor concerning his use of illegal drugs by invoking his privilege against self-incrimination. The judge ruled that the invocation of the privilege was not valid because Sheehan had not shown that the Commonwealth had the intention of pursuing such a prosecution. The judge then found Sheehan in summary criminal contempt and imposed a sentence of ninety days' incarceration. Sheehan intervened in the criminal proceeding and appealed the judgment of contempt. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment of contempt, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, Sheehan validly invoked his privilege against self-incrimination, and Sheehan's compelled responses to such questioning did not constitute a waiver of the privilege.

Timothy E. Zerillo has been included in every edition of New England Super Lawyers since 2010, for his Super Lawyers page, go to http://www.superlawyers.com/maine/lawyer/Timothy-E-Zerillo/ab011be9-fc96-44e9-ad28-3956da48c1b4.html

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