When are the Police Required to Read Miranda Rights to a Suspect?

The short answer is never. That’s right, the police are never required to read a suspect his or her Miranda rights. However, if the police initiate a custodial interrogation of a suspect without reading a suspect his or her rights, then anything that the suspect says will be deemed inadmissible at trial. Miranda rights are intended to prevent the police from coercing a confession from an innocent person. If the police do not want or need a confession then there is no need for the police to ever read a suspect his or her rights.

Many people are surprised to learn this. In fact, the majority of people I talk to after a DUI arrest ask why they were not read their rights and want to know how it will affect their case. In most DUI cases the fact that the defendant was not read their rights will not make a difference in their case. The reason is that Miranda applies only to custodial interrogations. The courts have ruled that Miranda does not apply when a police officer is questioning suspect on the side of the road because it is not a ‘custodial interrogation.’ As a result, any statements a DUI suspect makes to an officer on the side of the road will likely be admissible at trial.

In addition, most DUI officers are trained not to give a Miranda advisement in a DUI investigation. The reason for this is that if the officer gives a Miranda advisement and then gives the express consent advisement, a driver can confuse these advisements and end up refusing to take a test. If this happens, then the suspect may win the DMV hearing.

Every case is different and depending on how the police conducted their investigation, Miranda may apply in your case. If the police did violate your Miranda rights, then your lawyer should fight to exclude your statements from trial. Regardless, if you have been arrested for DUI speak to lawyer immediately while your memories are still fresh so that your lawyer can begin building your defense immediately.