Can police arrest or detain a person without reading them their Miranda rights?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can police arrest or detain a person without reading them their Miranda rights?

I was arrested for a DUI. I was never informed of my Miranda rights. I was never told I was under arrest, or why. I told the police I had not drunk any alcohol in over 14 months. I my state of shock I said I did take prescribed meds at about 4:30 am. Doesn’t an person have to be read their Miranda rights after being arrested? Until the person has been informed of his or her Miranda rights, any statements made by them during interrogation may be ruled inadmissible in court, correct?

Asked on February 3, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


V. Iyer / Iyer Law Office, LLC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Not exactly true. It would appear that you spontaneous voluntered the information of ingestion of prescription drugs without any questing my the police. If that is true, then there is no Miranda Warning violation. Miranda Warning is one of the most misunderstood court rulings.

The US Supreme Court has stated that for Miranda Warning protection to apply there must exist TWO factors or facts simultaneously. One is that the person is arrested or under arrest AND at the same time or during that period of arrest the police is INTERROGATING THE PERSON ARRESTED. If these two facts exist then Miranda Warning must be given before the arrested person can answer any question which can then be used by the police or prosecutors provided the arrested person has WAIVED THE RIGHT TO HAVE HIS ATTORNEY PRESENT DURING QUESTIONING. Remember, you can alway WAIVE (Give up) the Rights under Miranda.  Once Miranda Warning is given and you Exercise the rights not to answer any question unless you have your attorney present then plolice can still question you but any answer given cannot be used against you unless the answers could be discovered from other sources independent of the response.

Law and especially criminal law is very intricate, subtle and complex. THe BEST Way is ALWAYS REMAIN SILENT and REFUSE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS if you are contacted by police and if there is any possibility that you are a suspect, a person of interest or under suspicion or arrested or accused. Hire a criminal defense attoreny and let the attorney sort out your case. Police do lie and you cannot. It is not fair but so is life.

Silence is the best rule even if that acuses you to be arrested. It is better to be arrested and possibly stay in jail of a few hours to a day or so (few days) than say something that puts you in jail or prison for a long time like months or years and sometime seven a lifetime.

Remember, the police only need probableaacuse to arrest you BUT need proof BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT to convict you.

All the Best

Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

            Usually, when a person states, “I was not read my rights!” they are referring to their Miranda Rights. Which are: (1) You have the right to remain silent; (2) Anything you say can and will be used against you in court; (3) You have the right to consult with an attorney and have an attorney present during questioning; and (4) If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you before questioning at no cost to you.[1]  However, many people misunderstand when a peace officer is required to give them Miranda Warnings.  A suspect is only accorded Miranda protections during a custodial interrogation.  Both elements (i.e., custody and interrogation) must be present before the peace officer is required to give Miranda Warnings.  That means peace officers are not required to give Miranda Warnings when they are still in the investigatory stage.  For instance, a peace officer is not required to give Miranda Warnings when he asks a person suspected of driving under the influence if they have been drinking or asks them to conduct field sobriety tests.  This is because the peace officer is still trying to ascertain whether a crime has been committed (i.e., The Investigatory Stage).

            That said, in Utah,  a person is in custody when an individual’s freedom of action is curtailed to a degree associated with a formal arrest.  The inquiry is objective, and a person may understand himself to be in custody based either on physical evidence or on the nature of the peace officer’s instructions and questions.  Utah Courts have set out a five-factor test to determine when a person is in custody for the purpose of Miranda protections. They are: (1) the site of the interrogation; (2) whether the investigation focused on the accused; (3) whether the objective indicia of arrest were present; (4) the length and form of the interrogation; and (5) whether the accused came to the place of interrogation freely and willingly.

            In Utah, after it has been determined that the accused was in custody, the court must decide whether the accused incriminating statement was the product of interrogation.  Interrogation is either express questioning by the peace officers or its functional equivalent. And, it incorporates any words or actions on the part of the peace officers that they should have known were reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.

            In Salt Lake City v. Carner, 664 P.2d 1168 (1983), the Utah Supreme Court held that the defendant was not in custody, or otherwise significantly deprived of his freedom.  Nor did custody compel the defendant to take the field sobriety tests. Defendant was requested and he agreed, both verbally and by his attempts at compliance, to perform the field sobriety tests. Therefore, the defendant was not compelled to give evidence against himself.

            The relevant facts in Carner are as follows: The peace officer observed defendant’s vehicle cross the center line of the street three separate times while traveling approximately one block; After defendant’s vehicle made a sweeping left turn, the peace officer pulled defendant over; Upon approaching defendant’s vehicle, the peace officer smelled an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle’s interior;  In talking with the defendant, the peace officer noticed that defendant’s speech was slurred; The peace officer asked the defendant to get out of the vehicle and requested that defendant perform field sobriety tests; The defendant verbally agreed to perform the field sobriety tests; The peace officer instructed defendant on how to perform the heel-to-toe test, the finger count test, the hand slap test, and the balance test; the defendant attempted to comply with the field sobriety tests; However, the defendant was unable to effectively perform any of the field sobriety tests; and, Based upon the peace officer’s observations of the driving pattern, field sobriety tests, the odor, and defendant’s speech, the peace officer formed the opinion that the defendant was intoxicated to the point that it impaired his ability to drive and arrested him for driving under the influence.


Hope this helps.

[1] Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1996) and State v. Levin, 144 P.3d 1096 (2006)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption