Miranda Rights and DWI
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“You have the right to remain silent.” Everyone has heard these words known as Miranda Rights. If you’re lucky, you’ve only heard them on TV and in movies. However, a lot pf people get to hear them during a DWI arrest.
What are Miranda rights?
Miranda rights come from Miranda vs. Arizona (1966), when the Supreme Court ruled a person under arrest is entitled to:
- Rights against self-discrimination
- Right to have an attorney.
These rights derive from the 5th and 6th Amendments of the United States Constitution.
Since then, in the United States, any person in police custody has the right to remain silent. The Miranda warning, also known as Miranda rights, is given by police to advise suspects of their right to refuse to answer questions or provide information to law enforcement officials during an interrogation.
While the exact wording of the Miranda warning varies between jurisdictions, it will always include a variation of the following statements:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can 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.
Does Miranda Apply During a DWI?
If the police don’t need statements to prove a case, they don’t need to question you. In most drunk driving cases, your behavior combined with a breath or blood test, no further statements are necessary. However, in more serious cases with bodily injury (intoxication assault) or death (intoxication manslaughter), the police will question you. If they do, then they must first read you Miranda rights.
Police Forget to Read You Your Miranda Rights?
If your arresting officer did not read you your rights, information gathered during your arrest will not be admissible in court. However, any conversation prior to you detainment is admissible. This is “voluntary assistance.” In this situation, the lack of Miranda rights will not protect you.