Minor Whose Driving Resulted in Someone’s Death Cannot Be Forced to Reveal Passcode

October 24, 2018 — The 4th District appellate court ruled in G.A.Q.L. v State of Florida that an intoxicated minor involved in a car crash that killed someone cannot be forced to reveal the passcode to his iPhone. The teen, known as G.A.Q.L., was allowed to plead the Fifth Amendment clause, shielding him from self-incrimination. He had been found with a blood alcohol level of 0.086, which is over the legal limit, at the hospital after the car crash had occurred.

The court’s decision goes against a previous ruling by another district court in State of Florida v. Stahl, in which the defendant, accused of taking “upstart” photos, was compelled to give up his password.

Meanwhile, the federal courts have had similar rulings in favor of upholding Fifth Amendment rights; in 2012, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that forced decryption was a violation of Fifth Amendment Rights. In 2013, a federal judge determined that a Wisconsin child-pornography suspect did not have to decrypt his laptop.

Additional Reading:

Court: Teen’s Driving Killed someone, But He Can’t be Forced to Give Up PasscodeArs Technica (October 28, 2018)