Something that I hear in almost every client consultation I conduct after an arrest for DUI, is “I wasn’t read my Miranda Rights, can we get my case dismissed.” Despite the fact that I would love to say YES, it’s just simply not the case. Despite the fact that the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives every person the right against “self incrimination,” this privilege has been ruled not to extend until a person is in whats called a custodial interrogation.
A custodial interrogation can be best defined by looking at the case of Miranda v. Arizona.
In the landmark decision miranda v. arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966), the U.S. Supreme Court set standards for law enforcement officers to follow when attempting to interrogate suspects whom they hold in custody. Suspects who are subject to custodial interrogation must be warned that they have the right to remain silent; that any statements that they make may be used as evidence against them; that they have the right to an attorney; and that if they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them prior to any questioning, if they so desire. Under Miranda, unless those warnings are given, no evidence obtained during the interrogation may be used against the accused.
Since Miranda was decided, state and federal courts have struggled with a number of issues with regard to its application, including: when a suspect is deemed to be in custody and thus entitled to the warnings required byMiranda; and when a suspect will be deemed to have waived the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Some recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have attempted to answer these difficult questions.
A custodial interrogation is defined as:
Questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his or her freedom in any significant way, thus requiring that the person be advised of his or her constitutional rights.