DUI Attorney: Miranda Rights
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After 15 years as an Orange County DUI attorney, one of the most common complaints I hear from people after a DUI arrest is that the arresting officer never read them their Miranda rights. After all, if television has taught us anything about our justice system it is that the police must read us our Miranda rights when we are arrested. So how can someone be arrested for DUI and never be advised of their Miranda rights?

Miranda Warning Not Required Unless There Is “Custodial Interrogation”

Well, much to the chagrin of Newport Beach DUI attorneys, according to the United States Supreme Court, Miranda warnings do not have to be given until there is “custodial interrogation”. This means that the defendant is formally arrested and in custody, (in handcuffs or in the police station), or the circumstances are such that a reasonable person would believe that they have been arrested, and the police are asking them questions. Thus, says the Supreme Court, when someone is merely “detained”, such as for a traffic stop or a DUI investigation, the officer doesn’t need to give Miranda warnings until after the DUI arrest. (Stansbury v. California (1994) 511 U.S. 318)

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Questioning During A DUI Investigation

Any Mission Viejo DUI attorney will tell you that when a police officer stops a driver and  smells alcohol, or otherwise suspects the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (drug DUI), the cop will begin a DUI investigation.  This investigation usually begins with the question “have you had anything to drink tonight?” This question puts the driver in a very awkward position. After all, nobody wants to incriminate themselves by answering “yes”. Nor do they want to appear guilty by requesting their Huntington Beach DUI attorney before answering any questions—which, of course, is probably the best thing to do. Moreover, if the cop is asking you this question, he or she probably already knows the answer and suspects that he or she will soon be making another DUI arrest.

In the next stage of a DUI investigation the cop asks the driver a series of questions that are pre-printed on a form. These questions are designed to incriminate the driver and to prevent the driver’s Irvine DUI attorney from using a “rising defense” in court after a DUI arrest. The questions deal directly with the “rising defense” (see previous blog) by locking in answers to what the driver drank and ate, when the driver drank and ate it. And how much the driver drank and ate. Essentially, the questions ask the driver for a complete confession to be used against them in their DUI prosecution in the Orange County court. These questions should never be answered without consulting with your Garden Grove DUI attorney first.

Because this questioning occurs BEFORE the driver is put in handcuffs and formally arrested, the Supreme Court says that the answers can be used against the driver even though the driver was never advised of their right to remain silent or have their Rancho Santa Margarita DUI attorney present. However, once the driver is handcuffed, the officer must advise the driver of their Miranda rights before any more questioning. Of course, by this point, the police usually feel they have all they need to prosecute the driver for DUI.

Free Telephonic Consultation With An Orange County DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI call The Law Office of EJ Stopyro at (949) 559-5500 for a free and confidential telephonic consultation with an experienced San Juan Capistrano DUI attorney. You can also visit our website at www.ejesquire.com. Our main office is located at 32072 Camino Capistrano, 2nd floor, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. However, we have meeting offices throughout the county.

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