Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey

Miranda warnings as they relate to DUI cases

Miranda warnings are an integral component of the justice system. It is a warning police officers provide to suspects of crimes to inform them of their rights. Police read it to everyone from DUI offenders to teenagers who threaten relatives with a knife because they did not get enough tomatoes. 

Following a DUI arrest, police should read the driver his or her Miranda rights. This includes the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present and the right to have an attorney provided for you in the event you cannot afford one. Anyone arrested for DUI should be aware of these rights and how to invoke them. 

Invoking the right to remain silent

The right to remain silent applies even before an officer arrests you. When a cop pulls you over, they only suspect you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You must cooperate to an extent and provide your name and show your driver's license and registration. However, some officers ask questions like, "Did you have anything to drink tonight?" You do not have to answer this question. In this case, you should politely decline to answer by informing the officer of your right. 

This also extends to taking field sobriety tests. When the officer asks you to step out of the car, you can politely refuse to do so. You can also refuse a cop's request to search your vehicle unless the officer has a warrant present. 

Invoking the right to an attorney

In the event the officer arrests you and takes you into custody, you have the right to an attorney. While at the station, cops may ask you questions. You can refuse to answer until your lawyer arrives. If the officers continue trying to interrogate you without a lawyer, then it is a violation of your constitutional rights. 

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