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Accident Report Privilege

St. Petersburg Traffic Criminal Defense Lawyers Protecting Your Rights

Traffic criminal offenses are some of the most common criminal charges faced by residents of Florida. Because Florida has such an inadequate public transportation infrastructure, motor vehicle travel has grown as the only source of medium and long distance travel for a majority of Floridians. As a result of the proliferation of motor vehicle travel, the State of Florida has instituted an enormous amount of civil and criminal regulations with respect to operating a motor vehicle. Many of us have been pulled over and cited for speeding, registration violations, window tints and any number of other traffic infractions.

Many types of traffic law violations are also crimes. DUI, Driving with a Suspended License, and Leaving the Scene of an Accident are all common traffic criminal offenses. In order to be proven guilty and convicted for any crime, the State must prove all elements of the offense beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt. Because of this high evidentiary standard, police and investigators are specially trained to collect as much evidence in any case to make sure they secure a conviction. Because of this fact, it is important that drivers in Florida understand all of their rights and responsibilities under the law. If you have found yourself charged with a traffic criminal offense, even though it may seem minor, you should protect your rights by hiring a dedicated St. Petersburg traffic criminal lawyer.

Your Rights Under the Accident Report Privilege

There are a myriad of ways that you can come in contact with a police officer who is investigating you for a traffic criminal offense. Most often, people are pulled over for minor traffic violations that results in a more thorough investigation. The other common occurrence is that a police officer will come in contact with people who have been involved in a traffic crash and may conduct a criminal investigation if other evidence surfaces. This article deals with the rights that you have if an officer questions you regarding a criminal offense after you have been involved in a traffic accident. People involved in traffic crashes can be investigated for all sorts of criminal offenses. If an officer smells alcohol, they may investigate you for DUI. You can be investigated for driving with a suspended license or driving without vehicle registration. Most people are aware of their Miranda rights, especially the right to remain silent. When the police are conducting a criminal investigation, it is usually in your best interest to exercise that right and not to tell them anything without first consulting a specialized St. Petersburg traffic criminal lawyer.

A little known exception is that, if you are involved in an accident and an officer questions you, you MUST answer his or her questions. This is one of the only circumstances that a law enforcement officer can actually compel you to talk about what happened in order for them to put together a traffic crash report required by law. However, because you are forced to talk about what happened, there are legal protections put in place.

Under Florida Statute 316.006(4), anything you say to an officer during his or her traffic crash investigation is privileged information that cannot be used against you in a criminal or civil case. Investigating officers are often aware of this law, but if they are not, your case can greatly benefit by the exclusion of your statements. An experienced St. Petersburg traffic criminal lawyer will be able to exploit the mistakes made by the police to benefit your case.

Speak to the Lawyers at Hanlon Law Today

The attorneys at Hanlon Law are well versed in the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. We have the skills and resources to secure the best results for you and your loved ones. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 727.289.0222.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse