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State v. Argueta, 2018 UT App 142 (July 27, 2018)

Jul 27, 2018

This appeal from a criminal conviction involved what the defendant told—and more importantly, did not tell—officers on the night of the incident after he had been arrested.  Under Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610 (1976), “it is ‘fundamentally unfair and a deprivation of due process’ to allow a prosecutor to use a defendant’s silence at the time of arrest ‘to impeach an explanation subsequently offered at trial.’”  The court held the prosecutor’s questioning did not violate Doyle because it asked “why, if [the defendant’s] testimony at trial were true, he omitted many of those details in the explanation he gave to [the] Officer.”  This line of questioning did not impermissibly refer to the defendant’s exercise of his right to remain silent, but rather to his prior omission of exculpatory details when he voluntarily spoke to the officer.