Are Audio Recordings Admissible in California Courts ?
"This court reviews claims regarding a trial court's ruling on the admissibility of evidence for an abuse of discretion. " (People v. Dawkins (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 991, 1001 (Dawkins).)
"We will not disturb the trial court's ruling 'except on a showing the trial court exercised its discretion in an arbitrary, capricious, or patently absurd manner that resulted in a manifest miscarriage of justice.' " (People v. Goldsmith (2014) 59 Cal.4th 258, 266.)
"Audio recordings are writings as defined by the Evidence Code. (Evid. Code, 250.) 'To be admissible in evidence, a writing must be relevant and authenticated. (Evid. Code, 350, 1401.)" (Dawkins, supra, 230 Cal.App.4th at p. 1002, fn. omitted.)
"An audio recording is typically authenticated by showing it is a reasonable representation of that which it is alleged to portray. Typically, a party to the conversation recorded is called to testify to the audio recording's accuracy. However, the foundation may, but need not, be supplied by the person witnessing the event being recorded. It may be supplied by other witness testimony, circumstantial evidence, content and location, or any other means provided by law, including statutory presumption. " (Dawkins, supra, 230 Cal.App.4th at p. 1002.)