You are a recent graduate of the Police Academy and while you and your partner are on patrol, you observe a vehicle swerving in and out of the lanes on a busy road. You stop the vehicle and further observe that the motorist is obviously intoxicated. You proceed to administer the appropriate tests required by your department’s procedure and determine that the motorist’s blood alcohol level is beyond the legal limit. Your partner makes the arrest and charges the motorist with driving under the influence. When you and your partner pulled the motorist over and arrested him, neither of you read him his Miranda rights. Despite not reading the motorist his rights, your partner proceeded to interrogate the motorist, asking him if he had been drinking, how much, and where he had been drinking. The prosecutor intends to use the motorist’s statements against him in the prosecution. The attorney for the defendant (the motorist) intends to file a motion to suppress the client’s statements, arguing that the failure of the police to read him the Miranda warning indicates that the statements were illegally obtained.
Miranda rights: The requirements are that individuals who are in custody of a law enforcement agency, subsequent to being taken into custody, and are questioned by government agents have the right to be silent. If they choose to speak, their statements will be held against them. They are entitled to be represented by counsel of their choice. If they cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them by the court.
Focus your discussion on the following:
- Based on the elements of the arrest process, should the Miranda rights have been read? If so, why?Be sure to cite the Supreme Court case that supports your response.