Do I have to be read my rights for a DUI in Georgia?

dui rights

One of the most prolific questions I get from new clients is: "I wasn't read Miranda for my DUI, so now what??" Well, in most DUI cases, Miranda rights are not read, nor are they required.

Miranda rights in DUI case

Miranda rights must be read before any custodial interrogation. For questioning to qualify, you must be in custody. Georgia courts have found that the term in custody, in context of a DUI, usually means in the back of the cop car, handcuffed, and clearly told you are under arrest. Until these things happen, chances are you are not actually in custody. So, all that time spent waiting on the cop to run your license, taking field sobriety tests, and explaining over and over how many drinks you had is not considered "in custody". Most cops are clever enough to know how they can spend a great deal of time running you through the wringer on a DUI traffic stop without it amounting to a custodial questioning.

Now, when you are placed under arrest, Miranda is required for any further questioning. It happens sometimes, but rarely. Usually, I see a Miranda issue when, on the ride to the jail, the cop starts informally questioning a client about "what really happened" or "how many you really had tonight". If this line of conversation leads to you giving damaging information, then we will surely fight to have the statements thrown out of any court proceedings or trial as a violation of your Miranda rights.

While Miranda rights in a DUI case may not be super helpful or apply very often, there are other rights- like implied consent rights- that are very important. When analyzing a case, my firm always combs through everything said between you and the officer, as we know what to look for in a DUI investigation. With over 25 years of combined experience in DUI and criminal defense, we will pick apart all elements of your DUI arrest in an effort to clear your name.

If you have been arrested for DUI and have questions about your Miranda rights, implied consent rights, or other issues, then give us a call directly at (770) 676-1340.

2022 UPDATE: While Miranda warnings are still not required under Georgia law, appellate court decisions over the past several years have raised the bar for a prosecution attempting to use a blood or breath test against you at trial.  Rather than simply read off the implied consent notice, the prosecution must now prove what's termed "actual consent."  Give us a call to discuss this developing concept and how your case my benefit.  

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