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Statements Suppressed Because of the Crash Report Privilege

April 2016

In the United States, you have a right to remain silent if you are being investigated for a crime.  But if you are involved in an accident, the police want to know what happened.  How to harmonize these two interests?  In Florida, we have a statute that creates a Crash Report Privilege.  The Crash Report Privilege prevents anything you say to the police after an accident from being used against you until you have been given your Miranda rights.

In a case last week, our client was taken to the hospital after the crash, where police were treating him when a uniformed officer walked into the Emergency Room.  The officer said "What's going on?"  Our client followed up by making some damaging admissions that he had been drinking and driving.  It was the position of the state that the Crash Investigation hadn't begun yet.  But we successfully argued that by initiating a conversation with our client, the officer had begun his Crash Investigation.  All of our client's statements were ruled inadmissible at trial.  

Practice area(s): DUI / DWI

Tom Hudson

Known nationwide as a leading DUI defense lawyer, Tom has tried over 350 jury trials, including numerous death penalty cases. He now limits his criminal practice to DUI defense. His civil practice is devoted to getting fair compensation for the victims of negligence. Tom has attained multiple verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million, and is a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In 2008, Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Test for DUI Attorneys in Honolulu, Hawaii. NOTE: The State of Florida does not yet recognize DUI defense as a Specialty.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor.