Free Telephone Cosultation (941) 888-0709


Murder Self-defense Evidence Silence of defendant

Posted by John P. Rutkowski | Jan 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Criminal law, Murder, Self-defense, Evidence, Silence of defendant, Pre-Miranda. Ineffective assistance of counsel -- Prosecutor's statements about defendant's pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence in opening and closing arguments and state's presentation of testimony about that silence during its case-in-chief were improper comments on defendant's right to remain silent where silence was offered as substantive evidence of guilt, not impeachment purposes. Discussion of admissibility of both pre- and post-arrest, pre-Miranda silence. Even if there was argument that state had been trying to impeach defendant, impeachment was improper because defendant's silence was ambiguous and therefore not inconsistent with defendant's trial testimony that he shot victims while defending himself. Although issue was not preserved for appellate review, defendant is entitled to relief because defense counsel's failure to respond to trial court's request for authority regarding admissibility of the evidence or to further object to such evidence and argument constituted ineffective assistance of counsel on the face of the record.

Read Opinion Below:

About the Author

John P. Rutkowski

Mr. Rutkowski has been practicing law for the past twenty-seven years. Prior to going to law school Mr. Rutkowski served as a deputy sheriff before retiring to attend law school. Upon graduating law school Mr. Rutkowski served as an Assistant State Attorney in Florida before going in to private practice and representing good people in bad times who have been accused of criminal offenses, dui, and appeals.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment


Put Mr. Rutkowski's twenty-seven years experience practicing in the areas of DUI, BUI, Administrative Driver License Suspension Hearings, Administrative Hardship License Hearings and Criminal Traffic. Contact Mr. Rutkowski today for a free telephone consultation.

Paulson Center

18245 Paulson Drive Port Charlotte, FL 33954