Sunday, April 20, 2014

Looking for Miranda? The Myth of Miranda

Funny stuff, they can use what you say to them against you!

Phone call after phone call yesterday, if if I hear "but they didn't mirandize me" one more time?

It is a common mistake perpetuated by TV and the movies. The whole "YOU have a right to remain silent, etc. etc. etc. BUT the myth persists, if they don't (the policia, the po po, law enforcement) give me my miranda then everything is tossed out.

First, Miranda ONLY relates to statements that you make. It is one small piece of the puzzle. One aspect of evidence to be used against you. It is NOT the be all and end all of your case. It is the not the crux of all your charges. It is only one way to help them prove their case (the charges) against you. This is especially true with a DWI case.

You have the DRIVING to look at. Was it bad driving? Were there mistakes? Did you violate the road rules? Was your car up to snuff? If you made moving violations and had equipment violations that generally equals = a LEGAL STOP by the police.

You have your BEHAVIOR to look at. Were you drinking or drugging? Was it obvious or subtle? Could you walk, talk, and respond to questions, directions, and inquiry? How were your body movements? Were you slow, labored, or confused?

You have your TESTING to look at. Did you submit to their tests? Did you follow their directions and instructions? Did you give them a sample of your body fluids whether on the street or back at the station?

They don't need your statements to prove you were DWI or that you stole something or that you have drugs in your possession.

And if they don't Mirandize you so what? It doesn't negate the lawfulness of the arrest, the lawfulness of the stop of your car, or the lawfulness of any of their requests.

Miranda ONLY attaches once you are in custody and the begin to interrogate you. Then if they don't give Miranda, your statements may not be used against YOU but that is it.

Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.

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Chosen as a 2013 Rising Star in DWI/DUI in Upstate New York by Super Lawyers