Miranda Rights and DUI Cases in Georgia
Our office frequently receives calls from clients stating their DUI case should be dismissed because they were never read their Miranda rights. Miranda rights are actually warnings that police must give before they question someone after an arrest. Our Georgia DUI Lawyers will walk you through Miranda rights, when they apply, and how we can use that in your case. If you have other questions, contact our lawyers today!
What are Miranda Rights?
Miranda rights are actually not a right. They are warnings the police must read to people they arrest before they can interrogate them taken from the case Miranda v. Arizona. These rights arise from the protection against self-incrimination laid out in the Fifth Amendment. They apply in all cases, including DUI cases.
In Miranda, the Court ruled that someone being arrested must be advised of their constitutional rights whenever the following two conditions are met:
- The suspect is in custody and not free to leave, and
- The police wish to conduct a “custodial” (post-arrest) interrogation.
If the suspect is free to leave or is not being interrogated, the police do not have to give a warning. The test is whether a reasonable person in the same situation would have believed he/she could freely leave the interrogation.
What is Required in a Miranda Warning?
No specific words are required in order for a Miranda warning to be valid. Any words may be used as long as the driver's rights are clearly stated. A typical warning in a DUI or other criminal case is as follows:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say may be used against you in court.
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have him or her present with you while you are being questioned.
- If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you before any questioning if you wish.
Afterward, the police will usually ask whether the driver wishes to waive their Miranda rights and speak to them. A driver does not have to do so. A driver can invoke any of his or her rights at right at any time later—even if he or she has already started talking to the police.
How Do Miranda Rights Apply to Georgia DUI Cases?
There are only a few circumstances where a police officer would give a Miranda warning during a DUI investigation. DUI investigations consist of everything that occurs after a driver is stopped but before any DUI arrest is made. At this point, a driver is not ‘in custody”. Therefore, the police officer can ask questions without having to give the Miranda warning. During a DUI arrest, it is rare that Miranda warnings would be necessary.
Some examples of when Miranda warnings would apply include:
- If a person is legally arrested and then the DUI investigation begins, the Miranda warnings must be read. This could occur in a case where a person was arrested for hit and run and after arrest, the officer notices that the person may be impaired.
- If an officer sees drugs in the vehicle before a DUI investigation, Miranda must be read because the driver is going to be arrested.
- If a reasonable person believes they are not free to leave, Miranda needs to be read. This includes if police have blocked their car from moving or placed the accused in the patrol for an extended period of time.
Implied Consent Rights
While Miranda rights may not apply in every DUI case, everyone arrested for DUI in Georgia must be advised of their implied consent rights. A failure to correctly advise a person of their Implied Consent rights could give your Georgia DUI Lawyer defenses to use for your case.
Contact Our DUI Attorneys in Georgia Today if You have Questions About Miranda Rights
If you have been arrested in Georgia and think you should have been given a Miranda warning, contact our office today. Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call. Contact us today.