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Miranda Warnings in DUI

Everyone knows the lines “You have the right to remain silent…” but how do Miranda right function with driving under the influence (DUI) charges? Statements made during or after arrest can be used against you in a court of law, so it’s important that you exercise your right to remain silent during a DUI arrest.

Miranda warnings serve to protect United States citizens from self-incrimination and are incredibly important in a DUI case. If your arresting officer never read your Miranda warnings, the evidence used against you may be inadmissible.

If you wish to invoke your right to remain silent, you can simply say “I want to invoke my right to remain silent. I want to speak to an attorney and I am not answering any questions.” Officers will likely still question you, but you can choose not to answer. Don’t say another word to authorities. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today at Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy.

DUI Attorney for Miranda Warnings in Melbourne, Florida

Were you arrested recently for a DUI? Did your arresting officer fail to read your Miranda warnings to you? If so, it’s possible that the evidence gathered could be proven inadmissible in court. Don’t let invalid evidence through the courtroom. Call the attorney at Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy today.

The attorney at Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy have a strong focus in criminal defense, especially DUI. We have represented countless DUI cases in Florida’s justice system. We are well aware of the logistics of your constitutional rights. Our attorney will strive to fight for you through quality legal service today.

Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy accepts clients throughout the greater Melbourne area including Titusville, Palm Bay, Cocoa, Cape Canaveral and Satellite Beach.

Call now at (321) 248-7742 to schedule a free consultation.

Overview of Miranda Warnings in Florida

  • How Do Miranda Rights Work?
  • Miranda Rights and DUI Stops
  • What if My Officer Didn’t Read My Miranda Warnings?
  • Motion to Suppress Statements in Violation of Miranda
  • Additional Resources

How Do Miranda Rights Work in Florida?

Police officers are required to read a person’s Miranda warnings during an arrest. Many know about Miranda warnings, but few understand how they work. Miranda warnings is a reminder of your constitutional rights. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states:

“No person … shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…”

These rights remind U.S. citizens that their statements can be used against them in court. Most people talk after they’ve been arrested or received a warning from a police officer. If you are not well-versed in criminal law, you may say something that could incriminate you.

Police officers are required to state your Miranda warnings during an arrest. If you don’t hear these words you were never given your Miranda warnings.

“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 appointed to you. Do you understand each of these rights I have explained to you? Having these rights in mind, do you wish to talk to us now?”

Whether you’re guilty or not, it’s imperative that you remain silent. Simple statements that you thought were harmless could be used against you. It’s not uncommon for police officers to use compelling tactics to get you to talk. They could offer you food or drinks, intimidate you by threatening to press charges or make suggestive statements.

What Are My Miranda Rights for a DUI Stop?

Being pulled over for an alleged DUI can be terrifying. You may be intimidated by your police officer or just generally nervous from the stop. You must remember that you do have rights when you’re pulled over for a DUI. During a DUI stop you can:

  • Invoke your Fifth Amendment privilege and not answer any questions;
  • Refuse to take any field sobriety tests;
  • Refuse to take any chemical tests; and
  • Refuse an officer’s request to search your vehicle or person.

It’s important to note, if you refuse chemical testing you may have your license suspended. Florida has a set of laws called implied consent laws. Under this section of the law, if you drive on Florida roads you are implicitly agreeing to chemical testing by law enforcement.

Failure to submit to testing may lead to an administrative license suspension penalty for up to 12 months. You have 10 days to file an administrative license suspension hearing to combat your administrative suspension. Although you may face a legal issue, handling a license suspension case is much easier than DUI charges.

My Officer Didn’t Read My Miranda Rights

It’s a common question; “What if my arresting officer didn’t read my Miranda warnings?” In some cases, it may be beneficial to the defendant if an officer failed to read Miranda warnings. The court may deem the evidence gathered during the arrest inadmissible under the Miranda exclusionary rule. However, it’s important to note that an officer isn’t required to read your Miranda warnings until you’re arrested.

The Miranda exclusionary rule only applies if the statement fits all six conditions listed below:

  • The evidence was from the alleged offender;
  • The evidence was a testimonial;
  • The evidence was attained in police custody;
  • The evidence was given through interrogation or questioning;
  • The interrogation or questioning was by law enforcement or those who work on behalf of law enforcement; and
  • The evidence is offered by the prosecution during a criminal case.

Most evidence collected by law enforcement during a DUI stop is done before an arrest. Statements made at the beginning of the stop and during DUI testing are typically the most utilized evidence in court. It may be beneficial for you to invoke your Fifth Amendment right before an arrest. If you stay silent, then you won’t unknowingly provide law enforcement with evidence against you.

Motion to Suppress Statements in Florida

Hiring a skilled attorney can significantly increase your chances of reducing or dropping your DUI charges. An attorney can use resources and their legal knowledge to help you navigate the case. One of these tactics is filing motions to suppress evidence. This includes statements taken in violation of Miranda warnings.

A skilled attorney can file a motion to suppress statements taken in violation of Miranda. This is incredibly beneficial because if the motion passes the statements you made won’t used in court. The jury will never hear these incriminating statements and the prosecution will lose a huge component to their case.

If the motion is filed, then you attorney will attend a motion to suppress hearing. This hearing will determine if the statements were incriminating. The following are the rules of the court on who has the burden of proof in a suppressed statement hearing.

  • The defense must establish:
    • That the defendant was in police custody and the statements were made in response to a criminal interrogation; and
    • The defendant asserted their right to remain silent or obtain legal counsel.
  • The prosecution must prove that:
    • The custody was lawful; and
    • The defendant’s statements were taken after they were given their Miranda warnings and the defendant gave a valid waiver to those rights; and/or
    • The defendant initiated a new conversation with law enforcement about the DUI and the officers gave Miranda warnings which were waived.

Additional Resources

MirandaWarning.Org – Visit the official website of MirandaWarning.Org to learn more about your Miranda rights. Find more information on Miranda rights issues, when you can invoke your Fifth Amendment right and a Miranda Warning script that you can download.

Miranda v. Arizona – Visit the official website for the United States courts to learn more about the case of Miranda v. Arizona. Read more about Ernesto Miranda, who was arrested at his home and taken by police. Miranda was interrogated by two police officers for hours and signed a written confession as a result. However, Miranda’s defense attorney asserted that the evidence not be used since Miranda wasn’t aware of his rights to an attorney. At the trial, his statements were read to the jury which ended with him being sentenced to 20-30 years for rape and kidnapping. The case was appealed, and the Supreme Court of Arizona reaffirmed its decision saying that Miranda rights weren’t violated since the defendant didn’t request counsel.

Lawyer for DUI Miranda Rights in Melbourne, Florida

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, it’s essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent now. Any statement you make can and most likely will be used against you. Don’t let law enforcement compel you into making self-incriminating statements.

The attorney at Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy has years of experience in Florida’s justice system. We have defended many clients from DUI charges using our knowledge and resources. Additionally, we are skilled at filing evidence suppression motions. Don’t hesitate when it comes to your future. Call the attorney at Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy now at (321) 248-7742.

Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy defends clients throughout the greater Brevard County area and surrounding areas including Indian River County and Volusia County.