DUI – Do Police have to Read You Miranda?

DUI – Do Police Have to Read You Miranda

Do police have to read you your Miranda rights when you’ve been arrested for a DUI in South Carolina? Hi, my name is Dale Savage and I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Charleston, SC and today we’re talking about Miranda rights during a DUI arrest in South Carolina.

What Does Miranda Do?

Let’s begin with what rights do Miranda warnings give you.  Miranda sets up procedural safeguards that protect a person against Self-incrimination and it’s covered by the 5th Amendment.

Our laws state that to be entitled to Miranda warnings a person must be subject to custodial interrogation by police.  If you are in that situation where police are trying to elicit verbal statements from you and the government want to use those statements against you in court, then police must first read you your Miranda warnings before questioning.  Failing to do this will most likely mean those statements are inadmissible in court.

So that’s the procedural safeguard, Miranda warnings first before custodial interrogation, not after.

Miranda in a South Carolina DUI Case

So how does this apply to DUI cases in South Carolina?  Aren’t SFST a form of interrogation?  The courts have said no.  An officer’s instructions on how to perform the SFST’s and the breathalyzer test are not an interrogation but rather scripted instructions not likely to call for any verbal response.

Self-incrimination comes from verbal responses not physical evidence.  So, if you’re swaying and can’t keep your balance, that’s not testimonial and Miranda is not triggered.  Even if your speech is slurred, slurring, without more, is not testimonial for purposes of Miranda.  How you say something does not implicate Miranda, so if you start voluntarily talking to police and are slurring your words, that is going to be used against you.

Legal Defenses

For the purposes of DUI arrests in South Carolina, the Miranda rules are a little different to any other criminal charge.  Under our DUI laws, a person must be given their Miranda warnings even if police do not question you and it must be video recorded unless there is a valid legal reason. So, even if police do not interrogate you, our state’s DUI statute says police must advise you of your Miranda warnings.  If they fail to do so, the case may be dismissed.

Charleston, SC DUI Attorney

So, if have been arrested for DUI and have questions about your case, please call me at (843) 530-7813.  I hope this video was helpful and thanks for watching.

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