Whether you’ve been arrested before or not, you are probably familiar with what your Miranda rights are. We’ve all heard the words repeated often in movies and television shows whenever a character is arrested onscreen:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
You have probably heard these lines so many times that you can recite them from memory.
If you are ever arrested for a DUI in Arizona, you will likely be read these rights either while you are being arrested or immediately afterward. If you are not read those rights before you are interrogated, you should consult with a Phoenix DUI lawyer right away because you likely have a legal claim.
You must notified of your Miranda rights only when you are arrested and are about to be interrogated. You do not have to be read your rights when the officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, and you don’t have to be read your rights when you are arrested unless the officer wishes to question you. That means that anything you say from the moment the officer approaches your window until the moment you are arrested, can be used as evidence in court.
The officer may ask you casual questions like “Have you been drinking tonight?” or “How much have you had to drink?” You are not required to answer these questions. You are also not required to take a breathalyzer test or to submit to field sobriety tests, like being asked to walk along a line or to touch your nose while standing on one foot.
Once you are arrested, you are required to take these tests under the Implied Consent Law in Arizona. If you refuse to take the tests at that point, you could have your license suspended for a year even if you are not found to be drinking and driving.
You don’t have a case just because you are not read your Miranda rights when you are arrested. In many cases, the police officer has already collected all the information needed to convict you long before the arrest is made. The officer is taking note of anything you say during the stop, and the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests will be used as evidence of your intoxication.
However, if you are interrogated without being read your rights, anything you say during that interview will likely not be admissible in court. You might admit to drinking a full fifth of whiskey and then plowing through a field of crops, but if you did it during an interrogation without being advised of your rights, the prosecutor likely won’t be able to mention it at all.
Every case is different, so it is important that you talk with a DUI defense lawyer in Phoenix as soon as possible to understand your rights and your legal risk. Your DUI lawyer will analyze the details of your case and let you know what evidence can be presented against you, what your options are for your defense, and what the challenges will be.
If you do have a case that your rights were violated, your DUI defense lawyer will let you know and will help you build the right case.
My AZ Lawyers is ready to help you if you’ve been arrested on DUI charges. Our DUI defense lawyers have been working in the field for many years, and they are ready to use their experience and expertise to help you avoid or minimize the penalties and preserve your driving privileges. If you feel that your rights have been violated, we can also represent you in a claim against the department. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer in Arizona to learn more about your legal options and to start building your case.