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DUI charges may be dropped for lack of videotaped Miranda rights

Previous postings in this blog have discussed the importance of obtaining a DUI defense attorney when facing charges for drunk driving. An attorney can help to ensure that all of the defendant's rights are protected. A previous posting in this blog also discussed the DUI charges faced by State Representative Ted Vick. Vick's attorney may be able to have the Representative's charges dropped because the rights to which he was entitled were not upheld.

As previously discussed, Representative Vick was arrested in May after a state Bureau of Protective Services officer noticed him stumbling in the State House parking garage and then allegedly witnessed him striking a traffic cone.

The officer has dash-cam footage of the arrest but the two men allegedly wrestled and struggled during the arrest and for approximately two minutes they were off camera. Authorities claim that during those two minutes, Vick was read his Miranda rights. However, according to South Carolina law, a defendant must be read his Miranda rights on video camera.

Due to the lack of a videotaped reading of Miranda rights, Vick's attorney is arguing that the charges should be dropped. Vick and his attorney argue that in the 45 minutes of video footage authorities took that they could have read Vick his Miranda rights.

When a driver is charged with a crime such as drunk driving, the penalties and potential consequences can be very severe and may amount to jail time, monetary fines and a lifelong impact on the defendant's livelihood. However, some of those negative ramifications can be avoided if authorities did not follow the proper protocol.

Vick's argument has not yet been ruled upon but this is a perfect example of a mistake made by authorities that could improve the defendant's case. An experienced attorney will do the necessary analysis and investigation to find mistakes of this type, if they exist, in order to strengthen and solidify the defendant's arguments against a DUI conviction.

Source: The State, "Vick seeks dismissal of DUI charge on technicality," Andrew Shain, June 26, 2013

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