I was stopped for having my third tail light out and subsequently I was arrested for DWI in Plano Texas. I was never given my Maranda rights. My court appointed attorney tells me that is not the law anymore for a DWI case. Is this true?
1 Answer from Attorneys
The warnings given under the case, Miranda v. Arizona are there for the purpose of protecting you from the use of statements you might make while you are in police custody or that are obtained as the result of "custodial interrogation." Whether you are read those right upon arrest makes little difference if the prosecution is not using statements you made while under arrest against you. For example, if you are arrested for DWI and while in handcuff are asked about how much you had to drink and you respond "I had a vat of wine." If there was no Miranda before you were asked that question, then your answer regarding the wine would not be admissible against you at your trial if you were to object to its admission.
However, if the prosecution has sufficient evidence to convict you outside of that admission about wine consumption e.g. stumbling, slurring speech, failing sobriety tests and the like, the absence of the Miranda warning is of no moment and won't save you from the other evidence. Miranda v. Arizona (it is also in Articl 38.22 Texas Code of Criminal Procedure) is still the law. The distinction is when does it apply.
As when faced with any criminal charge, you should consult with a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist should you be able to retain one. An attorney with these credentials will be able to find any defects in the procedures used by the police and use them to your advantage.
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