The Old Standard: Drug Screening Data not Hearsay

The Old Standard: Drug Screening Data not Hearsay

In 2006, the CAAF ruled in Magyari v. U.S. that data entries made by technicians of the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory in the accused's urinalysis report did not constitute testimonial statements; as such, these statements were not subject to the 6th Amendment's confrontation clause, and were considered non-testimonial hearsay.

In Magyari, the prosecution attempted to introduce testimony from a civilian quality control officer at the Navy Drug Screening Lab, in order to establish the chain of custody of the accused's urinalysis. Despite objection by the defense, the court concluded that the testimony was not hearsay. The court justified its decision in finding that the aforementioned data entries were of a routine business practice; under the Model Rules of Evidence, such routine business practices are generally considered hearsay exceptions. The court stated that data entries made at the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory would only operate under the hearsay doctrine if the urinalysis was conducted for the purposes of prosecution.

If you serve in the military and are facing criminal charges, contact attorney Brent Dishman to discuss your case today.

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