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2016 Florida Statutes

SECTION 0439
Interviews of victims, suspects, or defendants with autism or an autism spectrum disorder.
F.S. 943.0439
943.0439 Interviews of victims, suspects, or defendants with autism or an autism spectrum disorder.
(1) A law enforcement officer, a correctional officer, or another public safety official shall, upon the request of an individual diagnosed with autism or an autism spectrum disorder or his or her parent or guardian, make a good faith effort to ensure that a psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, special education instructor, clinical social worker, or related professional is present at all interviews of the individual. The professional must have experience treating, teaching, or assisting patients or clients who have been diagnosed with autism or an autism spectrum disorder or related developmental disability or must be certified in special education with a concentration focused on persons with autism or an autism spectrum disorder. All expenses related to the attendance of the professional at interviews shall be borne by the requesting parent, guardian, or individual. If the individual is a victim, the defendant shall reimburse the victim for all expenses related to the attendance of the professional at the interview, in addition to other restitution or penalties provided by law, upon conviction of the offense of which the individual is a victim. Failure to have a professional as defined by this subsection present at the time of the interview is not a basis for suppression of the statement or the contents of the interview or for a cause of action against the law enforcement officer or agency. This subsection applies to such an individual who is the victim, a suspect, or a defendant formally accused of a crime.
(2) Each law enforcement agency must ensure that appropriate policies are developed which implement this section and that training is provided to its law enforcement and correctional officers based on those policies.
History.s. 4, ch. 2016-175.