The Role of Miranda Rights in an OWI

I often have clients say, “They never read me my Miranda rights.”  That’s when the officer says you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and so on. In an OWI case, it is most likely irrelevant. The arrest in an OWI normally comes after some previous questioning, the field sobriety tests, and the Preliminary Breath Test. The issue is that Miranda warnings are designed to protect individuals that are in custody. Therefore, Miranda rights do not have to be read to you until you are 1) in custody and 2) being interrogated.

So when does this apply in an OWI? This applies after you have been arrested and the officer is now asking you questions about the alleged OWI offense. Any statements made as answers to questions while in custody can only be used against you if your Miranda rights have been told to you. However, all the statements made during the traffic stop and made freely while in custody can be used against you. It is always best to decline answering any questions and to request and attorney right away once you are in custody and being asked questions.

If you do answer questions while in custody and were never told your Miranda Rights, then in most instanced a motion can be filed in front of the judge to have those statements and any information that was discovered because of those statements thrown out so that they can’t be used against you.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation and to discuss a potential Miranda Rights issues in your case!

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