“Miranda rights” is interchangeable with the term “Miranda warnings” which serves as a warning officers give to people that have been pulled over. You might have heard something similar to, “You have the right to remain silent…” You can learn more about Miranda rights here.
What are Miranda Rights?
These rights come from an important case named “Miranda vs. Arizona” and results in the police being required to tell the suspect their rights before an interrogation. The court in Miranda sought to let every person under arrest be read their constitutional rights. Although the driver has the right to remain silent, without evoking this right to the officer, completely ignoring the questions can result in evidence of guilt and be used against you in the future during your trial.
What Happens Next?
In a DUI case, police officers are not required to read the suspect Miranda rights if they are continuing with a DUI investigation prior to an arrest or if they have arrested the driver but have yet to question them about the possible scenario in which led to the arrest. Once they begin asking incriminating questions, you should have already been read your Miranda rights.
If you believe your rights have been violated, you or your lawyer can file a motion to suppress the evidence. Given the judge accepts the motion, anything the driver said after your warning has the potential to be thrown out. This doesn’t mean that everything you said will disappear in court, only the statements during the time of your rights being violated will be suppressed. This can get tricky as you have to rely on memory and provide evidence of this happening to make it count. As the driver, you always have the right to remain silent, even if you have not been read your Miranda rights, but this could make the process longer than it originally was. By respecting the officer and cooperating, things have the chance to go smoothly but when suspects begin to act out or get frustrated from the tension or anxiety of being pulled over in the first place, it can get out of hand at times.
Here are some particular ways that your Miranda rights may have been violated:
- Police officer didn’t give any warnings.
- Started custodial interrogation before reading rights to suspect.
- Continued to ask the driver questions after requesting their right to remain silent.
- Officer continues to question the driver after their request for a lawyer.
- Officer threatened the suspect to get them to waive their Miranda rights.
Understanding Miranda rights can be difficult. In some cases, your Miranda rights may have been violated. In others, the police may have followed protocol. Any statements that occurred during a DUI investigation, on your own accord, or after you waive Miranda rights are still valid and can be used within your case. If you have questions about your Miranda rights and if they were violated, contact my office. I can review your situation and answer your questions.