With the dearth of shows on television which portray police officers and court scenes most all of us have heard of the Miranda warning and have at least some level of knowledge regarding Miranda. On June 13, 1966, the Supreme Court handed down the now-landmark Miranda v. Arizona case which clearly established that all criminal suspects must be fully advised of their rights prior to the interrogation. The Miranda decision hails back to March of 1963 when a young woman told police she had been abducted and raped and her description of the car and license plate caused the police to bring in Ernesto Miranda for questioning in the matter.
The young woman did not identify Miranda in the line-up, yet he was nevertheless brought into custody and interrogated, with police officers leaving the interrogation with a full confession which Miranda later renounced. Even though Miranda’s original confession differed substantially from the victim’s account of the crime, his own defense attorney declined to call any witnesses at trial and Miranda was subsequently convicted. As a result of this case, every person who is under arrest must be informed of his or her rights.
In case you are not much of a television watcher, the Miranda warning says—in the abbreviated version—that the suspect has the right to remain silent, and should they choose not to remain silent anything they say will be used against them in a court of law. Further, Miranda states that the suspect has the right to an attorney, and that if they are unable to afford an attorney one will be appointed for them by the court.
Miranda Following an Arrest
Once you have been placed under arrest for DUI, the officer absolutely must read you your Miranda rights if they plan on using any statement you make against you. This is an important distinction—Miranda applies only from the instant you are placed under arrest, however while the officer is determining whether or not he has probable cause to arrest you, he is not required to read you your Miranda warning and can ask questions of you freely. Because of this seeming discrepancy in the law, many DUI prosecutors have begun to train police officers to gather as many incriminating answers as they possibly can during the pre-arrest phase.
In other words, if the officer asks you if you have been drinking before he decides to formally arrest you, your answer can later be admissible in court and will surely be used against you, even though you were not under arrest and had not been Mirandized. Further, even though it is obvious that once you are handcuffed you are surely under arrest, some police officers will delay reading you your Miranda rights. The reason for this is because in most states across the nation you do not have the right to speak with a lawyer prior to deciding whether to take a breath or blood test. The odds are greater that you will cooperate and submit to the chemical test if you don’t have the opportunity to speak to a lawyer, and the police officer definitely wants you to talk as much as possible before he has to read you your rights.
Requesting a Miranda Hearing
If you are facing a DUI conviction and you feel you were not properly advised of your rights, your attorney can request a Miranda hearing where the prosecutor has the burden to prove your Miranda rights were read to you, you fully understood them, and that you specifically waived your rights, voluntarily making statements and answering questions. The prosecutor is charged with proving that not only did you understand your rights and waive them voluntarily but that you did so knowingly and intelligently as well. If you have been arrested you should absolutely contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately, and even more so if your arresting officer did not read you your Miranda rights. It is critical that you have an advocate in your corner during this time of your life to help you through the process and do their best to safeguard your future.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Kansas, an experienced Kansas DUI defense lawyer may be able to help. Kansas DUI defense attorney Stacey Schlimmer aggressively defends those arrested for drug or alcohol impaired driving in Johnson County and the surrounding areas of Kansas. Our Kansas criminal defense law firm offers a confidential free consultation for DUI so call us today at (913) 341.0484 or contact us online.