What You Need To Know About Miranda Rights and DUI Stops

One of the top questions people have after being stopped for drunk driving is whether police have to read Miranda rights for a DUI. There are specific circumstances in which law-enforcement officials are required to read Miranda rights. Otherwise, the defendant’s constitutional rights may have been violated. 

If your constitutional rights are violated, you may be able to get the DUI charges against you dismissed or dropped entirely. Having an experienced DUI attorney working on your case is crucial if you hope to protect your future, Miranda rights, and other constitutional rights. With that in mind, here is more about some of the most important details you should know about DUI stops and Miranda rights.

What are Miranda Rights?

A Miranda warning (more commonly known as Miranda rights) is a right to silence given by police to a suspect during criminal proceedings. Miranda rights allow you to invoke your 5th Amendment right to avoid accidentally incriminating yourself by making statements that can be used against you later in a court of law. 

While most people are familiar with the basic concept of what a Miranda warning is, many do not realize when these warnings protect them during a DUI stop. Watch the video below to learn about a few common misconceptions regarding Miranda Rights, then continue reading below for deeper insight into the subject.

Some drivers believe that they can avoid a DUI charge if the police officer who arrested them didn’t first give them a Miranda warning when they’re pulled over. While drunk driving attorneys in Montgomery County, PA know that police officers may fail to read suspects their rights after arrest, the reading of Miranda rights is not required until after you’re arrested.

What Happens When You Are Stopped For a Suspected DUI?

When a police officer pulls you over, they may ask you questions to determine whether you’re impaired or not. Though you are under no obligation to answer these questions, the officer is not legally required to read you your Miranda rights until an arrest has been made. The officer must inform you when you are under arrest, and the officer may arrest you for failing to comply with questioning if they believe that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Additionally, Miranda rights violations only apply to statements. Even if your Miranda rights are violated after arrest, other evidence that you may have been driving while intoxicated may come up in court proceedings. Examples of this type of evidence can include: 

  • Failure to pass a roadside sobriety test
  • The presence of alcohol or drugs in your system while on the road
  • Poor driving

A Miranda rights violation may weaken the state’s case against you, but you should not count on this violation to clear all of your charges.

How to Defend Yourself Against DUI Allegations 

Since you may not always be able to rely on Miranda rights violations to clear your name of the DUI allegations against you, it is crucial to go over potential defense options with your DUI attorney. This way, you can figure out which options are most likely to produce a favorable outcome. 

In some instances, entering a pretrial diversion program may be in your best interests. This will allow you to avoid going to trial and potentially get the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed entirely. However, pretrial diversion programs are typically only available for individuals who have been charged as first-time offenders of non-violent offenses. This means if you have a criminal record, including DUIs, or anyone was injured or killed due to a drunk driving crash you are accused of causing, you may not be eligible for pretrial diversion. 

Instead, you will need to consider your defense options. There are multiple defenses that are frequently used to challenge DUI accusations in Pennsylvania. Some of the most common and effective defenses include:

  • Challenging the administration or accuracy of field sobriety tests, which can be easily influenced by drowsiness, difficult terrain, and certain medical conditions, and are often subjective. Drivers have the authority to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test without implication, unlike implied consent laws which require motorists to give their consent to chemical blood alcohol testing.
  • Faulty or inaccurate chemical blood alcohol or breathalyzer test results which are designed to measure a motorist’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. If the breathalyzer was improperly calibrated, laboratory officials did not analyze samples according to standard procedures, or the officer administering the breathalyzer was improperly trained, your attorney may be able to call into question the validity of these test results.
  • If law enforcement did not have good cause to stop you, you may be able to argue the staff was unlawful. If the police did not have sufficient evidence to believe you were committing a traffic violation of any kind, the charges against you should be dismissed. This is also true if law enforcement conducted an unlawful search and seizure which was reliant on illegally obtained evidence to prosecute the case.
  • If you have certain types of medical conditions, it is possible your BAC levels were below the legal limit at the time of the stop but continued to rise at the time of your chemical blood alcohol test. This means the results of the test may be inconclusive and irrelevant to your case.

Failure to read you your Miranda rights is just one example of constitutional rights violations. Unlawful stops, illegal search and seizure, and other constitutional rights may also be violated during the course of a DUI traffic stop. Be sure to discuss the specific details of your case with your criminal defense attorney so you can protect your future and avoid the harsh criminal penalties of a DUI conviction.

Get Help From a Reputable DUI Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested for a DUI, having an experienced drunk driving attorney in Bucks County, PA on your team is essential for navigating your case. If you need representation or assistance deciding on the next best steps for your case, contact the team at Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC through our online contact form or by calling our office today to schedule your confidential consultation.