Explanation of Your Rights in a Georgia DUI Arrest

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Sometimes when I ask a client to walk me through his or her arrest, they will let me know that they were never read their rights. Most of the time they are referring to what most people consider their Miranda Rights in Georgia

People tend to believe that if they get arrested for DUI, an officer is required to recite them their “Miranda” rights. Maybe that they have the right to remain silent, they have the right to an attorney, etc. 

The rights are actually stated within the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but people refer to them as Miranda rights because of misinformation.

This actually all stems from a U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). In Miranda, the Supreme Court held that a person must be informed of their rights when arrested according to an in-depth analysis of the 5th and 6th Amendments. 

But just like any of our “rights,” they are limited to specific circumstances.

So does the right to remain silent or the right to an attorney in Georgia apply to a DUI case?

The right to remain silent only actually applies to when someone is already in custody, and authorities are attempting to elicit a confession. 

  • Therefore, the right to remain silent doesn't really ever apply to a DUI arrest. DUI is a crime that is actually witnessed by police, and nine times out of ten, all of the evidence is gathered prior to the arrest. 

As for the right to an attorney during a DUI arrest, a person does not have the right to an attorney until he or she has made a decision on implied consent. 

  • Therefore, the right to an attorney goes into effect only after someone's DUI arrest in Georgia. 

But there are rare case in which Miranda would apply to a DUI case.

Let's take a look at the following hypothetical examples:

  1. If a person is arrested for DUI, and the officer knows that his or her license is suspended - regardless of the DUI, the officer would be required to read 5th and 6th Amendment rights.
  2. If a person is arrested for DUI, and the officer knows of a warrant for a different crime - the officer would be required to read 5th and 6th Amendment rights.
  3. If a person is pulled over, and the officer sees in plain view any drugs inside the vehicle before the DUI investigation, at that point the driver is going to be arrested, again, regardless of any DUI evidence, and as a result - the officer would be required to read 5th and 6th Amendment rights.

So what are someone's rights when arrested for DUI in Georgia?

There are statutory rights that actually apply in all Georgia DUI cases. The Georgia Implied Consent Warning is a statutory right that Georgia law requires an officer to recite. It outlines a person's legal requirements to take a breath, blood, or urine test administered by the state of Georgia. After submitting to a test, a person should be advised that he or she has a right to an independent test at his or her own expense. 

A failure to correctly advise a person of his or her Implied Consent Rights is one of many Georgia DUI Defenses

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia, contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today. We can inform you of the possible Georgia DUI Penalties that you are facing and craft the best defense for your particular case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

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