NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #15

Miranda Warning For Traffic Offenses

It would be the rare person that hasn’t heard some version of the Miranda warning “—anything you say may be used against you in a court of law—“.

The issue for motorists is when is a police officer required to give a driver a Miranda warning if that driver is stopped for a traffic violation. The short answer: only after you have been officially arrested and taken into custody.

Anytime, up the moment of arrest, is fair game and anything you say can still be used against you in court, even though you were not read your Miranda rights. This is why we recommend that you say nothing that in any way will come back to haunt you in court, before or after you are arrested, and even if you are not arrested.

You can be polite, provide your license and other required documents, but you are not required to discuss the event for which you were stopped nor any other matter related to your actions or motives.

And, as noted in past articles, you are not required to take field sobriety tests or permit the search of your vehicle (unless the officer has probable cause to do so).

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