Before initiating what’s called a custodial interrogation, the police are supposed to give you Miranda warnings. These are warnings named after an important Supreme Court case. The purpose of these warnings is to ensure you understand your constitutional rights before the police start conducting more invasive questioning. If you weren’t provided with the appropriate warnings before custodial interrogation, our experienced Phoenix DUI defense lawyers may be able to use this violation of your rights to build a defense. James E. Novak provides seasoned legal counsel to defend those accused of drunk driving and other crimes. He brings to bear on his defense strategy substantial education around technical issues, as well as prior career experience as a prosecutor.Before DUI Questioning
After he pulls you over, the officer will be looking for signs you are under the influence. These can include visual clues of inebriation such as red eyes, slurred or incoherent speech, stumbling as you leave the vehicle, and motor coordination difficulties. There are also non-visual clues of which an officer will take note, such as the odor of alcohol on your breath or the smell of drugs in a car. He may ask you questions to investigate.Investigatory Questioning
Voluntary statements you make may be used as evidence in your DUI case in Phoenix, Tempe, or surrounding areas. What you reveal to the officer will be written down in the officer’s police report if you are arrested. For example, if you acknowledge you had two Bloody Marys prior to getting on the road when pulled over for investigation, the police report could specify that, and the information could be used to secure a conviction.
Moreover, you are not necessarily considered in custody for purposes of your right to remain silent while the officer is investigating; the Miranda warnings do not apply to noncustodial interrogations. You should be aware that you can be asked questions during the stop without being given these warnings. And your statements after being arrested, but before you are questioned, can still be admitted as evidence.Miranda Warnings
Miranda warnings are given only for custodial interrogations or questioning that occurs once you are in detention or “in custody” in Phoenix. The court will consider you detained when you believe you are not free to leave. This can be a confusing situation because you may not feel you are free to leave when you are pulled over for an investigatory stop, but the police may ask you questions for initial investigation purposes. If you don’t answer any questions during an investigatory stop, but there are visual clues you are drunk, those visual clues can go towards establishing probable cause to arrest you.
The Miranda warnings are intended to protect your rights under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments; the Fifth Amendment provides you with a right against self-incrimination, and the Sixth Amendment provides that you have a right to counsel. These warnings are meant to ensure you are aware of your right to remain silent, right to consult an attorney, and to have an attorney present during questioning. You should also be told an attorney will be appointed if you’re indigent. You should indicate as soon as you can that you want to speak to counsel, and, certainly, you should give us a call once Miranda warnings have been given.Custodial Interrogations
Once you are taken into custody and officers intend to question you, they must give you the Miranda warnings. However, you should know that you can invoke your Miranda rights any time you want an interrogation to stop. Simply staying silent is not enough to stop the police from questioning you. If you’ve already answered questions about driving under the influence after being given Miranda warnings, you will be regarded as having knowingly waived those rights. It is important to realize, on the other hand, you have the power to invoke your Miranda rights any time after the interrogation starts, even if you did answer a few questions.
When Miranda warnings are not given, we can argue that the statements you made during custodial questioning should be inadmissible. When there is no waiver of warnings, statements you make during the interrogation may be suppressed.Retain a Lawyer for DUI Questioning
When you hire experienced counsel, you have a better chance of securing a dismissal, negotiating a plea for a lighter sentence, or winning at trial than if you try to go it alone. James E. Novak may be able to represent you. He represents those accused in Phoenix, as well as Tempe Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at undefined or complete our online form.