DUI Arrests and Miranda RightsThere are many misconceptions and false information about when the police are required to read you your Miranda Rights during a DUI stop. What if police did not Mirandize me when they arrested me? Can I get my DUI charge thrown out? When are police required to read me my Miranda Rights? The truth is: the police are NOT required, by law, to Mirandize you during your DUI arrest.
What are Miranda Rights in the DUI framework?
In 1966, the Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that police officers are required to read you your rights before they interrogate you. The function of the Miranda Warnings is to make sure that you are aware of your rights under the Constitution. There are two parts:
Miranda Warnings after a DUI Arreset
You have the right to remain silent (You dont have to answer any of the officers questions). Anything you say or do can be used against you in court. You have the right to consult with an attorney. You have the right to have your attorney present during questioning (from this point on). If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you (court-appointed) If you choose to answer questions without an attorney present, you still have the right to stop answering questions at any time.
Confirmation of your Miranda Rights
Do you understand each of these rights as I have explained them to you? After hearing your rights, are you ready to answer questions without an attorney present? Once you have been made aware of your Miranda Rights, you can choose to answer questions from the police or remain silent and request an attorney. The point of Miranda Warnings is to give you the right to protect yourself against self-incrimination under the following conditions: you are under arrest and the police officer conducts a custodial interrogation (meaning you are in police custody). If these two conditions are not met, then the officer is not required to advise you of your rights.
The difference between investigation and interrogation
This is the main area of confusion for people who have been charged with a DUI and not Mirandized. If a police officer legally pulls you over, he is well within his authority to ask you things like: Have you been drinking? How much have you had to drink tonight? What were you drinking? What time did you start/finish drinking? These questions are part of the investigation that the officer is conducting. He is trying to determine if you are impaired and need to be arrested. Most people do not realize that they are not required to answer these questions. Once you are taken into custody and arrested for DUI, if the police want to question you about the circumstances surrounding your DUI with the hopes of getting answers that incriminate you, they must read you your Miranda Rights first. If the police fail to Mirandize you at this point and police gain incriminating responses from you, your DUI attorney will probably win a motion to get those responses excluded from evidence. It is important to note that if your Miranda Rights were violated, then only responses made after taken into custody will be thrown out. The police can still use field sobriety tests, BAC results, and other earlier evidence gathered against you. If you believe your rights were violated in your DUI arrest, contact a qualified DUI attorney in your area.