Is PI tryed in general sessions or magistrate court?

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Is PI tryed in general sessions or magistrate court?

Can you be arrested for PI and read no miranda rights, given no alcohol or blood test and have to post a bond, and appear in General Sessions court when you were not even drinking??

Asked on May 4, 2009 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If your breath smelled of alcohol and you were acting drunk in some way, that is often all that is needed to prove public intoxication.  These laws are more like the older drunk driving laws from before the breath test became widely used, and there is no "limit" on your blood alcohol content that has to be shown.

Police only need to read you the Miranda rights when they want to question you while you are in custody.  If they didn't ask you about what you did or where you were, in a situation where you reasonably thought they wouldn't let you walk away without talking to them, before they arrested you, it doesn't matter.

I'm not sure why the choice of court is important to you.  You can count on the General Sessions court to move the case back to the magistrate court, if that's where it belongs.  The same law and the same evidence should be used either way.


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