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What If Your Miranda Rights Weren’t Read?

What If Your Miranda Rights Weren’t Read?


If you were not advised or Miranda rights while being arrested for a South Carolina DUI, this can be grounds to have your case dismissed.

Pursuant to S. C. Code § 56-5-2953(A)(1)(a)(iii), the police officer is required to video record you being read your Miranda rights.  An inexcusable violation of this requirement will result in a DUI charge being dismissed.

This is one area where South Carolina’s DUI laws differ from other states. DUI is the only criminal offense in South Carolina that has this particular rule. There are several other particular legal requirements that similarly can result in a charge being dismissed or at least reduced when there are questions about the way the police handled the arrest.

One thing you cannot do is expect the traffic court judge to investigate the circumstances of your arrest to see if the police officer did everything correctly. They Defenses such as this are raised requires a fair amount of preparation before going to court. The judge will not take your (or our) word for it.

In South Carolina the defense has to specifically request the video tape of their arrest in advance of court before they have a right to use it as part of their defense. This is accomplished by timely filing and serving what are called discovery motions. This is paperwork that we prepare in our office, and then deliver to the court and to the arresting officer or local DUI prosecutor.

The result from this is that the evidence in the case, including the roadside video, will be turned over to use before court. We then review all of the materials looking for police errors as well as evidence for or against the officer’s assumption of impairment. When we are able to find problems with the case, such as a failure to give Miranda rights, these are raised in the form of motions with the court seeking the dismissal.  


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