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DUI » Your Rights » Miranda Rights & DUI Charges

Miranda Rights & DUI Charges

Even if you're not a licensed attorney, if you've read legal novels or watched police dramas on television, you are probably somewhat familiar with Miranda rights. These legal rights must be read to an individual when he or she is arrested and taken into custody for DUI or any criminal offense. Though every jurisdiction may have its own particular wording, the following is the basic Miranda warning that an arrestee should be read:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one may be appointed to you.
  • Do you understand these rights as they've been read to you?

In terms of DUI cases, a person who is suspected of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs must be read these rights upon his or her arrest. If the arresting officer fails to give a Miranda warning, this may mean that any statements made by the driver from that point on will be considered inadmissible in court proceedings. This can seriously harm the prosecution's case against the defendant.

Taking full advantage of your Miranda rights is one of the most important things you can do if you are arrested for DUI in Tampa. Instead of agreeing to questioning without your attorney present or saying anything that can be used against you, invoke your right to an attorney and ensure your rights are fully protected.

With a lawyer to handle your case from the very beginning, you can feel confident that your interests will be properly protected after your arrest. Even in a situation where you may have submitted to field sobriety tests and "failed" or took a breath test after your arrest that showed a result of 0.08 percent or greater, there may be ways your lawyer can challenge the evidence. Even the testimony of the arresting officer can be challenged.

What about statements a driver makes before an arrest?

It is important to note that anything a DUI suspect says prior to his or her arrest may be used against the defendant in court. For this reason, the police officer may ask incriminating questions while working to establish probable cause to make an arrest for drunk driving. The officer may ask where the driver was going, how much he or she had to drink, etc. A driver has the right to politely refuse to answer these questions, and doing so may be one of the most important things a driver can do to not only avoid giving the prosecution ammunition for the case against the driver, but possibly to interfere with the police officer establishing probable cause for an arrest in the first place.

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