“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
If you have ever watched an episode of Law & Order, (and really, who hasn't) then you have probably heard a suspect being read their Miranda warning or Miranda rights. Despite the popularity of Miranda warning scenes in television crime dramas, it is a common misconception that a California DUI case will be thrown out because of a failure to read the DUI suspect their Miranda rights after a DUI stop. In fact in most California DUI cases, Miranda is not a significant factor.
According to the United States Supreme Court: a confession that is the fruit of an interrogation after someone is arrested is not voluntary if the suspect does not know that he or she has the right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment. Only voluntary confessions are allowed as evidence. All suspects must be advised of their rights before a “custodial interrogation.” (Miranda v. Arizona)
Two things must occur before Miranda Rights come into play there must be a “custodial interrogation meaning; 1.) police custody of a suspect and, 2.) an interrogation.
Most of the questions asked during a California DUI arrest come in the course of the arrest, and before the DUI suspect is arrested. For example, “How many drinks have you had tonight? Such questions are not protected by Miranda as they are for investigatory purposes. The best course of action is to decline to answer such questions, whether they read you your Miranda rights or not. In addition, do not participate in any of the field sobriety exercises, such as walking in a line, as these tests are optional, unreliable, and designed for you to fail.
Best to keep it simple. Avoid any kind of self incrimination, state your wish to remain silent and retain a California DUI lawyer at the earlier possible opportunity.
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