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Will I win my DUI case if the officer didn't read me my rights?

Miranda rights are something most people can quote from watching police shows and courtroom dramas. Unfortunately, there are some misunderstandings about when these rights are required and what happens if a police officer does not read your Miranda rights before making an arrest.

It is important to understand your Constitutional rights in a DUI arrest and what it may mean for your case when the police don't follow the rules. If you have any questions about Miranda rights in a DUI case, you should contact an experienced East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What happens if I was arrested by the police didn't read my Miranda rights?

The police do not always have to read a suspect their “Miranda” rights when making a DUI arrest in California. A Miranda warning tells suspects about their rights to a lawyer and their rights against self-incrimination before an interrogation.

If the police don't read a DUI suspect their Miranda warning and arrest them without any interrogation, there is likely no violation of the suspect's rights. However, if the police don't “Mirandize” the suspect and then proceed to interrogate them, this may be a violation of the suspect's constitutional rights.

It may not be clear to the individual at the time if the police are interrogating them or not. It depends, in part, on whether the individual is in custody and not free to leave. Asking questions at this point may be considered a custodial interrogation. Initial questions during a traffic stop may be considered custodial.

Why don't police always give a Miranda warning in a DUI arrest?

The police generally use custodial interrogation to get information from a suspect. This may include information about what the suspect was doing before the police took the individual into custody. However, questioning a suspected drunk driver may not be necessary to prosecute the suspect.

Most of the evidence in a DUI case can be gathered from the police officer's observations and a chemical test. The police can observe that the suspect was driving or in control of the vehicle. The police can observe other signs of suspected alcohol or drug use, including the smell of alcohol, impaired movement, or open containers in the vehicle. This is generally enough to provide probable cause to arrest a suspect.

Once arrested, the police generally take a blood or breath test. The chemical test results can show whether the driver had alcohol and/or drugs in their system. Together, this may be enough evidence to prosecute the case without having to interrogate the suspect.

What if I can't remember if the police read my Miranda rights?

During a stressful situation, like a DUI arrest, you may not remember exactly what happened. You may not remember whether the police read you your rights, questioned you after an arrest, or if you volunteered information after an arrest.

In this situation, you may want to contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer. They have experience investigating DUI arrests and can determine what evidence the police have, what the arrest report says, and if there is any video/audio evidence related to the arrest.

What do the police have to say during a Miranda warning?

A Miranda warning requires the suspect to be advised of their rights. The police often give a memorized version of the warning, but they are not technically required to read give the specific language we are familiar with.

Miranda warnings generally advise an individual that they:

  • Have the right to remain silent;
  • Anything they say can be used against them in court;
  • Have the right to an attorney present when questioned; and
  • If they cannot afford an attorney, one may be appointed.

My friend said if the police don't read you your Miranda warnings, you will automatically win your case…

Criminal cases are not that simple. Even in situations where the police didn't give the proper warnings in violation of the suspect's rights, the prosecutor and defense attorney may have to fight that battle in court. 

You may also not want to rely on what someone else says when you are facing jail time, fines, and a criminal record. Each case is different and should be handled by someone with experience dealing with drunk driving arrests in the local area, who understands the judges, prosecutors, and police officers involved.

East Bay DUI Defense Lawyer

Experienced East Bay criminal defense attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 30 years experience handling DUI cases in California and understands how to fight for clients when the police don't follow the rules. Challenging illegally gained evidence and admissions can help win your case and avoid a criminal conviction and driving restrictions. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

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