Non-English Speaking DUI Suspects Must Be Advised of Rights

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Manji Law, P.C. discusses non-English speaking DUI suspects and the rights they should know during a situation of arrest. Learn more!

Manji Law, P.C.
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Decatur, GA 30030

Miranda Rights for Suspected DUI

“Miranda Rights” are an important set of rights to which an individual suspected of criminal wrongdoing is entitled. They are named after the landmark Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona, which took place in 1966.

According to Miranda Rights, law enforcement officers must inform individuals in police custody of their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and consult an attorney before any questioning or interrogation.

In addition, according to this case, a confession is considered involuntary if the suspect has not been told they have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment when interrogated.

However, if the person being arrested volunteers information that is self-incriminating, it can be used as evidence in court.

And, the legal definition of being “in custody” is more complicated than it sounds. It does not mean only when you are in jail. It also refers to when a reasonable person in the situation would not feel that they have the right to leave.

These nuances make it difficult for anyone to know what their rights are if you are pulled over or detained by law enforcement. It becomes even more difficult when the suspect does not speak or understand English.

Regardless of what language you speak, you do have rights! At Manji Law, we are committed to educating our clients about how best to protect and advocate for themselves when interacting with the criminal justice system.

Read on to learn more about the rights of non-English speaking persons when they are suspected of a DUI or other crime.

Miranda Warning for Suspicion of DUI Charge

Miranda Rights protect the suspect from making incriminating statements after being detained.

However, when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI), law enforcement officers may not need to go through questioning. This is because they may not need any statement from the suspect to prove the DUI case.

In most DUI cases, the suspected person is usually charged based on their behavior and a breath or blood test. Depending on the circumstances, this evidence might be enough to arrest the suspect without any questions or additional statements.

As such, a law enforcement officer may not read these rights for a DUI arrest, and the arrest would still be valid.

The police may resort to questioning in more complex cases, such as those involving serious injury or death. If they do so, they must first read the suspect’s Miranda Rights.

In this case, as a DUI lawyer may tell you, you can remain silent and not say anything that will incriminate you.


How To Mirandize Someone

An individual’s Miranda Rights are contained in the warning that police read soon after an arrest.

When a suspect is read their Miranda warning, it has to be read in clear and plain language as follows for it to be valid:

“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?”

This process is also known as being ‘Mirandized.’ It is important to note that “clear and plain language” means that for people who do not speak or understand English, the statement must be translated.

In reality, officers might not always translate the statement. If this occurs, it is important to tell your attorney so that you can use this piece of information in your defense.

The Miranda Rights as outlined in the Miranda warning are:

  • You are free to remain silent.
  • In a court of law, anything you say can and will be used against you.
  • You are entitled to the services of an attorney.
  • You will be assigned to an attorney if you cannot afford one. This means you can refuse to answer questions from an officer and instead request an attorney.

When Must Police Officers Give Miranda Warnings?

The law only requires police officers to read Miranda rights if they intend to take the suspect through custodial interrogation. Usually, two questions determine if a police officer must read suspect their Miranda Rights:

1. Has the Suspect Been Detained?

If the suspect is being arrested or detained, the police officers have to read their Miranda rights. As we mentioned before, being “detained” does not necessarily mean you are in handcuffs or in the back of a police car.

2. Is There an Interrogation of The Suspect?

This means questioning a suspected DUI driver about the alleged offense. However, questioning does not include asking for basic information like name, age, address, or ID. Rather, asking for confidential or sensitive information related to the suspected criminal case could be considered questioning.

In emergencies and cases related to immigration services, law enforcement officers are not required to give a Miranda warning. The police can use any evidence obtained in these circumstances against the defendant.

What Happens if Miranda Rights Are Not Given?

Any statement or confession resulting from improper interrogation may be inadmissible evidence if police fail to give a Miranda warning.

For example, the court observes that the officer obtains field sobriety tests or makes the suspect answer questions without understanding their right to remain silent. In that case, the evidence might not be admissible in court.

However, successfully making such an argument requires the legal skills and resources of experienced DUI attorneys.

To avoid self-incrimination, ensure you have legal counsel present before giving any confidential information in any custody interrogation.

How Does Miranda Work for a Suspected DUI Driver Who is Not Fluent in English?

When it comes to warning drivers about their rights and responsibilities under Georgia’s implied consent laws, the Supreme Court has said that officers “must use methods that reasonably convey the warnings and rights in the implied consent statute.”

This includes expressing the driver’s Miranda Rights using plain language.

Speaking English to a driver with limited English proficiency does not reasonably convey warnings and rights in the implied consent statute.

An officer may be required to suppress any test results obtained through improper methods of securing a breath sample.

Likewise, they may have to suppress or disregard any statements made if the suspect did not understand their right to remain silent or right to have an attorney present.

In order to exclude the evidence, your criminal defense lawyers may need to file a specific motion. Winning this motion can be crucial for your case as it is challenging to prosecute someone without breathalyzer results or any incriminating statements.

The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI, DWI, etc.) can be severe. You could be hit with hefty fines, lose your driver’s license, or even go to jail. Consider speaking to an experienced attorney before any police interrogation.

What Happens When You are Arrested for DUI?

If police find probable cause to arrest you for driving drunk, you’ll most likely be handcuffed and taken to the nearest jail or police station. When you are arrested for a DUI, the police usually take your driver’s license and issue you a temporary paper permit.

The temporary permit is usually valid until the court or the Department of Motor Vehicle decides whether or not to suspend your driver’s license. It is important to abide by the decision if your license is suspended. Getting caught driving without a license can get you in a lot of trouble.

If you are arrested for DUI, you will usually be held in jail until someone pays your bail or a judge releases you on your own recognizance.

Knowing your rights is important in protecting or securing your freedom. Reach out today if you have questions or need assistance with a DUI arrest as a non-English speaker!