Are Miranda Warnings Required for DUI Jail Time?


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The issuing of Miranda Rights to persons that have been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not necessarily need to be spoken by police officers. When someone has been detained and imprisoned in a local jail, the driver under suspicion may or may not have had his or her Miranda Rights stated.

Even in Minnesota, the suspect may not have his or her Miranda Rights provided unless he or she is about to be questioned. The primary reason to read these rights is to ensure the person knows that a lawyer and silence may protect him or her from legal proceedings with the use of a lawyer. If the driver that has been detained is not questioned or even kept for long, there is usually no need to read these rights to him or her. Then, he or she may only stay in a local jail for a short period of time and either await charges based on the arrest or may be free to go. The law enforcement officers will explain this situation fully after the arrest has been processed.

Miranda rights are spoken to someone prior to interview or questioning, but if someone is placed in jail without this action, there is no need to read these rights to the person. And, silence is up to the individual to keep, but there is no need to explain this to the person. He or she may incriminate himself or herself without being questioned, and this starts the moment the driver has been arrested. Anything said could be used to incriminate him or her as well as any actions or behavior. When the driver appears to be drunk or to have consumed drugs, this is often used to prosecute.

The Rights of Law Enforcement

When being pulled over, the officer that comes to the window usually have suspicion that the driver has been drinking enough that his or her judgment has been impaired. He or she is then permitted to use a field test kit or breathalyzer to determine if his or her suspicions are correct. This may include having the vehicle operator step out of the car and perform certain acts in line with these tests. If the person appears to have a lack of coordination or has been swerving in the road, he or she may fail the breathalyzer. Then, if it does appear that the individualís blood alcohol content is over 0.8 percent, he or she may be arrested and taken to a local jail for detainment.

If there is no need to question or interview the arrested individual, no Miranda Rights reading is necessary. The person may seek the assistance of a lawyer, but he or she may not have the right until released if no questions are ever asked. The person has the right to stay silent, and this is advised to keep from incriminating himself or herself. However, the law enforcement officers may only hold the person for so many hours before releasing him or her. At this point, he or she may contact a lawyer to assist with any charges of DUI or DWI that may have been issued.

The Rights of the Suspect

When a driver has been pulled over, there must be some suspicion that he or she has been drinking enough to exceed the BAC level of .08 for passenger car drivers. If the individual behind the wheel has not been exhibiting any behavior to suggest this, the officer should not pull him or her over unless another violation has occurred. These rights are afforded to United States citizens while driving in any state in the country. However, when actions are taken that shows that the driver has been drinking, he or she may rightfully be detained and jailed. Field tests are administered, and when a breathalyzer reads over .08 percent, this is usually when the person is taken to the local county jail.

If for any reason law enforcement agents start to question the driver after he or she has been detained other than to obtain his or her details, he or she is entitled to have Miranda Rights read and access to a lawyer provided. However, there must be an interview or interrogation for this to occur. Otherwise, police have the authority to hold someone for up to 24 hours. No charges need to be pressed while the person is in holding, but when charges are filed, the driver may contact a lawyer after detainment. Many DUI and DWI charges go to court or are settled outside, but frequently this does not include any questioning. Once released, it is crucial to contact a lawyer for assistance.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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