Florida Confession Does Not Mean Conviction

As a Jacksonville Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer, I have represented thousands of criminal defendants in Jacksonville.  Normally, the worse piece of evidence against a Jacksonville criminal defendant is a confession to the crime.  However, Florida law is interesting when it comes to criminal defendant’s confessions.  Florida law does not allow a confession by a criminal defendant to be entered into evidence unless the Jacksonville prosecutor has proven the corpus delicti of the crime.  Corpus Delicti is “the body of the crime.”  The Jacksonville prosecutor must present sufficient direct or circumstantial evidence that a crime was committed and the Jacksonville criminal defendant committed that crime.  If this does not occur, the Jacksonville criminal defendant’s confession cannot be admitted into evidence.

For example, in a Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence case, the prosecutor must show that the Jacksonville criminal defendant was (1) driving, (2) under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and (3) impaired by the drugs or alcohol.  If the only evidence that the Jacksonville criminal defendant was driving is his confession, that confession cannot be entered into evidence.  If the Jacksonville criminal defendant’s confession is not entered into evidence, the prosecutor cannot prove the “driving” element required in Jacksonville DUI cases.  The end result is case dismissed!
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