DUI and Miranda: What if you weren't read your rights?
Miranda Rights, you have heard it in movies over a hundred times:
You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to have a lawyer present during questioning, if you cannot afford a lawyer one will be appointed to represent you.
These are your Miranda Rights, also referred to as Miranda Warnings and must be read to you prior to be questions by a police officer in what’s called a “police custodial interrogation".
Should the Officer Have Read My Rights For a DUI Arrest?
Usually the answer is no, here is why: The goal of Miranda is to make sure that self-incriminating statements are not used against a person without that person first being warned of the law. Miranda only applies if a person is in police custody, which usually means they are in a police car, at a police station, or not free to leave.
For example, if a person is stopped by the police on the street and freely admits to the officer they are responsible for a murder then those statements can be used against that person in trial. If on the other hand that same person is stopped by police and taken to the station without being read Miranda and then questioned by an officer then anything the person says will not be admissible to be used against them in court.
In a situation with a drinking and driving charge the standard for a conviction is a .08 blood alcohol content. The evidence the officer will try to use against you will come from chemical testing. It’s hard to imagine a situation where a person would know that their blood alcohol level is over a .08 and could verbally admit to that. For that reason a statement of, “My blood alcohol is over .08" rarely happens and probably wouldn’t be accurate anyway. Drinking alcohol isn’t illegal, and drinking and driving isn’t illegal either. It’s only illegal to be over the .08 limit. A person cannot be convicted alone based on a statement that they had been drinking.
Additionally, courts will rarely conclude that a person is in custodial interrogation when being investigated for DUI at the scene, which means any statement made will come in and Miranda is not required. If however, that same person were to make admissions at the police station when questions by an officer than that statement should not come into court unless it was proceeded by Miranda.
Again, the problem is that Miranda does not apply to chemical testing, so statement or no statement, you have to be able to beat the chemical testing.
In most situations a DUI will be beaten on the grounds of fighting the stop made by the officer, the arrest, and the chemical testing.
Michigan DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI contact Michigan drinking and driving defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria. We have handled countless drinking and driving charges from misdemeanors to felonies with great results. Call use today for a free consultation (734) 453-7806.