What are the Biggest DWI Myths?
St. Paul, MN criminal defense attorney Robert Ambrose lists some myths regarding DWI’s and whether or not those are accurate.
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One of the biggest myths or one of the most common questions I get from a client is, “The cops did not read me my rights.” And they often refer to Miranda rights, you know, “You have the right to remain silent,” and everything you hear on TV. In DWIs, they don’t have to read you your Miranda rights until after you’ve decided to take the evidentiary test at the station or not. And it’s been challenged whether they need to read you your rights before then or not.
But what’s come about is what’s called the limited right to counsel. So before you decide whether you’re going to take that test at the station, the officers do have to allow you a reasonable amount of time to contact an attorney.
So that’s the most important thing about your rights, did they read you that advisory or not, not so much the Miranda rights, because Miranda rights deal more with if somebody’s in custody and being interrogated about a crime and you make a statement like, “I killed my wife,” while you’re in custody, being interrogated by an officer. If they didn’t read you your Miranda rights before they started interrogated you, that can be a basis to get that confession or any statements thrown out, and sometimes evidence derived from those statements.
But in DWIs, when officers place you in cuffs, they need to read you your Miranda rights, but they do have to follow the proper advisories prior to testing.