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

Stand Mute: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Stand Mute. This part provides references, in relation to Stand Mute, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Stand Mute by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Stand Mute and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Stand Mute or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Stand Mute and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Stand Mute. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Stand Mute should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Stand Mute when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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