Learn how Miranda warnings work in DUI cases.
Everybody has heard the term Miranda and most people are familiar with the refrain:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
The officer must read you these rights before arresting you. If you are facing a DUI, you should request a Miranda hearing. The prosecutor must prove that your Mirandized properly. They must prove you had a clear understanding and that you waived them.
In DUI motions hearing that combine multiple issues, a skillful DUI defense lawyer can use one issue to gain an advantage in another. For example, in a case where reasonable suspicion and probable cause are issues along with Miranda, the officer will have to justify when he formed a reasonable belief that you were DUI.
As an example, if an officer waits to arrest you until all tests are complete, he will have a hard time claiming that he had probable cause. Because of the competing concerns, it then becomes very possible for a skilled DUI defense lawyer to make the officer say that he didn't form probable cause until after the last field test was done. This is especially problematic when the officer does the HGN (eye) test first, as it is widely considered to be the most reliable of the field sobriety tests.
On the other hand, if the police officer reads you Miranda warnings before the field tests, then it will be difficult to justify doing the tests after that. What purpose do they serve if the officer already had probable cause?
Did the officer read the Miranda right? Were you under arrest at that point?
The arrest is official with placement of handcuffs. There is no doubt about that. Some DUI police officers will wait until after arrest. This is perfectly legal under most circumstances.
Prosecutors like police officers to delay giving Miranda because there is no right to talk with an attorney before deciding whether to take DUI tests. In this type of state, the odds of you cooperating and giving the officer the chemical test they want are must greater if you don't "lawyer up" first. The reading of Miranda is to make people think about their rights. If you consider your rights before you take the police officers chemical test, why would you cooperate and take it without first asking a DUI attorney?
Police officers know they must read miranda after arrest. More and more officers are not reading them directly after you give the chemical test. That way, you are more likely to talk because you have already given your blood, breath or urine (which is presumably going to be the most incriminating piece of evidence). You'll see the light at the end of the tunnel. You will start to believe that just by answering the officer's questions, release is possible. Some officers even imply or tell you this.
Are Miranda motions worth bringing?
The answer to this question will depend on the individual facts of your case. If there are statements that are damaging to your case, knock them out. As with any litigation, you never know what is going to happen until you try it.
Bring Miranda and other motions together with counsel serving your best interest.