Officer Failed to Mirandize You
In a typical Centre County DUI case, the police stop a vehicle, order the person to exit the vehicle, administer field sobriety tests, possibly issue a breath test at the scene, arrest the person, take them to the hospital to submit to a blood test, transport them to the processing center for fingerprints and mugshots, and then released the person. and then make the decision to arrest the DUI suspect and transport them for either a blood or breath test to determine blood alcohol concentration. It is very rare that the officer will issue Miranda warnings when they arrest a DUI suspect.
A typical DUI case in Pennsylvania involves the arrest of a DUI suspect and transport to a hospital or the police station for a blood or breath test to determine blood alcohol concentration. Despite the fact that the DUI suspect was clearly arrested, as evidenced by the handcuffs and transport in the back seat of a police cruiser, Pennsylvania police officers rarely tell a person as to the reason for the arrest, and the police rarely administer Miranda warnings. Are the police required to inform you of the reason for the arrest and are the police required to issue Miranda warnings as soon as you were arrested.
Police are NOT required to Mirandize every time someone is arrested
The answer to both questions is no. The police are not required to inform you as to the reason for an arrest. Also, a person's right against self-incrimination as covered in the Miranda warnings is NOT automatically triggered when a person is arrested. In order for Miranda to apply, a person must be: 1) in custody; and 2) being interrogated, meaning questioned about criminal activity.
Why? Miranda warnings are based upon a person's 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and include the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during police questioning. Miranda warnings are only applicable if a person is in custody and being subjected to an interrogation. When a DUI suspect is arrested, they are clearly in custody. However, if the officer does not intend to interrogate, meaning question the person about the DUI, then the law does not require that Miranda warnings be issued. Second, when a person is arrested for DUI and asked to submit to a test to determine blood alcohol concentration, the person does not have the right to consult with a lawyer at that time.
In Centre County DUI cases, most people are transported to the Mount Nittany Medical Center for a blood test. At the hospital, the police officer is required by Pennsylvania law to inform the DUI suspect that he or she does not have the right to consult an attorney prior to consenting to the blood test, and a failure to submit to the blood test increases the DUI penalties if the person is convicted and also results in administrative suspension of driving privileges for the blood test refusal. If the police informed a DUI suspect of Miranda rights at the time of arrest, transported the DUI suspect to the hospital, and twenty minutes later informed the suspect that he/she could not consult with an attorney, the DUI suspect would be confused about the right to have an attorney. In order to avoid confusion, the police do not Mirandize a DUI suspect at the time of arrest. If the officer intends to interrogate or question the DUI suspect, the officer generally waits until after the blood test is completed and then issues the Miranda warnings.
While Miranda warnings may not be required when the person is formally arrested, placed in the back of the police cruiser, and then transported to the hospital, there are situations in which a DUI suspect should have been Mirandized. For example, you can review a DUI case success story in which State College criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle was able to have a DUI client's admission to consuming alcohol suppressed. It is extremely important that you have an experienced DUI defense lawyer review your case thoroughly for all possible litigation issues. For a FREE CONSULTATION of your DUI case, contact Centre County criminal defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle of JD Law at 814-954-1094 or 814-954-1094 or via email.