One of the most common questions that I respond to when meeting with a potential client is “ the officer never read me my rights.” Officers in Helen, Hiawassee, Habersham and Jefferson often ‘forget’ to tell you that you have the right to remain silent. Officers in Clarkesville, Toccoa and Clayton should read you your rights; often times they do not.
The better question is “WILL I WIN MY CASE IF I WAS NOT READ MY RIGHTS”.
After you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), the Officer must read you your implied consent rights. I know you were thinking Miranda Rights which everybody knows them to be “you have the right to remain silent anything you say or do can and may be used against you, you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you…” However, the Miranda rights may be the most misunderstood procedure of the law. Especially in DUI arrests the Officer usually does not read Miranda. Police officer’s are only required to read Miranda when they are interrogating you (asking you questions that would likely lead to incriminating evidence) and you are in custody. Custody means formal arrest like when the handcuffs are on and you are in the back of the patrol car heading to the jail or your freedom of movement has been restrained to an degree that would act like a formal arrest. This second part is a bit tricky and for more information please contact Sam at (706) 778-5291.
Helen Police officers are required to read you your implied consent rights after arresting you for driving under the influence (DUI). If you were arrested for DUI the officer should have pulled out an orange card and started reading from it. There are 3 different types of warnings (1) under 21; (2) over 21; and (3) CDL. The most common is the over 21 which states:
“Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?”
This is one of the most litigated areas in DUI cases. Make sure you hire an attorney that knows how this area of the law is argued. For more information on the rights that an officer must read and possible defenses in your cases, please call Sam Sliger at (706) 778-5291.
Sam Sliger is the attorney in the Criminal Division of McDonald & Cody, LLC who regularly litigates these issues in court and at license suspension hearings. Typically the officers in Toccoa, Clayton, Helen, Blairsville and Baldwin will not read the traditional Miranda Warnings – often times there will be an issue and Sam will get the DUI case resolved without a conviction or jail.