Are 911 Recordings Testimonial ?

In People v. Powers, 124 Wn. App. 92, 99 P.3d 1262 (Wash. Ct: App. 2004), the court found that the 911 recording at issue was testimonial in nature.

The court first rejected a bright line rule that all 911 recordings were non testimonial, opting instead to employ a case-by-case analysis into whether the statements contained on the recording originated from interrogation.

The court then examined the call and found that it was neither "part of the criminal incident itself," nor a request for help.

Rather, the court found that the call was made for the purpose of reporting a criminal violation, and to assist in the apprehension and prosecution of the offender.

Accordingly, the statements contained on the 911 recording were held to be testimonial in nature. Powers, 99 P.3d at 1266.