Brief filed: 06/24/2021
Florida v. Garcia
Supreme Court of Florida; Case No. SC20-1419
Decision below 302 So.3d 1051 (Fla.App. 5 Dist. Aug. 28, 2020)
Compelling a criminal suspect to disclose a passcode is testimony privileged by the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment prohibits compelled disclosure of the contents of a suspect’s mind. Compelled disclosure of the passcode is testimonial. The Fifth District properly declined to apply the foregone-conclusion rationale in this case. The Foregone-conclusion analysis applies only to the production of specified, preexisting business records. Even if the foregone-conclusion rationale could apply in this context, the state must describe with reasonable particularity the incriminating files it seeks. Law enforcement has alternative methods of accessing encrypted devices.
Jo Ann Palchak, NACDL, Tampa, FL; Daniel B. Tilley, ACLU of Florida, Miami, FL.