Legal Question in DUI Law in Alabama

Rights when you are arrested

I was recently arrested for DUI and had to spend the night in jail. When I was arrested, I was never read my Miranda Rights. Can police arrest people without reading their rights to them first because I thought that no matter what the circumstances, the police are required to read a person their rights before arresting them?

Asked on 1/18/05, 9:47 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Mark Polson Polson & Polson

Re: Rights when you are arrested

This is a legal concept that non-lawyers most often misunderstand. The US Supreme Court in Miranda V. Arizona set for the requirement that prior to custodial interrogation that the police are required to warn that anything said may be used as evidence during a subsequent prosecution. The burden is on the prosecution that the accused made a "voluntary", "knowing" and "intelligent waiver" of the fifth amendment right to remain silent. The failure to establish the requisites may result in the "suppression" of the statemnts from being used as evidence against the accused.

Your question ask what effect is the failure to give the Mirdanda Warning following a dui arrest. Many legal practitioners and commentators have expressed the view that in a dui context that the courts have "suspended" the constitution. In the zeal to cater to MADD and other lobby groups and to curry favor for re-election judges have carved out an exception to the constitution by holding that a police officer need not give the Miranda warnings during the "investigative" phase of a dui stop. This is true even though the officer has a high level of suspecion based upon facts indicating intoxication. Alabama courts have held in a long line of appellate decisions that the accused must only be warning after arrest. A police officers failure to give the Miranda warning following an actual arrest is not dispositive of the the case but goes to the question concerning the adissiability of the evidence gathered after the point where the warning should have been give. Please let me know if I can answer any other questions? You may telephone our office to receive a free dui defense consultation. Our number is 205 252-7000. Ask for Mark Polson or whitney Polson.

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Answered on 1/19/05, 12:34 am
Randal Ford Ford Firm

Re: Rights when you are arrested

The Police do not have to read you miranda unless they ask you questions. As a practical matter, they either suspected you were DUI or believed they had probable cause to arrest you if you failed the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (which every fails anyway because they are not good tests).

If this is your first DUI you need to see about going all the way and defending yourself. If not your first DUI, then you should still consider fighting.

Randal Ford

205 / 759-3232

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Answered on 1/19/05, 12:30 pm

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