If you are arrested for DUI in Orange County, a police officer will probably read your “Miranda” rights. You’ve seen it in every cop movie and in every television series about the police. It’s the scene where the suspect is handcuffed and the arresting officer says, “You have the right to remain silent.” The rights that police officers read to suspects under arrest are called “Miranda” rights, and since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), every suspect being placed under arrest must be told – and must understand – his or her Miranda rights. Immediately after a DUI arrest, the first thing you must do is contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney to retain the legal help that you’ll need.
A Miranda warning advises suspects under arrest that they have the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer present during questioning. In California, if you are arrested for driving under the influence and you are not told your Miranda rights, your attorney might be able to have some of the evidence against you suppressed. However, if you are not in custody, that is, if you are not under arrest or being arrested, the police are not obligated to tell you your rights. It doesn’t matter – you have the right to remain silent, and you have the right to have an attorney present during questioning at all times and in every situation, without regard to whether or not you are in custody or your rights have been formally read to you. Beyond providing basic ID like a driver’s license and vehicle registration, you should always decline to answer questions from the police when your attorney is not present.
Understand that if you are not under arrest, the police have no obligation to inform you of any rights. Remain silent anyway. The police may be “fishing” for evidence, and whether you are told your rights or not, anything you say can be used against you by a prosecutor. DUI is considered serious by the California courts, so take it seriously. If you are accused of DUI in southern California, obtain the services of an experienced Orange County DUI attorney as quickly as possible.