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THE ACCIDENT REPORTING PRIVILEGE; IS IT REALLY A PRIVILEGE?

THE ACCIDENT REPORTING PRIVILEGE; IS IT REALLY A PRIVILEGE?

In the State of Florida if you are in a car accident you must stay on scene and you must accurately and truthfully report everything that happened. However, any statements made to law enforcement during the accident report is excluded from a criminal investigation. The reason for this law/ privilege is to encourage witnesses to cooperate with law enforcement in automobile accident investigations. However, if during the accident reporting period law enforcement note any indicators of impairments they are allowed to "switch hats" and begin a DUI investigation. Once they switch hats they can begin investigating whether or not the driver is impaired. They are allowed to do this under Florida law. However, before any questioning begins they must read you your Miranda rights. Those rights are cited in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966 ), where the court held that if you are in custody and law enforcement wants to ask you questions they must read you the Miranda warnings. This formal warning is required to be given by police to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial situation) before they are interrogated. It is also notable to add that even if someone in custody has waived their Miranda rights they can reinvoke them at any time. Law enforcement would have to stop questioning. Many times the officer fails to "switch hats" and read the defendant his/her rights. If an officer fails to properly "switch hats" or read your rights, any statements you make to the officer may be suppressed in an evidentiary hearing. Call now Calvo & Calvo Attorneys at law for a careful review and evaluation of your DUI case>