Florida traffic court self-incrimination unresolved
Jul 16, 2012
The following article was published in the Tampa Tribune on July 17, 2012:
By The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Two Florida panels will take another look at whether traffic court defendants should be warned against making self-incriminating statements.
The Florida Supreme Court last week declined to order traffic judges to give such Fifth Amendment warnings to defendants.
But the justices ordered the Florida Bar’s Traffic Court Rules Committee and the Conference of County Court Judges to determine whether the issue could best be addressed through a standardized form of discussion between judges and defendants.
The rules panel had proposed a rule change requiring a self-incrimination warning. The judges’ conference opposed it as unnecessary because traffic cases are civil, not criminal, in nature.
The justices, though, noted that what a motorist says in traffic court could resurface in a subsequent criminal case.
The panels’ joint report is due Oct. 1.