Doyle Error Law and Legal Definition

The name Doyle error arose from the case Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610 (U.S. 1976) wherein it was held that the prosecution is not allowed to impeach a defendant's exculpatory statements by referring to defendant's having remained silent after receiving Miranda warnings. In Doyle, the court reversed defendants' convictions for the sale of drugs because the prosecutor's use of defendants' silence, at the time of arrest and after receiving Miranda warnings, for impeachment purposes violated defendants' due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, as their silence could have been nothing more than the exercise of their Miranda rights, and the warnings carried an implied assurance that silence would carry no penalty.