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Why the Police Love Pre-Miranda Questions in DWI Cases?

The Law Office of Joel Salinger, P.C. Aug. 14, 2022

People love to talk about Miranda. Miranda this and Miranda that. Too much TV has spawned a generation who believes that lack of Miranda is the KEY to a dismissal of their case. I didn't get my Miranda at roadside, they gave me my Miranda later, what Miranda, never heard it?

What is Miranda?

Comes from the 1966 Supreme Court case (48 years ago) of Miranda v. Arizona, in which the high Court held:

  • A person in Custody;

  • prior to Interrogation;

  • be clearly informed;

  • they have a right to remain silent;

  • anything they say will be used against them;

  • they have a right to an attorney;

  • and to have that attorney there during questioning;

  • if they can't afford one (an attorney) one will be appointed at no cost.

BUT each part of Miranda creates legal ISSUES:
One: When are you in Custody?
Two: What is Interrogation?
Three: What is clearly informed mean?

In DWI/DUI/DWAI drugs cases the police love Pre-Miranda QUESTIONS because the police can take advantage of the opportunity to ELIMINATE many DWI Defenses.

AREA ONE: The DWI Driving:

Question number one: Were you driving?

Sometimes the police arrive to an accident scene with multiple people present. Who were the passengers and who was the driver? Sometimes they locate the potential driver away from the car. How do they prove the person was the DWI driver?

An admission of driving. Elimination of someone else was driving defense.

AREA TWO: The Drinking and/or Use of Drugs:

Question number two: What have you been drinking or using?

Most people say "two" in response to this common police question. The police usually continue to ask, "and what else have you had tonight?" As the night or morning drags on, the quantity typically increases.

Elimination of the other reasons for my bad driving/ impaired behavior: tired, physical problems, medical problems defenses.

AREA THREE: The Timing of The Drinking to The Driving:

Have you had anything since the time of the accident?

Elimination of the Post driving drinking defense. I wasn't Driving While Intoxicated, I got intoxicated AFTER the accident.

There are other areas of questioning but these are the BIG THREE. Police love to use this line of questioning because until you are in custody, and until you are being interrogated, they DO NOT have to Inform YOU of MIRANDA.

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