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If you’ve ever watched a murder mystery or police procedural television show, you are already familiar with the concept of Miranda rights. Being read the Miranda warning informs an arrestee that he or she has the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to have an attorney provided if he or she cannot afford one. There are a few other important things to know about your rights. Read on for an explanation of what happens if you get pulled over and arrested for reckless driving or any other violation. A History of Miranda Rights Have you ever wondered why police have to inform suspects of their rights? The purpose of being Mirandized is to protect people from police interrogators who use intimidating tactics. It also assures that the arrestee understands their rights. It may surprise you to know that the Miranda warning only dates back to 1966. It stems from a case, Arizona v. Miranda, in which a suspect named Ernesto Miranda confessed to crimes after being unfairly questioned by police. Your Rights When Arrested It is not enough to for police to inform an arrestee of his rights; the suspect must also indicate verbally that he understands them. If a suspect’s first language is not English, the Miranda warning will be translated and read to him in his native language. In this instance, the warning is usually videotaped or otherwise recorded. The right to remain silent does not apply to questions regarding the suspect’s name, age, address, and similar questions that seek to establish facts. Nor do they prevent the suspect from being searched by police. The police have the right to search a suspect in order to ensure their own safety. Once an individual has waived his Miranda rights, police may question him without an attorney present. However, at any time, the suspect has the right to stop speaking and to request an attorney. When that happens, all questioning must stop. Situations In Which Miranda Rights Don’t Apply It’s important to note that someone can be arrested without being read their Miranda rights. Police are only required to Mirandize a suspect when they plan to interrogate that suspect. In situations such as DUI arrests, for example, there likely won’t be an interrogation. The evidence that will be used against the arrestee doesn’t come from questioning by police. So the Miranda warning generally doesn’t apply. Similarly, a person who is pulled over for driving recklessly does not have the right to an attorney before taking field sobriety tests. Final Thoughts Even though your rights when arrested may not include those guaranteed by Miranda, you will still want to consult with an attorney before your hearing. If you have been arrested for reckless driving, having an attorney on your side can be invaluable. Legal assistance could help you avoid fines, the suspension of your license, and even jail time. To schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation, contact Mark Nicewicz today.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • DUI/DWI
  • Traffic Violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Felonies and Misdemeanors

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 1985
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Education

  • University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
    • J.D. - 1985
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1982
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    • Major: Economics & Philosophy