Stand Mute

Stand Mute in the United States

A response of silence by an accused at an arraignment. When an accused stands mute, the court enters a plea of not guilty and the case is docketed for trial.

See Also

Arraignment (Criminal Process).

Analysis and Relevance

An accused stands mute rather than respond with a plea of guilty or not guilty. This typically occurs at the arraignment, which is the first point in the criminal process where an accused is formally asked to enter a plea. An accused who stands mute is exercising his or her self-incrimination protections. Standing mute is the functional equivalent of pleading not guilty.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Stand Mute from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California



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