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Judicial Notice of Driving Record

In many driving under the influence (“DUI“) and driving while license suspended (DWLS) cases, the prosecutor will file a “request for judicial notice” requesting, pursuant to section 90.203, Florida Statutes, the Court to take judicial notice of the defendant’s driver license while citing Section 90.202(12), Florida Statutes.

Section 90.202(12) provides that “[a] court may take judicial notice of the following matters, to the extent that they are not embraced within s. 90.201…(12) Facts that are not subject to dispute because they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot be questioned.”

The prosecutor is supposed to attach a copy of the “certified” driving record to the request, but they often fail to do so. Either the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) or the Clerk of Court have a process to certify a driving record. Instead, the prosecutor will provide in discovery an uncertified copy of the Defendant’s driver’s license record, which the prosecutor will incorrectly allege is statutorily admissible pursuant to Sections 322.201 and 316.1939(3), Florida Statutes.

Section 322.201 provides:

“A copy…of …the complete driving record of any individual certified by the department or by the clerk of a court shall be received as evidence in all courts of this state without further authentication, if the same is otherwise admissible in evidence. Further, any court or the office of the clerk of any court of this state which is electronically connected by a terminal device to the computer data center of the department may use as evidence in any case the information obtained by this device from the records of the department without need of such certification; however, if a genuine issue as to the authenticity of such information is raised by a party or by the court, the court may require that a record certified by the department be submitted for admission into evidence. For computer copies generated by a terminal device of a court or clerk of court, entry in a driver’s record that the notice required by s. 322.251 was given constitutes sufficient evidence that such notice was given.”

(Emphasis added). The prosecutor’s motion for judicial notice will often contain a clause that provides: “Any objection to the court taking judicial notice of the defendant’s driver’s license record should be made within ten days of this notice.” Although you can raise the objection prior to trial, there is no requirement that you do so.

Objection to Request for Judicial Notice

The defendant will often object to the court taking judicial notice of the defendant’s driver’s license record for the following reasons:

  1. the driver’s license record is not appropriate for a finding of judicial notice under Section 90.202, because the driving record does not qualify as “facts that are not subject to to dispute because they are capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot be questioned”;
  2. a genuine issue as to the authenticity of such information is raised by a party or by the court; and
  3. the prosecutors notice, in the form of the request for judicial notice, did not actually include a copy of any driving record that complies with Section 322.201.

This article was last updated on Friday, January 25, 2019.

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