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What if my rights were not read when i was arrested for DUI first offense? Does that mean I'm not guilty?

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June 23, 2011, 9:32 am

Many people mistakenly believe that Miranda warnings are required whenever police arrest somebody and/or that a case must be dismissed when no Miranda warnings are given. This is not how it works.

When police question a suspect who is in custody but to whom they have not given a Miranda warning, the suspect's responses -- and any evidence they obtain as a result -- cannot be used in court. However, any other evidence the police have can still be used.

There is often no need to question a suspect at all, and a typical DUI case is a prime example of why this is so. At trial, the arresting officer will testify that she saw the suspect driving erratically, that she pulled him over, that she smelled alcohol on his breath, that his speech was slurred, that he failed a field sobriety test, and that she arranged for a blood test. The medical technician who conducted the test will verify that she took a blood sample, will explain how her test works, and will tell the jury the result. That's all the prosecution usually needs. Nothing the suspect said needs to be used, so the lack of a Miranda warning is a non-issue.

Unless the prosecutor tries to use answers which you gave to police questions while you were in custody, Miranda will be irrelevant to your case.

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