If you were arrested following a field sobriety test, then some of your Constitutional rights begin to kick in. Among those protections are the Miranda Rights. Miranda Rights are not explicitly permitted or required by the Constitution. Instead, the Supreme Court added these as rights following a 1966 decision. The Court required these rights in response to a disturbing trend of police not respecting criminal suspects’ rights. This article will go over those rights and how they could impact your case.
If you are pulled over a DUI and arrested, the arresting officer must follow specific protocol before he can ask you questions. The officer must:
- Tell you that you have the right to remain silent.
- That if you chose to speak, what you say can be used as evidence against you.
- That you have the right to counsel.
- If you cannot afford counsel, then the court will appoint one to represent you.
If the officer does not say some variation of these phrases, then he violated your rights.
If your rights are violated, then anything you say to the police could be excluded from evidence against you. But it isn’t that easy. First, the officer must question you after arresting you and before reading you your rights. So, if you are arrested and you aren’t read your rights immediately but you also aren’t questioned, then your rights were not violated.
When and how your rights are read to you is critical to determine when or if they were violated. Unfortunately, for drunk drivers, this presents opportunities for the police to skirt your rights. In these situations, you are the only one that can defend your rights.
If you were arrested for on a drunken driving charge, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. These charges can often hinge on the arresting officer following proper procedure and respecting your rights. When you speak to your attorney, be as detailed as possible. The slightest detail could change your case.