United States Fourth Circuit

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US v. Westbrooks, 13-4764

In this case, defendant was convicted of criminal contempt under 18 U.S.C. section 401(3) for failure to comply with a grand jury subpoena. Defendant contends that the district court violated her due process rights by requiring her to prove her advice-of-counsel defense. The judgment of conviction is affirmed, where: 1) the district court did not impermissibly shift the burden of proof to defendant, as the court clearly stated that the government bore the ultimate burden of proving the elements of criminal contempt; and 2) the district court found defendant's evidence insufficient to establish a prima facie advice-of-counsel defense, but such determination does not shift the ultimate burden of proof.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/13/2015
  • Published 03/13/2015

Judges

  • Gregory

Court

  • United States Fourth Circuit

Counsel