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How can i obtain a 911 call recording?

Los Angeles, CA |

I think it could help defend me against a battery case. Can they only be requested or subpoenaed by an attorney? It is to help prove that people called to report that I was being attacked by security of a venue without having provoked it.

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Attorney answers 2


If you choose to represent yourself, you could ask the court to subpoena the records on your behalf. However, the court can only release the information to a private investigator, who must remove the address and telephone number of any person named as a witness or victim before giving it to you.

It is always a bad idea to try to represent yourself. You would be going up against an experienced prosecutor, but the judge will hold you to the same standards as any attorney appearing in the court.

Although you are under a lot of pressure, you should not try to conduct any investigation or take other action involving your case without talking to your lawyer first. Every criminal defense attorney has experienced the horror of having a client walk into the lawyer's office, looking very pleased with himself, and announce he has done something that has seriously damaged the defense case. Usually the lawyer says, "You did WHAT?"

You need a lawyer to help you. If you can't afford one, the judge will appoint the public defender.


Mr. Marshall's answer is excellent.

I would add this: 911 recordings are held by law enforcement agencies temporarily; they claim they do not retain them forever. How long the tapes are maintained varies from agency to agency. Some keep them for 60 days, others 90 and others 120. The retention period is not governed by statute.

Therefore, if you are going to take steps to get the recordings, you should definitely act fast.

Please try to work with a lawyer, as Mr. Marshall strongly advised. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to assist you.