Can a 911 Tape Be Admitted at Trial in a Domestic Violence Case

911 calls can constitute hearsay.  In criminal cases statements that are hearsay violate a defendant’s right of confrontation under the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.  In Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36, the Supreme Court held that the confrontation clause bars admission of testimonial hearsay statement unless the declarant is available to testify or the defendant has had a previous opportunity to cross-examine the declarant.  More recently, the california Supreme Court held in Giles v. California (2008) 128 S.CT. 2678, the court concluded that “unconfronted testimony would not be admitted without a showing that the defendant intended to prevent a witness from testifying. No reference to, or recital of any information received from dispatch or a 911 call or what one person told a police officer, or what one person told a witness or what one police officer told another police officer, without a prior court hearing concerning the admissibility and/or need to disclose identity and foundation.  Additionally, admission of such evidence in a domestic violence criminal case would violate Defendant’s right of confrontation as guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty five years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV regarding license suspension hearings stemming from drunk driving arrests.
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