Will statements I make during a DUI arrest be used at trial?
In the seminal case of Miranda v. Arizona, the United States Supreme Court held that suspects being detained must be informed of their rights before being subjected to police interrogation. Your Miranda rights are said to stem from the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which provides that suspects have a right against self-incrimination, along with the Sixth Amendment which solidifies that right of a criminal defendant to have an attorney. If you have been stopped and arrested for a DUI, it is important to recognize what precisely your Miranda rights are and whether the arresting officer has properly explained these rights to you prior to questioning.
What Are Your Miranda Rights?
Your Miranda Rights are defined in the case of Miranda v. Arizona. Since this initial case on the matter, several other cases have gone on to continue to hone precisely what language should be read to criminal defendants before they can be lawfully questioned. It is commonly accepted that your 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 addition to being read your Miranda rights, you must be asked whether you understand these rights and whether you wish to speak to the officer. This is known as a valid waiver of your rights.
When Do They Apply?
There are many misconceptions as to when exactly your Miranda rights apply. Officers are only required to read you your Miranda rights when you have been taken into custody. This typically means when you have been arrested. As such, the officer who stopped you is not required to read you your rights before conducting an investigation. The officer can validly ask you for your name, registration, and some questions about where you are coming from without the need to read your Miranda rights. However, you are under no obligation to answer questions coming from the officer who stopped you aside from identifying yourself.
What Happens If You Are Not Read Your Miranda Rights?
If you are interrogated and make an incriminating statement, your attorney will assist you in closely investigating whether you were read and validly waived your Miranda rights prior to making the statement. Should your attorney uncover evidence that you were not read your full rights or did not definitively waive them, he or she can move to have all statements you made suppressed. This means that your statements will not be admissible in court.