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Florida Accident Report Privilige

By Tom Malone - Last updated: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Under Florida law, after a crash involving property damage, personal injury, serious bodily injury, or death, the driver is required tby statute to give his name, address, license number and registration documents to the police. The driver is also required to provide a statement.  In order to assure that compliance with this law did not violate a persons rights against self incrimination the legislature enacted the Accident Report Privilige.  The “Accident Report Privilege” is a Florida law (F.S. 316.066) that prohibits any statements made to a police officer during a crash investigation from being used as evidence in any hearing or trial.  If the officer wishes to obtain statements that are admissible the officer must “change hats” and tell the person that he is beginning a criminal investigation and then read  Miranda warnings.

F.S. 316.066(7)  Except as specified in this subsection, 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 this section 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. However, subject to the applicable rules of evidence, a law enforcement officer at a criminal trial may testify as to any statement made to the officer by the person involved in the crash if that person’s privilege against self-incrimination is not violated. The results of breath, urine, and blood tests administered as provided in s. 316.1932 or s. 316.1933 are not confidential and shall be admissible into evidence in accordance with the provisions of s. 316.1934(2). Crash reports made by persons involved in crashes shall not be used for commercial solicitation purposes; however, the use of a crash report for purposes of publication in a newspaper or other news periodical or a radio or television broadcast shall not be construed as “commercial purpose.”

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