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Does a person get a phone call if arrested and put in jail for public intoxication if he is 18 years old?

Centreville, VA |

My son was walking home from a party back to his dorm room when a police officer stopped him and asked him if he had been drinking. He asked if he had been drinking and my son said no but then the officer said, "I can smell it on you" and my son said maybe a few. The police man then made him take the breathalizer test and it was 2.0 so he arrested him without reading him his rights. He was then handcuffed behind his back and taken to jail and when he arrived there, he asked if he got a phone and and the officer told him no.

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Attorney answers 1

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Virginia law does not require jail personnel to allow people who have been arrested to make a phone call upon arrival at the jail. You stated that your son blew a 2.0 on a preliminary breath test, but that is likely incorrect. It is possible that he blew a 0.02 if he had a small amount of ethanol in his system, or a 0.20 if he had a large quantity of ethanol in his system - but a 2.0 result cannot be correct. Lastly, you mentioned that your son was not read his rights when he was arrested, so I want to briefly explain why that happened. Although it always happens on tv immediately upon arrest, officers are never actually required to read the Miranda warnings. Simply stated, if officers interrogate someone who is in custody without advising the person of the Miranda warnings, the answers cannot be used at trial. In cases such as this, there is no need to interrogate the person after the person is taken into custody, so the concept of Miranda warnings doesn't really factor into the equation. I hope you find this helpful.

T. Kevin Wilson, Esq.
The Wilson Law Firm
DUI & Criminal Defense…When Results Matter
9300 Grant Avenue
Suite 301
Manassas, Virginia 20110

Telephone 703-361-6100
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Web: www.TheWilsonLawFirm.org

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Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

For a FREE copy of the Virginia DUI / DWI Arrest Survival Guide: The Guilt Myth, a consumer guide written by a nationally recognized Virginia DUI Defense Lawyer, visit www.TheWilsonLawFirm.org.

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