If you’re facing charges of driving under the influence, you’re probably looking for every possible defense. No one wants a DUI on their record. Many DUI cases get dismissed on legal technicalities. Therefore, your attorney will want to know about all the circumstances leading up to your arrest. One of the things they may ask during your consultation is whether the arresting officer informed you of your rights. If an officer is arresting you for a DUI, they should read you your rights. However, cases are not always black and white.
While everyone has heard about Miranda rights and may even be able to recite them, you may not fully understand what they mean in practice. Let’s go into this in more detail. Contact our Atlanta DUI lawyers today.
Miranda Rights Explained
Miranda Rights are named after Ernesto Miranda, a man who was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona. He was taken into custody in connection with the rape and kidnapping of a woman. He confessed to the crime following a lengthy interrogation. However, he was never informed of his rights to remain silent and not make self-incriminating statements.
This case set a precedent for law enforcement officers to inform individuals of their rights when taken into custody. This means they must inform them before they are interrogated or asked anything about the crime. After the individual has been read their rights, they must acknowledge that they understand them before they can be asked any questions. The individual can then decide whether they want to answer questions or not. If they ask for a lawyer at any point, the officer must stop the questioning right away.
When Miranda Rights Apply
Miranda Rights only apply after the police arrest you and tell you why they’re arresting you. They don’t apply to any questions you’re asked prior to arrest. However, anything you say during preliminary questioning can be used against you. Very often, drivers who get pulled over blurt out something before their arrest and it can get them into trouble. That’s why you should say as little as possible during your interactions with law enforcement.
During a traffic stop, a police offer will ask routine questions about your name or date of birth. They can do this without having to inform you of your rights. They may also ask if you’ve been drinking. This is an attempt to help them determine if you are intoxicated. You are under no obligation to answer and any Atlanta DUI lawyer would advise you not to.
As noted earlier, getting your case dismissed because you weren’t read your rights isn’t always easy. That’s because there may be some debate about when questioning actually began. If you answered questions before you were arrested, the Miranda rights may not apply. Your attorney will analyze all the facts relating to your case to determine if there are grounds for dismissal. If there isn’t sufficient evidence to challenge this aspect of your arrest, they may be another way to get your case dismissed.
Other Reasons Why A DUI Case May Be Thrown Out
Police officers can make mistakes that affect the legality of your arrest. If the arresting officer lacked probable cause for pulling you over, the judge will likely throw out the case. examples of probable cause include:
- Traffic law violations
- Erratic driving
- Driving a vehicle that fits the description of one stolen or involved in a crime
Another possibility is that the officer lacked probable cause for administering a breathalyzer test. Officers can only request a field sobriety or breathalyzer test if there’s evidence of intoxication. There’s no obligation for a driver to take a field sobriety test. However, if you refuse a breath test, your license is likely to be suspended for up to a year. You can challenge this during a license suspension hearing. If you can prove that there was a lack of probable cause, the judge may dismiss the case. You may also be able to challenge the validity of the test results.
Hire a Georgia DUI Attorney to Fight the Charge on Your Behalf
There are many ways to get a DUI case thrown out. One of them is to show you were not Mirandized at the appropriate time or Mirandized at all. When you reach out to the Georgia DUI lawyers at Howard & Arca, we’ll review the evidence and come up with the most appropriate strategy. All you need to do is contact us and schedule a consultation so we can begin looking into your case.