In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court held that both inculpatory and exculpatorystatements made in response to interrogation by a defendant in police custody will be admissible at trial only if the prosecution can show that the defendant was informed of the right to consult with an attorney before and during questioning and of the right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police, and that the defendant not only understood these rights, but voluntarily waived them. This had a significant impact on law enforcement in the United States, by making what became known as the Miranda rights part of routine police procedure to ensure that suspects were informed of their rights. Most people are familiar with these now famous “Miranda Warnings” and have formed the mistaken opinion that law enforcement must alway invoke Miranda when a defendant is placed under arrest. This is not true. Law enforcement is not required to give Miranda Warnings unless they seek to interrogate (ask questions) following an arrest.
Typically a DUI arrest begins with a traffic investigation. During the traffic investigation you are not under arrest. A seasoned officer will sit back and wait for you to offer statements which he or she will then use against you. This scenario was addressed by the Supreme Court which held that a ”spontaneous” statement made by a defendant while in custody, even though the defendant has not been given the Miranda warnings or has invoked the right to counsel and a lawyer is not yet present, is admissible in evidence, as long as the statement was not given in response to police questioning or other conduct by the police likely to produce an incriminating response (see Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980)). Therefore, if you make incriminating statements prior to being placed under arrest, and/or offer spontaneous statements while in custody, the statements are more than likely going to be allowed before the jury. Comedian Ron White famously said, “I had the right to remain silent, but not the ability.” The best response is to politely ask to speak with a lawyer prior to answering any questions. This approach was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Doyle v. Ohio, 426 US 610 (1976) which held that a defendant’s silence in response to a Miranda warning cannot be construed to imply an admission.
We have seen an increasing number of law enforcement agencies employ a “post-arrest interview” complete with signed Miranda waivers. These “interviews” take place back at the station and usually after the results of a breath test have been obtained. Not surprisingly, the interview draws out a complete confession to each and every element of the drunk driving offense and asks questions carefully designed to eliminate common scientific defenses to a DUI. Speak to your attorney about what happened before, during and after your arrest. A favorable resolution to the case may come down to a careful reading of the facts by you and your DUI attorney.
Dayton/Springfield DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver. A former prosecutor, he has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for DUI defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671. For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter@DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui. You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.