Hindman & Lanzon Hindman & Lanzon
Call for a Free Consultation
865-223-6450

right to counsel Archives

Invocation of Right to Counsel Must Be Unequivocal

When a person invokes a right to counsel, a pending criminal interrogation must stop unless the person initiates further conversation with the police. But to be effective, an invocation of the right to counsel must be unequivocal. An equivocal reference to counsel, whether made before or after being advised of constitutional rights, does not require the interrogation to cease. Whether a request for counsel is equivocal is a mixed question of law and fact. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Scott, E2012-02012-02734-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-6-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the defendant's statement to police that she thinks she needs an attorney was not, in that case, an unequivocal invocation of the right to counsel.

Invocation of Right to Counsel Must Be Unequivocal

When a person invokes a right to counsel, a pending criminal interrogation must stop unless the person initiates further conversation with the police. But to be effective, an invocation of the right to counsel must be unequivocal. An equivocal reference to counsel, whether made before or after being advised of constitutional rights, does not require the interrogation to cease. Whether a request for counsel is equivocal is a mixed question of law and fact. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Scott, E2012-02012-02734-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-6-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the defendant's statement to police that she thinks she needs an attorney was not, in that case, an unequivocal invocation of the right to counsel.

Invocation of Right to Counsel Must Be Unequivocal

When a person invokes a right to counsel, a pending criminal interrogation must stop unless the person initiates further conversation with the police. But to be effective, an invocation of the right to counsel must be unequivocal. An equivocal reference to counsel, whether made before or after being advised of constitutional rights, does not require the interrogation to cease. Whether a request for counsel is equivocal is a mixed question of law and fact. In the recent Tennessee case of State v. Scott, E2012-02012-02734-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 12-6-2013), the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that the defendant's statement to police that she thinks she needs an attorney was not, in that case, an unequivocal invocation of the right to counsel.

map map

Hindman & Lanzon
550 West Main Street
Suite 550
Knoxville, TN 37902

Toll Free: 866-383-1545
Phone: 865-223-6450
Fax: 865-521-6371
Knoxville Law Office Map