Drivers who are involved in reported or alleged motor vehicle accidents have a legal duty to provide law enforcement officers with their name, address, driver license, and other relevant information under Florida Statute 316.062. To ensure that this requirement does not infringe on constitutional rights or protections (i.e.; 5th Amendment protection against self incrimination), the legislature has adopted the so-called Accident Report Privilege. The Accident Report Privilege is governed by Florida Statute 316.066 subsection (7), which provides that:
"Each crash report made by a person involved in a crash and any statement made by such person to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of completing a crash report required [by Florida law] shall be without prejudice to the individual so reporting. No such report or statement shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal."
The privilege applies if no Miranda warnings are given; furthermore if law enforcement officers tell the defendant that he must respond to questions concerning an accident there must also be an express statement afterwards that "this is now a criminal investigation," followed by Miranda, before statements made by the defendant can be admitted into evidence or used at trial.
If you were involved in an accident and subsequently arrested for DUI or any other charge, contact an experienced Tampa Criminal Defense attorney today. A knowledgeable lawyer may be able to have any statements you made placing you behind the wheel suppressed, which could lead to a favorable case result for you. Call today - a consultation with a lawyer at Taracks & Associates is always free of charge. We will try to help you keep your driver license or obtain a hardship license and will vehemently fight the State's charges against you. Let us fight for your rights. Call today at 813-281-2897. Taracks & Associates - The Advocate For You.