Georgia Miranda Rights
In Georgia, there are three different categories of encounters between police officers and citizens.
A First Tier encounter is a casual encounter between the officer and a citizen. The contact that you have with a police officer during this encounter is purely voluntary and does not lead to detention. Since a detention does not occur and you are free to walk away at any time, this does not constitute an arrest.
A Second Tier encounter does involve a brief investigative detention by the police officer. You are not allowed to leave but this type of investigative detention does not constitute an arrest.
A Third Tier encounter involves a custodial detention by the police. This means that the citizen has been placed under arrest.
Many people are misinformed about the timing of being arrested. Perhaps you’ve heard that “if an officer never says ‘you are under arrest,’ then an arrest hasn’t actually happened yet.” This isn’t always the case. Georgia law stipulates that if circumstances are such that a reasonable person ought to have no question that he or she was placed under arrest, then an arrest has occurred. If there is a question about the timing of an arrest, the judge will make a determination during a pretrial hearing.
It is important to note that a police officer does not have to advise you of your Miranda Rights during a First or Second Tier encounter. Any incriminating remarks you make while being questioned before being arrested are admissible in a court of law. However, it is important to note that you are under no legal obligation to speak to the police during the First or Second Tier encounter.
So when are your Miranda Rights in affect? Once a citizen has been placed under arrest, the police must perform him or her of the Miranda Rights before further questioning. If, after your arrest, the officer begins questioning you before advising you of your Miranda Rights, any statement you make will be inadmissible in court.
Georgia Miranda Rights differ from federal Miranda Rights. While the federal rights only apply to written or oral statements, Georgia rights apply to “acts” as well. For example, if you were arrested and asked to perform a field sobriety test before hearing your Miranda Rights, the results of the test will be inadmissible. It is important to note that any voluntary statements you make before being read Miranda rights may be used in court.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia and have questions about your Miranda Rights, please fill out our contact form today. Kohn & Yager will get in touch with you to talk about your case.