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Do Police Have to Read Miranda Rights at a DUI Arrest?

  • By: Ron Hedding
  • Published: December 9, 2020

I Don’t Think the Police Officers Read My Miranda Rights When I Was Arrested For DUI In Los Angeles County. Does That Mean They Have To Drop the Charges Against Me?

A common misconception that most people have is that the officers have to read or recite the Miranda Rights when they are arresting an individual. The truth is that police officers don’t have to read the Miranda Rights in a DUI or criminal case.

Most of the time, the police do not read the Miranda Rights as they are arresting a person and taking them into custody. However, the issue does come up when a person is in custody, the police starts asking them direct questions, and they don’t give them their Miranda Rights.Do Police Have to Read Miranda Rights at a California DUI Arrest?

Afterward, the prosecutors try to use the statement and evidence that was obtained through those questions while the person was in custody.

Consequently, the attorney can object and say, “No, you’re not able to use the statement and evidence because you didn’t read the defendant their Miranda Rights.”

Therefore, anything they said cannot be used against them.” That’s where the Miranda Rights come into play.

Unfortunately, in DUI cases, they don’t usually need a statement from the defendant because they’re going to use their blood or breath sample.

They’re going to use how they drove and performed on the field sobriety tests to make a determination as to whether they could safely operate a motor vehicle for the purposes of a DUI in Los Angeles County.

What Questions From Police Do I Actually Have To Answer In A DUI Stop?

In reality, you can give police officers general information if you’re stopped for a DUI in Los Angeles County. You don’t have to answer any of their questions.

Although, if they believe that you’re intoxicated, and they want you to take a blood or breath test, then you have to cooperate due to the California’s Implied Consent Law that became applicable when you obtained your driver’s license.

The Implied Consent Law basically states that if you want to have a driver’s license in LA, you have to agree to provide a blood or breath sample if a police officer asks you to during a DUI investigation.

However, you don’t have to answer whether you were drinking or how much you had to drink. You just have to cooperate with them.

It’s usually easier if you cooperate with them because if they can smell alcohol in your breath and think that you’re drunk or been drinking, they will probably arrest you if you don’t cooperate.

If you haven’t had anything to drink, then it is faster and easier to cooperate and be done with it.

Will Charges Be Dropped If Police Don’t Read Miranda Rights?

The Officer Who Arrested Me On DUI In Los Angeles County Asked Me A Lot Of Questions, But I Was Not Read My Miranda Rights At The Time. Will Any Of Those Statements Get Automatically Thrown Out?

Before an officer arrests you during a DUI in Los Angeles, it is possible that they will take some statements to try to use against you. For example, they might ask you:Will Charges Be Dropped If Police Don't Read Miranda Rights?

  • How much did you have to drink?
  • Where were you drinking?
  • How much did you have to eat?

They ask those questions to gather information in case the matter proceeds to trial. That important data and information can be used by the expert to attempt to prove a DUI case against you.

The difference is that if you’re not in custody at the time, and you’re just casually answering questions, that doesn’t trigger the Miranda Rights.

You have to be in custody at the time the police are asking you questions that are designed to incriminate yourself.

In hearings, I often object and file Miranda Motions if the key crucial evidence in a DUI case is the person’s statement. We want to try and block that statement, and using the Miranda argument is certainly an effective way to do that.

Answering Questions About Prescribed Medication at a DUI Stop

The Officer Who Pulled Me Over Was Asking Me About Any Prescription Drugs I Take. Was I Required To Provide That Kind Of Information? Could It Be Used Against Me If I Wasn’t Read My Miranda Rights At That Point?Answering Questions About Prescribed Medication at a DUI Stop

If you are using prescription medication while driving, and that prescription medication is affecting your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, that would certainly be good evidence if you admitted it.

They could make you do a Drug Recognition Expert test and a host of other things related to your DUI case.  The bottom-line is that if you make any statement, assume that they’re going to use that against you.

If you weren’t read the Miranda Rights, your attorney can try to block the statements from coming against you.

However, in DUI cases, the statement of the defendant is usually not the most important piece of evidence. The more important type of evidence is your:

  • blood alcohol level,
  • how you were driving, and
  • how you performed on the field sobriety tests.

Nonetheless, if you have any questions about your Miranda Rights and how you were treated in regard to your DUI case, pick up the phone and call us. We are ready to help defend your DUI case.

Video Evidence and a California DUI Arrest

Can Police Use Any video Taken From Before My Miranda Rights Were Read In My DUI Case In Los Angeles County?Video Evidence and a California DUI Arrest

The police can definitely use video in DUI stops. The video will either be on the dashcam of the police vehicle or on the police officers as bodycams.

In Los Angeles County, when the LAPD officers pull people over for DUIs, they have bodycams. The video from the dashcam or bodycam can be used for or against you.

Of course, it can be used to show that you were intoxicated and that you didn’t pass the tests. However, if they’re claiming certain things about your driving that aren’t true, the dashcam video can be used to show that the information is not true.

Therefore, if you’re walking, talking, and performing the field sobriety tests just fine, and the police officer’s body camera picks that up, that can definitely be used to help you.

Search of Vehicle After a California DUI Arrest

Can And Will A Police Officer Search A Vehicle When Someone Has Been Arrested On DUI Charges In Los Angeles County? Can They Use Anything They Might Find In The Vehicle As Evidence Against Me?

In order for a police officer to search somebody’s vehicle, they need the person to agree and sign a consent form that states that it isn’t a problem to search the vehicle.Search of Vehicle After a California DUI Arrest

That’s usually the easiest way for them to do a search. If they’re just inquiring about a traffic stop or potential DUI, they’re not allowed to search the vehicle.

However, once they make the decision to arrest you for a DUI in Los Angeles County, they can impound the vehicle.

As part of their protocol, they can search the entire vehicle to make sure there’s nothing inside that could cause issues inside the impound lot or hurt anybody in the vehicle.

Therefore, once they make the decision to arrest, that gives them the ability to search the vehicle and take anything that is relevant to their investigation.

Making a Plea in Court After a DUI Arrest

Will I Have To Make A Plea In My DUI Case In Los Angeles County Before My Attorney Has All Of The Evidence Or Discovery In My Case?

You don’t have to make a plea in your DUI case in Los Angeles County before your attorney has all the evidence or discovery in your case. They can’t force anybody to make a plea, even if you have all the evidence.Making a Plea in Court After a California DUI Arrest

Once you show up at court, you would typically enter a not guilty plea. Your attorney could do that for you as well.

At that time, in the first court appearance, the attorney will pick up all of the paperwork related to the case, the discovery in police reports, audio, video, and any other type of evidence.

Afterward, the attorney will use that evidence to defend your case. When it comes to a criminal DUI case, you’re entitled to full and fair opportunity to review your discovery before entering any type of plea.

Hedding Law Firm are top-rated DUI defense attorneys located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.

Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0963.

Ron Hedding

About the Author Named Top Los Angeles DUI Defence Attorney by LA Times and named one of the Top 100 DUI Defence attorneys in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association. I'm the attorney other lawyers hire to defend them.