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Miranda Rights Defense in an Ohio DUI Case

In the state of Ohio, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated which is known as an OVI. If your blood alcohol content is .08% or higher, then you have committed an OVI. It is important to know your rights and know what to look for.

The Police HAVE to read you your Miranda rights, for the Administrative License Suspension to apply. Miranda, however, is not a get of jail free card.

However, there are some fine lines you need to be aware of. When you are first pulled over, the police may ask you questions or even ask you to perform a field sobriety test without reading you your Miranda rights. The Police may also arrest you without reading you your Miranda rights. However, before they question or interrogate you, once you have been arrested they must read you your Miranda Rights.

What Are The Miranda Rights?

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

These are your Fifth Amendment constitutional rights. Use them. Remain silent. Do not answer any questions without an attorney even if you truly believe it could help your case.

However, it is extremely important to note if an officer asks you to do something you must comply. For example, if an officer asks for your driver’s license or proof of insurance then you must give it to them.

How Do I Waive My Miranda Rights?

Once you have been read your Miranda Rights, you waive them through speaking to police without an attorney present. Waiver requires your consent to be voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. The good news is, if you wish to stop answering questions and wait for an attorney after you initially waived your Miranda Rights, it is perfectly okay to do so under your 5th Amendment Right.

What If My Miranda Rights Were Violated?

If your Miranda rights were violated, it is a legal defense to some evidence collected in an OVI. It will not result in a complete dismissal of the charges against you. It will make the prosecution’s case harder. Before you were interrogated anything incriminating you said, even though your rights had not been read to you yet, does not constitute a violation. Ohio law provides that officers must read Miranda Rights to defendants as part of the litany read prior to BAC testing. Failure to read Miranda Rights may cause the Administrative License Suspension to be overturned.

Examples of violations could include:

  • Lacking the mental capacity to understand (through medical disorders or intoxication)
  • Never being read your Miranda rights at all
  • Being placed under arrested and then questioned and was only read your Miranda rights later

If an officer does not read you your rights then the statements made are not admissible in Court.

How Does It All Work?

You cannot simply remain silent if you want authorities to stop questioning you. Instead, you must say, out loud, “I wish to remain silent” or “I am requesting legal counsel.” Then, authorities must immediately stop questioning you while you are in custody.

Imagine this. You’ve been out to dinner without a friend and had a few drinks. You decide to get behind the wheel and drive home. Halfway there you get pulled over. The officer approaches your car, smells the alcohol and arrests you.

Officer: “I can smell the alcohol on your breath so let’s make both our nights easier. Just confess it all. How many drinks have you had tonight?”

Defendant:

Officer: “Ok. Well, we have eyewitnesses that say you were drinking.”

Defendant: “I would like a lawyer.”

Officer: “Come on. It is so late and we both know the truth. Just tell me how many drinks and I’ll work with you.”

In this example, the Defendant remained silent and asked for an attorney. This is exactly what you should do. Remain silent and call us.