Various misconceptions exist when it comes to the influence of Miranda
rights in a
DUI case. Some believe that if you are not read your rights, anything you
say cannot be used against you in a subsequent criminal case. Some people
believe that a Miranda warning must be given for any resulting DUI charges
to be considered valid.
Because every case is different depending on the circumstances surrounding a
DUI arrest and questioning, we have included basic information about Miranda rights
and DUI charges to dispel any confusion on the relationship between these
The Miranda warning, also referred to as Miranda rights or Miranda rule,
is a warning given to suspects in police custody. This warning is meant
to protect suspects from compelled self-incrimination under the Fifth
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
It was established in
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) in a Supreme Court decision which held that statements
made during police interrogation were only admissible at trial if the
defendant was informed of, and understood their right to remain silent
and consult with an attorney.
This is now a part of routine police procedure across the United States.
Though the wording may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the basic
outline of Miranda rights are as follows: “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.”
In California, police will add the following, or a similar statement: “Do
you understand these rights as I have read them to you? With these rights
in mind, do you wish to speak with me?”
Miranda Warning in a DUI Case
In California DUI cases, a Miranda warning must be issued if a driver is
taken into custody and interrogated. If you are
not arrested or are
not interrogated, and your Miranda rights are
not read to you, you are not necessarily protected against self-incrimination.
Your statements may only be inadmissible in court if you were not read
your Miranda rights and:
- You were taken into custody, and
- You were interrogated.
If you were taken into custody but were not interrogated (formally questioned)
after your arrest, and yet you made potentially incriminating statements,
the fact that you were not read your Miranda rights may not matter. The
same may apply if you were arrested and the officer proceeded to have
a "casual" conversation with you, and you made incriminating
statements. These may still be used against you even if you were not read
A ‘Failed Miranda Warning’ May Help You
A failed Miranda warning may affect the outcome of a DUI case if the driver
was taken into custody and interrogated without being read his or her
rights. If the driver made incriminating statements, these may be considered
It is important to note that
only the driver's statements would be inadmissible, not necessarily other evidence against the driver, such as breath or
blood test, field sobriety test results, or an officer's testimony
regarding the DUI defendant’s behavior etc.
The only way to effectively challenge DUI charges is to thoroughly investigate
the case and apply every possible defense on a driver's behalf. At
the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., we provide high quality defense
counsel in the face of complex DUI charges.
We understand how Miranda rights may influence a DUI case and can challenge
charges based off this or other strategies. For more information,
contact an Orange County DUI lawyer at our firm!