Do Officers Have to Read me Miranda Rights during a Los Angeles DUI Stop?
Almost everyone has watched at least one police show on television. The bad guy is arrested, and the police officers begin reciting his Miranda Rights. He has the right to an attorney, he has the right to remain silent, and anything he says can and will be used against him in a court of law. There is a lot more to the Miranda Rights than just this, but this is what people know when they hear the term. If you are driving through Los Angeles and you’re pulled over, you might wonder if the officer who has you outside your car has to read you some Miranda Rights.
The Short Answer is No
An officer is not legally required to read your Miranda rights to you if he has you pulled over in Los Angeles if you’re in the midst of a DUI stop. In fact, the officer cannot pull you over for a DUI. The officer can only pull you over if he or she has probable cause. They cannot pull you over if they see you leave a bar and suspect you’re drunk. They can pull you over for breaking the law while you drive if they see you doing something illegal. This is also legal when they see that you have a light out or your car is violating some other law, such as your tag has not been renewed.
When you are pulled over, the officer is required by law to tell you why he or she is pulling you over. You were speeding through a school zone, your headlight is out, your tag is expired. Whatever it is must be mentioned when the officer is speaking to you. Once this happens, the officer is free to ask you to submit to a blood alcohol or breathalyzer test if they suspect you are under the influence.
They might suspect this because of your rapid eye movement, the presence of open containers in your vehicle, or they might just smell it on your breath. Whatever they suspect, they can now ask you to step out of the car while they turn this common stop into a DUI stop. They still, however, do not have to read you any of the Miranda Rights.
Interrogation or Arrest
The only time the officers who pull you over are required to read you anything to do with your Miranda Rights is after they arrest you. Once you are in handcuffs and you’ve been informed you’re being arrested, they must read your rights to you. They must also read them again when you get to jail and are taken into an interrogation room.
It is your best decision to say nothing at this point. Once the rights are read to you, you are putting your case at risk if you speak. The only thing you should do is ask to call your attorney. An attorney with experience working with DUI laws in Los Angeles is one that can help you through this difficult time. It’s confusing, you might not understand what is happening or what to expect, and you probably have many questions.
This is the time to speak to your attorney. What you say to your attorney is privileged. No police may listen, what you say cannot be used against you, and anything you say to your attorney is strictly confidential. Even if you tell your attorney you drink three bottles of tequila before you were pulled over, he or she may not share this information and they are not legally required to mention it at all. You are safe when you speak to your attorney.
If the arresting officers do not read your rights to you, everything changes. Nothing you say can be used against you in court, and your attorney has a much better chance of seeing your charges dropped. When the police do not follow protocal exactly, they put their own case at risk. This is why it’s so imperative they issue the Miranda Rights and you hear them. Be aware of what is required in a stop, and know your rights long before this ever happens to you in Los Angeles.