DUI: What about my Miranda rights?

Question: The officer never read my Miranda rights when I was arrested for DUI. Does that get me out of my DUI? I’ve heard that if the cop doesn’t read you your rights they have to let you go. Now I need a local DUI lawyer.

T.M. in Johns Creek, Georgia

Answer: Unlike in movies, on T.V. and in books, the Miranda rule is complex. The doctrine stems from the United States Supreme Court case of Miranda vs. Arizona.

Simply put, the answer is no, police officers are only required to read your Miranda rights in limited circumstances. These rights apply only after a person has been taken into custody, but before interrogation. If you are arrested for DUI, officers do not have to read your Miranda right unless they plan to interrogate you after the arrest.

And these rights also do not apply before the arrest is made. Before you are actually in custody, anything said can be used against you in court. The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution grants you the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself during a DUI arrest and the booking process.

In the case of a DUI arrest, all sobriety testing is voluntary, though the officer will hardly ever tell you this. You cannot be forced to incriminate yourself. In Georgia, the officer should have read you an Implied Consent notice in order to request a breath or blood test. You do not have to be informed of your Miranda rights before deciding whether to submit or refuse a breath or blood test. Also, you are not entitled to speak to an attorney before making this decision.

But beware, a refusal to take a breath or blood test can end in suspension of your license with no permits available to you. You only have ten business days after your DUI arrest to appeal your license suspension, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

However, Miranda rights do apply to any crimes found after the arrest for DUI. For example, an officer would need to read your Miranda rights before he/she questions you about drugs found in your car after an arrest.

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Both Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman are local criminal defense lawyers who have the experience that can really help you, having served as a judge and a prosecutor.

After you get arrested, just call us. We’re here for you 24/7. Our phone number is 678-712-8561.

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