The burden of proof for a crime in the United States is on the prosecution. Many DUI defendants shoot themselves in the foot because they don’t understand the concept of evidentiary party admissions.
Miranda rights are something we see all the time on television and in movies. The repeated droning of “You have the right to remain silent…” is such that most people don’t think about what is really being said. When a police officer says the Miranda rights warning to you, he or she is saying you have the right to remain silent and ANYTHING you SAY may be used against you. This is because anything a defendant says is admissible in court.
You’ve been out on the town and are driving home. The tell tail red lights go on behind you. The officer starts asking you questions. In most cases, you should answer them courteously. That being said, you should also answer briefly and avoid “talking up” or arguing the officer in question. Why? Well, anything you say will be used against you.
There is a classic video on the web of a man who has been pulled over for drunk driving. All of the classic field sobriety tests are administered and he passes them without a hitch. Still, he is obviously hammered. The female police officer compliments him and suggests he can probably dance well too. The gent starts dancing and she asks him if he is professionally trained. His answer?
“No, I’m just drunk!”
Do you think this statement was raised in court? No, it wasn’t. Why? Because you can bet he took a plea deal because he would’ve been crushed at court. The entire episode was caught on television. Once the jury stopped laughing, they would’ve found him guilty and a harsh sentence would’ve been handed down.
Now, what if he didn’t say anything? Well, he passed all the tests so the best the officer could do is arrest him for driving while impaired and then seek out a blood test. He would then plead out on something less severe. It would still be painful, but not massively so.
Make no mistake. I am not suggesting you should drink and drive or there is any way to get around a conviction. That being said, the burden is on the government to prove a crime. Don’t do their job for them by making statements that make their case.