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Police arrest Minnesota teen for DUI, fail to read Miranda rights

No matter how serious criminal accusations are, accused individuals are entitled to certain rights that protect them from unfair prosecution. When law enforcement officials fail to adhere to constitutional protections, the outcome of any subsequent criminal trial could be dramatically changed.

Drunk driving cases often include discussions about constitutional rights, since there is always the possibility that police gathered evidence or made an arrest in an unlawful fashion. An ongoing felony drunk driving case involving a teenager from Alexandria, Minnesota, is exploring this very idea.

In May 2013, the 18-year-old young man was involved in a car accident that resulted in the death of another teen. While the driver was in the hospital, a state trooper questioned him and a blood sample was collected. However, the cop failed to advise the injured teenager of his Miranda rights before conducting the interrogation. Those who are suspected of a crime deserve to know that they don't have to make incriminating statements and can retain the services of a defense attorney, both of which are mentioned in the Miranda warning.

Now that the criminal proceedings are moving forward, the defendant's attorney is asking the court to suppress the testimony and blood-test evidence gathered in the hospital. If this request is granted, the outcome of the trial could be significantly impacted.

Constitutional rights are not simply guidelines that police should try to follow; rather, they are the cornerstone of the justice system and should always be respected. As such, accused individuals can benefit from ensuring that their legal protections are upheld.

Source: Park Rapids Enterprise, "Defense wants evidence suppressed in Alex man's case," Oct. 2, 2013

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