Ed Shaw Law - Brainerd Attorney
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Coronavirus Impact and Assurance: Yes! We are still open for business!

As you are all aware, we are currently facing unique challenges due to the Coronavirus. While this is a serious crisis, it is important to keep it in perspective, and not allow it to prevent us from going about our business. We want to assure all of our clients that this office is prepared to serve your needs, regardless of what happens and how the virus affects Minnesota. In an effort to keep the office safe, we have stepped up prevention and sanitation measures in hopes to prevent disease transmission.

Because we are a paperless office, our entire staff is prepared to work from home if necessary. No matter what happens, we will continue to provide our clients with the highest quality legal services.  So far, not one client or staff member has become infected based on contact at this office and we will continue with safety protocols in an attempt to keep it that way. My office will continue to put the safety of our staff and you as our top priority. We do greatly appreciate your cooperation in conducting business in a safe fashion by utilizing current technology. Regardless of what happens, we will continue to take care of all of your legal needs.

Please rest assured, we will continue to take care of your legal needs in this challenging time, and your safety is our highest priority.

Please see our blog for more info on pandemic response.

DUIs, the Miranda Warning and the Fifth Amendment

| Dec 9, 2018 | Uncategorized

You just got off work at the bar and had a tall “shifty” to complete the day. You get in your car and head home. The lake looks magical as a white fog lifts from it and glows in the moonlight.

The reverie is broken by blue and red lights and a very loud siren behind you. You pull over. Flashlight in hand, the officer approaches your car. 

The Miranda Warning

“Where were you tonight?” the officer asks after checking your ID. “How much did you have to drink?” he queries. 

Because you are being questioned by the police you feel compelled to answer. Yet, if you admit you were at a bar and had a big drink after your shift, aren’t you incriminating yourself?

Yes.

Remember, the law does not require the officer to recite the Miranda warning before asking you questions which could get you into trouble. The Miranda Warning is only told to you if and when you are under arrest.

So, what do you do? Here is where the Fifth Amendment comes into play. 

The Fifth Amendment 

If you are asked if you have been drinking do not incriminate yourself. If you say yes you have just given the officer “probable cause” and reason enough to test and arrest you. 

Without specific facts and circumstances, such as you swerving all over the road or your admission of guilt, the officer does not have reason enough to arrest you. 

This blog just gave you an answer

You are reading this blog, posted by a reputable and experienced law firm. You can now honestly answer the officer, “I have been advised not to answer that question.”

Or, you can instead simply ask, “Am I under arrest?”

The officer has to have a reasonable and justified suspicion that you are impaired or drunk (having a BAC of .08 in Minnesota) before arresting you or even telling you to step out of the car and take the field sobriety test.

Remember, it is not illegal to have a drink and drive. It is only illegal to drive impaired or above the legal limit.