Florida Accident Report Privilege Law
When you get into an accident, law enforcement will take a report. Any statement made to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of completing a crash report cannot be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, according to Florida Statute 316.066(4).
A law enforcement officer may testify about anything a person involved in a crash says, as long as that person’s right not to incriminate themselves isn’t violated. The results of breath, urine, and blood tests are not testimonial and may be allowed into evidence.
This law allows for open communication between the persons involved in the crash and the police officer to allow law enforcement to determine who is at fault. The accident report privilege covers any communication with the police officer made by anyone involved in an accident. This includes the driver, the owner of the vehicle, and the vehicle’s occupants at the time of the accident. The privilege applies even if someone tries to testify about what the person told the officer if they were listening in.
However, the privilege does not cover conversations with eyewitnesses, such as bystanders, who were not in the accident. It also does not protect against “factual findings” made by the officer investigating the crash. This includes field sobriety tests, breath tests, and blood tests. The results of these tests are not testimonial and can be used against you as evidence in civil and criminal trials.
A police officer’s own observations at the scene of the physical evidence or any related evidence are not protected by privilege. The recording of measurements, any road or skid marks made by the vehicle, road debris, persons involved, and other physical finds are not privileged under the statute. The officer can testify about the findings.
Contact experienced traffic attorney Brandon Gans today for a free consultation if you are under investigation for a criminal traffic crash. With experience as a former deputy sheriff and over 10 years of traffic defense experience, he can plan the best course of action for you.