Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Miranda Rights admonition is usually voluntary in California DUI cases and not usually given by the cop

Folks arrested for a California DUI often wonder how important it was for the cop to read Miranda Rights.

The answer by most any California DUI attorney is simple:

The admonition is usually voluntary in California DUI cases and not usually given.

Here's why:

During the investigative stage, the California DUI officer has no obligation to advise one of the person of Miranda rights (to an attorney, to remain silent).

In California DUI cases, the officer asks all the questions before arresting (handcuffing), thereby avoiding the issue of having to advise. The person does not have to answer any questions but the person usually does.

Normally not until handcuffed is the need for the California Miranda Rights Admonition triggered.

And by that time, the California officer normally has all the answers to all the questions needed to arrest for California DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol.

After that, the California officer abstains from questioning during custody.

It is not like the officer takes the person downtown and puts them under a hot light: Did you commit a California DUI?

And in DUI cases, the person has no right to speak to a California DUI or criminal defense attorney before deciding whether to take the required breath or blood test (it's called the "implied consent" law when one signs up for one's license).

In sum, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney are substantially different in a California DUI case.

Caveat: Nonetheless, any interrogating statements made after taken into custody -(e.g. in the police car:
Cop: "Were you drunk?"
Person: "Yes, I was very drunk")
- may not be used against the person at California drunk driving trial and are subject to suppression (exclusion) or failure to admonish.

If you need a California DUI criminal defense attorney on your side, obtain a free consultation online.