If you watch a lot of police shows on television, you've probably seen officers reading Miranda rights to suspects in custody. However, not receiving your Miranda rights won’t necessarily get your DUI charge thrown out.
About Miranda Rights
Miranda rights have been used in the United States since 1966. The name comes from the Miranda v. Arizona Supreme Court decision. This case involved a man who alleged his rights were violated during his trial for armed robbery, kidnapping, and rape.
Miranda rights do not need to be read in any particular order or include specific wording. However, they must convey the following key points:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you.
- You have the right to consult with an attorney and to have your attorney present during questioning.
- If you qualify as indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost.
After you've been read your rights, you must state that you understand what the statements mean before questioning can continue.
What This Means for Your DUI
Miranda rights don't apply to preliminary questioning before you're arrested. Additionally, a police officer doesn't need to read you your rights immediately after your arrest.
If you've been stopped for suspicion of a DUI, your answers to the initial questions used to determine sobriety can be used as evidence even if you didn't receive a Miranda warning. This includes answers to questions such as, "Have you been drinking alcohol?" or "How many drinks did you have tonight?"
Miranda rights only apply after you've been taken into custody. If you were not given a Miranda warning at this time, evidence obtained can't be used in court.
Building an Aggressive DUI Defense
If you believe your statements made following a DUI stop should be inadmissible because you weren't read your Miranda rights, you should seek the assistance of a skilled DUI attorney immediately. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review with Virginia DUI attorney Charles V. Hardenbergh.