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The Importance of 911 calls in criminal cases

In any criminal case, it is imperative of the Defense to review all of the evidence that might be used against the defendant. This is the only way for the Defense to analyze the case, and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the particular case. It is the analysis of the evidence, that will determine what issues are brought up at hearings, and at trial.

In any criminal case, it is imperative for a *New York Criminal Lawyer (www.storobin.com/criminal.html)* to  review all of the evidence that might be used against the defendant.  This is  the only way for the Defense to analyze the case, and determine the strengths  and weaknesses of the particular case. It is the analysis of the evidence, that  will determine what issues are brought up at hearings, and at trial. At a  hearing certain evidence might be suppressed. In that event, the entire case  might be dismissed, or a more favorable plea bargain might be obtainable.  In  certain instances, the evidence might point to a different conclusion then the  New York Police Department or District Attorneys Office have come up with.  Perhaps the description of the incident, and the perpetrator is contradictory to  other evidence.

One area of evidence that arises in criminal cases is the New York Police  Department (“NYPD”) radio calls to their command, and back which are called  “Radio Runs”. There are also the 911 calls from eye witnesses to the crime, or  who just call in to report suspicious activity. There are also the Sprint  Reports. SPRINT stands for Special Police Radio Inquiry Network. The SPRINT  report, or SPRINT printout will summarize calls. It will summarize the calls  from the Police Officer and the Police Department operator, as well as 911  calls.

Criminal Procedure Law (“CPL”) Article 240 governs Discovery Demands of the  Defendant. The law details the particular items which the defendant and his is  entitled to by law. To obtain Radio Runs/Call, 911 Calls, Sprint Tapes there are  a few options:

CPL 240.20(1)(g) states: Any _tapes or other electronic  recordings_ which the prosecutor intends to introduce at trial,  irrespective of whether such recording was made during the course of the  criminal transaction.

Under CPL 240.20(1)(g), the defendant is entitled to receive the materials by  just filing of a discovery demand. The defendant is entitled to copies of the  material. Generally, the proper procedure is for the *New York  Criminal Defense Attorney (www.storobinspodek.com/practices_criminaldefense.php)* to send a letter with a blank CD to the Assigned  District Attorney (“ADA”) for the case requesting copies. If the ADA refuses or  is just not cooperative in providing the defense with the material then the  Defense Lawyer can make a Motion under CPL 240.40(1)(a). Under both of these  avenues it is the defense that has to take some affirmative action to obtain the  materials.

CPL 240.40(1)(a) states: Upon Motion of a defendant, against whom an indictment, superior court  information, prosecutor’s information, information, or simplified information  charging a misdemeanor is pending, the Court in which the accusatory instrument  is pending:

*Must order discovery as to _any_ material not disclosed upon a  demand pursuant to CPL 240.20, if it finds that the prosecutors refusal to  disclose such material is not justified.

Another option for *New York  criminal lawyer (http://www.newyorkcriminallawyers.org/)* is to issue a _subpoena duces tecum_ requesting the  material. The defense requests that a sitting Judge in Criminal Court or Supreme  Court, Criminal Term sign a prepared Subpoena. A Subpoena Duces Tecum directed  at a government agency has to be signed by a Judge. The subpoena will alert the  agency that disobedience of a subpoena will be punishable by fine and or  imprisonment.

The prosecution also has an independent duty to turn over to the defense,  prior to any hearing or trial, any written or _recorded_ statement in its possession,  made by a witness it intends to call. This is referred to as the _Rosario_ rule. Under the Rosario rule,  and CPL 240.44(1) for hearings, and CPL 240.45(1) for trialsArticle Search, the defense does  not need to take any  action to receive this material unless it wants the  material before the hearing or trial.


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