Muni-mail – DWI/Allowing Case, Silence not evidence of guilt – State v. Stas

[09/12/12 – 10:11 am] A few moments ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that silence by a defendant at or near the time of his arrest for DWI/Allowing cannot be used as evidence of guilt or for impeachment purposes at trial. In both the municipal court and Law Division, the judges had drawn an inference of guilt from the defendant’s silence at the accident scene and ruled that he had allowed operation of his vehicle by an intoxicated person. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the 5th Amendment privilege to remain silent applies in New Jersey DWI cases and silence by the defendant at or near the time of arrest may not be used to infer guilt or impeach credibility at trial.

The link to State v. Stas is:
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A1411StatevManafStas.pdf

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Category: Muni-Mail Archive