Miranda Warnings | My Rights

By | December 12, 2013

Miranda Warnings | My Rights

I was stopped for a DUI. The officer approached my car and asked me if I had been drinking. I said I was drinking. Then I was taken out of the car, given a field sobriety test, and arrested. Then the officer started asking me all kinds of questions about how much I had to drink, where I was coming from, how much I had to eat, when the last time I had a drink, etc. I was not read my rights at any point. Don’t I have a right to get Miranda Warnings before I am questioned?

Yes and No.

You only get your rights if the police officer is performing “custodial interrogation.” Many other rules apply to Miranda and to “my rights” questions, but the best way to make a simple analysis of the situation and the likelihood of winning a motion to suppress a statement is based on custodial interrogation.

Obviously, the judge who hears your Motion to Suppress is super important as well, because all judges can have a different interpretation of the facts in the motion.

However, to make a proper analysis, first ask if you were in custody? When you were first pulled over at the scene, you were not in custody. While you may not have been free to leave, under the current Driving Under the Influence case law in Pennsylvania, you would not be deemed to be in custody. However, after you were under arrest, you were definitely in custody.

As for interrogation, any time the officer asks you a question, you are deemed to be interrogated. In this case, you are being interrogated both at the time of the stop and after the arrest.

Most judges would rule that at the time of the initial stop, you were not custody, so the question of were you drinking, and the answer yes, should not be suppressed. However, after you were arrested, any statements you made should be suppressed because you were not given Miranda Warnings i.e. My Rights.

Miranda Warnings

Miranda Warnings

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