There are many misconceptions when it comes to your Miranda rights. One such misconception is that if police do not read your Miranda rights then your case has to be thrown out. While this may be true in some cases, it does not mean your case will automatically be thrown out. Your attorney can help explain what to do if you were arrested for DUI and officers failed to read you your Miranda rights.
Background on Miranda Rights
The Fifth Amendment protects you from voluntarily making incriminating statements to police that could be used as evidence against you. Rather, you have the affirmative right to say nothing at all and remain silent.
In Miranda v. Arizona, the case that established Miranda rights, the United States Supreme Court said that police are required to advise you of your constitutional rights when you are under “custodial interrogation.” In this landmark case, the court recognized the importance of knowing your constitutional rights in situations where you are most vulnerable, such as when you are under police custody. In these situations, police must inform you precisely what those rights are.
In order for your Miranda rights to kick in:
- You must be in custody, and
- Police must be interrogating you
When Do You Have Miranda Rights?
In order for you to be “in custody” for purposes of Miranda, you must be either under arrest or police action is intimidating enough to make a reasonable person feel they are not free to leave, even if it’s in your own home.
The courts define interrogation as anything police ask you that would be likely to be incriminating. You might think police asking you “how much have you had to drink?” or “where are you coming from?” is likely to incriminate you if you have just left the bar after several drinks. That is why you aren’t legally obligated to answer those questions during a DUI stop. In fact, you should say as little as possible in this situation.
What Happens to Your Case if You Aren’t Read Your Miranda Rights?
If you are placed in custody and law enforcement officials have not advised you of your Miranda rights, the remedy under the law is that any statements you made cannot be used as evidence against you in court. So does that mean that your statements such as “I had a couple beers” or “I just came from the bar down the road” will be thrown out? Not necessarily.
The problem is that while you’re pulled over, you’re not in custody but police are merely investigating and trying to determine if there is any evidence of intoxication. Police are not required to advise you of your rights initially, including during field sobriety tests or before administering a Breathalyzer test.
However, that does not mean that you have to answer any police questions. The only thing you must do during a traffic stop is provide the officer with your license and registration; other than that, you should say as little as possible without coming across as acting defiant. It’s always a better idea to be polite as possible with police because they will treat you with more respect if you do.
If you are placed under arrest for DUI, that is when you should be read your rights. If you volunteer incriminating statements at this time but police did not advise you of your Miranda rights, then a skilled DUI defense lawyer could be able get those statements thrown out as evidence. Your case will likely not be dismissed, but prosecutors will have less evidence against you.
Call the DUI Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, you need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. If police failed to advise you of your Miranda rights, your attorney may have a good chance to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI defense lawyer available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.