The U.S. Supreme Court in Rehberg, in a unanimous opinion, affirmed the Federal Appeals Court of the Eleventh Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Tampa Bay and Pinellas, in a decision which held that grand jury witnesses, like witnesses called to testify during trials, are entitled to absolute immunity from any law suits or civil liability under Section 1983 arising from their testimony. If a grand jury is looking into your actions it's time to contact a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney.
|Thomas Benton, The Speaker, 1935|
Absolute immunity grand jury testimony is necessary in order to safeguard the vital function that grand juries play in modern criminal procedure, by assuring that witnesses should be able to provide candid testimony without fear of a retaliatory lawsuit, while still guarding the sacrosanct secrecy of grand jury proceedings for law enforcement and for those who testify.
Further, absolute immunity cannot be circumvented by simply claiming that a grand jury witness was in a conspiracy to present false testimony or by using the testimony to support any other claim, because any claim that arises from testimony before a grand jury is shielded by absolute immunity. The fact that grand jury witnesses, like trial witnesses, may be subject to prosecution for perjury is a sufficient deterrent to knowingly providing false testimony. The result of this unanimous decision will be to provide very strong protection for witnesses who give testimony in all judicial proceedings even those proceedings where a Pinellas Criminal Defense Attorney is looking out for your interests.