Miranda Warning in a California DUI case

Drivers who are arrested for a California driving under the influence (DUI) should be read their rights at the time the arrest is taking place.  These rights are known as the “ Miranda Warning." The Miranda Warning is based on the U.S. Supreme court’s decision, Miranda vs. Arizona.  If the police fail to advise suspected DUI offenders of their rights at the time of arrest, then any information gathered during questioning may be  suppressed .  

 

It should be noted that drivers can be arrested without being read the Miranda Warning.  Unfortunately, there is a misconception as to when the police must read the Miranda Warning.  The purpose of reading suspected offenders their rights is only to protect them from making any incriminating statements during questioning.  All the police need to arrest someone is probable cause and they are only required to read the Miranda Warning before interrogation of a suspect. However, the failure to read a suspect the Miranda Warning may cause any statements made by the suspect inadmissible in court.  Therefore, DUI suspects should be careful about what they say to the police whether before being arrested or after.  If DUI suspects say anything incriminating prior to the arrest, it can be held against them in court. 

 

The police are allowed to ask California DUI suspects routine questions such as their names, dates of birth, addresses, etc.  In addition, the police may ask them to perform field sobriety tests and submit to chemical testing prior to reading the Miranda Warning.  This does not mean that the DUI suspects have to comply.  However, they should weigh the consequences of not submitting to a chemical test before refusing.  In addition, whether or not the DUI suspects do comply with such requests, they should not make any statements to the police before consulting with an experienced California DUI/DWI lawyer.  The police cannot typically arrest someone simply for not responding to questioning.  The police are trained to ask questions and gather as much information as possible before an officer will actually arrest a DUI suspect.  The police do this so that they can gather information that can be used against the DUI suspect in court.