Garrity Rights: Protecting Law Enforcement Against Self-Incrimination

Garrity rights

Garrity Rights: Protecting Law Enforcement Against Self-Incrimination

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals involved in criminal cases from being required to testify if such testimony may incriminate them. Garrity rights, also known as Garrity protection or a Garrity warning, are rights for law enforcement officers and other public servants based on this Constitutional amendment. Garrity rights are additionally based on the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which provides for equal protection of the laws to all individuals within the State.

According to, Garrity rights “protect public employees from being compelled to incriminate themselves during investigatory interviews conducted by their employers.”

When investigators carry out internal investigations, the public servants or police officers involved will be read a Garrity warning, similar to being read Miranda rights, to make them aware of the fact that they are not required to make incriminating statements. The incorporation of Garrity rights also allows investigations to remain within the law, preventing coerced statements from being used in a court of law.

Garrity Rights: Background

In 1961, New Jersey police chief Edward Garrity became the focus of an investigation involving traffic tickets. Garrity and other employees, while being warned that anything they said could be used against them in a court of law, were also threatened with being fired from their jobs if they refused to answer the investigators’ questions. As a result of these coerced statements which were self-incriminating, Garrity and the other employees were ultimately criminally convicted in a court of law.

In 1967, the case went to the supreme court as Garrity v. New Jersey where it was ruled that:

  • Statements by public employees that are compelled by threat of serious discipline cannot be used in a subsequent criminal proceeding.
  • The refusal of public employees to waive the right to remain silent cannot result in termination of employment.

Rideout Law Group: Representing Police Officers

Rideout Law Group has a history of representing law enforcement officers who are under investigation. When a police officer or other public servant is being investigated, serious criminal consequences can arise. Contact the skilled and experienced attorneys at Rideout Law Group right away if your Garrity rights have been compromised.


With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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