When Does the Arresting Officer Read the Miranda Rights?
Interviewer: Going back to the point of arrest, where do Miranda Rights come into play in DUII cases?
John Reade: When the officer has a subjective basis to believe that they are going to arrest the person. Typically, once the officer put the handcuffs on the person, it is pretty clear that the officer made the determination that they are going to arrest the person. The officer will usually read the person their Miranda Rights, after they put handcuffs on the person.
If You Are Not Read Miranda Rights, Does That Mean the Charges Will Be Dismissed?
Interviewer: Now, do people ever have that misconception that if they were not read their Miranda Rights, that the charge is going to be dismissed?
John Reade: Yes. If a person makes an admission, and the reason the person made the admission is because the officer should have read them their Miranda Rights and did not. Then the consequence would be that the admission or statement could be suppressed. In other words, the prosecutor would not be able introduce the admission into evidence at any trial or hearing. The whole case or charge would not get thrown out but the admission that the person made could get thrown out (i.e. be suppressed).
What to Avoid Saying to the Police during a DUII Investigation
Interviewer: What are some of the common statements that you’ve heard people say to police officers that have incriminated them?
John Reade: Police officers typically joke the following statements: “Oh, I only had one or two beers.” or “I only drank one drink per hour, so I should not be intoxicated.” or, “I am not drunk.”
Interviewer: An incriminating statement that I have heard people make during the standardized field sobriety test is, “I couldn’t do this even if I was sober.”
John Reade: Yes, I have heard clients tell me that before or have seen that in a police report. Like we previously discussed, if a person does have a physical problem, especially one that affects their balance, then that would be important to know about.
Usually, an officer will have a video recording of the field sobriety tests being performed by the person, and you will see an officer demonstrate the field sobriety test to a person. For example, on a walk and turn test, the officer may demonstrate the test to the person by starting and doing a small portion of the test themselves. When the video is played a jury the prosecutor will argue, “Oh, the officer demonstrated to the test and the officer had no problems, so the Defendant should not have had any problems either, unless they were intoxicated.”