The cops just arrested you in Orange County, CA,and never read you your rights. How can that be? We’ve all seen how on television the Right to Remain Silent is rushed through and said by the cops through clenched teeth just as they are slapping the cuffs on the suspect. Everyone has to get their Miranda Rights read to them, don’t they? Not so fast…
Many times the police don’t even ask a suspect any questions. If they aren’t questioning you, then the police don’t need to advise you of anything. In fact, if you want to just start talking and the police aren’t asking any questions then everything you just volunteered is coming into evidence like a freight train running you over in a blur.
The police don’t have to give you your Miranda Rights unless they are interrogating you and you are in custody. If both of these requirements aren’t met then Miranda simply doesn’t apply.
What happens if you are arrested for a DUI? You are stopped by the police, you are taken out of your car, you’re certainly not free to go, and you are being questioned about how much you have had to drink, where and when you’ve been drinking, and a whole host of questions that obviously incriminate you! Surely, you have to be given your Miranda Rights, and if you aren’t then nothing you said can be used against you, right? Wrong.
The Supreme Court has ruled quite clearly that even though you aren’t free to go and even though you are being interrogated, you don’t have to be given your Miranda warnings in a DUI situation. Believe it or not, you haven’t been arrested in the strictest sense of the word so Miranda doesn’t apply in a DUI investigation until you have been arrested! Of course, by then you have probably given them everything they want to know.
However, sometimes there are areas that can and do require Miranda and the admission of those statements you gave can mean the difference between conviction and going free. A good defense lawyer can find those violations of Miranda and other defenses which can mean the difference between winning and losing. Don’t go into court without your best defense, a good criminal defense lawyer. He can make all the difference.