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Will my DUI medical records be used against me in DUI Trial?
The State Attorney's Office will send you a letter advising you that the office is investigation the case. The letter is necessary before the prosecutor can issue the subpoena.
In felony DUI cases with serious bodily injury and manslaughter, it is common for the prosecutor to request your medical records. You will know that the prosecutor is trying to get your medical records when you receive a letter advising you of their intention of issuing a subpoena in fifteen (15) days.
- That the State of Florida has provided the Defendant with a letter dated April 29, 2015, wherein the State has indicated that they will be issuing a subpoena to compel the production of medical records of the Defendant.
- That said subpoena is overly broad regarding what medical records of the Defendant the State intends to subpoena.
- That pursuant to Florida Statutes 395.3025 and 455.241, the Defendant maintains an expectation of privacy in his medical records by statute, in that said statute makes said medical records confidential.
- That the State has established no probable cause to intrude upon said records and in addition, has failed to specify the particular information which it seeks, thereby rendering the Defendant's medical records subject to a general exploratory search in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 12 of the Florida Constitution.
- That said medical records are immaterial and irrelevant to these proceedings since the State has not established that said medical records contain information relevant to the time and place of the alleged offense with which the Defendant is charged.
- That Florida Statutes 395.3025 and 455.241 provide that medical records may be subpoenaed unless otherwise prohibited by law.
- That Florida Statutes 395.3025 and 455.241 also require that any subpoena that is to be issued must be issued by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
- That Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.220 does not allow for the issuance of subpoenas duces tecum without the approval of a prior Court order.
- That the Defendant has not been provided any notice of any application to a Court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of a subpoena, in order that the Defendant might provide argument against the issuance of said subpoena.
- That the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure require a Court order for a subpoena duces tecum, thereby invalidating the procedure being used by the State of Florida in this case.
- That in addition, Article I, section 23 of the Florida Constitution provides an individual with certain privacy rights.
- That Courts have authority to control discovery and all aspects of it, in order to prevent harassment and undue invasion of privacy. South Florida Blood Service v. Rasmussen, 467 So.2d 798 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985).
- That there exists a zone of privacy under both the State and Federal Constitutions with regard to avoiding disclosure of personal matters, concerning sexual practices, drug use and medical histories. See South Florida Blood Service v. Rasmussen, id. at 802.
- That Court Orders which compel, restrict or prohibit discovery constitute State action, which is subject to Constitutional limitation. See South Florida Blood Service v. Rasmussen, id. at 803.
- That just because the Defendant is charged in a criminal proceeding does not mean that her right to privacy in her medical affairs can be trampled over in the name of a State prosecution.
- That there comes a point where the State's interest in prosecution must yield to the Constitutional rights of the accused. For example, the state's need to prosecute a criminal offense is not so compelling so as to require a Defendant to give up his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent or to be required to disclose oral communications within the realm of the attorney client privilege.
- Likewise, Florida specifically recognizes this concept in Article I, Section 23 of the Florida Constitution when it states:
"Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from Governmental intrusion into her private life except as otherwise provided herein. This Section shall not be construed to limit the public's right of access to public records and meetings as provided by law."
- That were the Court to allow the State of Florida to intrude into the medical affairs of the Defendant, there would exist a "chilling effect'' on persons in need of medical treatment. In effect, persons who were injured would decline medical treatment and possibly jeopardize their lives so as to avoid a State invasion of their medical records in order to prosecute them for a crime.
- That in addition, allowance of the State into the medical records of the Defendant would have a chilling effect on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, in that persons seeking medical treatment would decline to provide their treating physicians with oral communications necessary for proper treatment in order to prevent them from later being used in a criminal prosecutions.
WHEREFORE, the Defendant requests this Honorable Court for an Order protecting her from the disclosure of her medical records and to quash the allegedly issued subpoena for the aforesaid statutory and constitutional reasons.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by hand delivery/mail/fax this _________ day of ____________, 2015, to: Office of the State Attorney for Hillsborough County, 419 East Pierce Street, Tampa, Florida 33602.
Do I need an attorney? I really was drunk. Should I just plead guilty?