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Plenary Meeting rules as constitutional the norm that typifies as a crime the leakage of the place of the accident

The Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) upheld the Extraordinary Appeal (RE) 971959, with generally acknowledged repercussion, and considered as constitutional the Article 305 of the Brazilian Traffic Code (CTB), which criminalizes the leakage of the accident spot. Most of the Justices, on Wednesday (14), understood that the rule does not violate the guarantee of non-self-incrimination, provided for in article 5, paragraph LXIII of the Federal Constitution.

In the present case, the driver fled the place where he collided with another vehicle and was sentenced, based on the device, to eight months' imprisonment, a penalty which was replaced by another one restrictive of rights. However, in the judgment of appeal, the Court of Justice of Rio Grande do Sul (TJ-RS) acquitted the defendant. The court of Rio Grande do Sul considered the CTB article unconstitutional on the ground that the mere presence at the scene of the accident would constitute a violation of the guarantee of non-self-incrimination since no one is obliged to produce evidence against itself. Seeking to reform the judgment of the TJ-RS, the Public Prosecution Service of Rio Grande do Sul filed an Extraordinary Appeal to the Supreme Court.

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