Audio Recordings

Audio recordings are a strong source of real evidence in criminal trials. While not as compelling as video recordings, audio recordings can offer the judge and/or jury in a criminal trial a window into what occurred during the alleged offence.

For an audio recording to be admissible as evidence at trial, the accuracy and authenticity of the recording and the identity of the speakers must be proven. The audio recording must not intend to mislead. The audio must be authenticated by whomever recorded it or some other person capable of confirming its accuracy.

The circumstances in which the audio recording was made may also be relevant in whether it is admissible as evidence. For example, if a wiretap was installed on a suspect’s phone without proper judicial authorization, any audio recordings gathered from that wiretap would be inadmissible.


Person A is on trial for drug trafficking. Prior to his arrest, police planted a legal wiretap on person A’s phone after receiving intel that he was operating a sophisticated drug trafficking operation. The wiretap records person A making arrangements to purchase 100 kilograms of cocaine from person B, an undercover police officer, for a specific price.

At trial, the Crown introduces the wiretap audio to prove that the accused had made arrangements with the undercover to purchase a large quantity of drugs. After playing the recording for the court, the undercover officer is brought in as a Crown witness to testify regarding the contents of the recording.

Common Examples of Audio Recordings as Evidence

Common examples of photographic evidence used in criminal trials include

  • Audio recorded on a private cell phone
  • 911 call
  • Recording of a phone call
  • Wiretap

More Legal Information

Law Newbie™ is a free legal assistant developed by our criminal lawyers to help you understand the law.


In criminal cases, there are very strict rules governing what evidence can be used and how it can be used.

The rights enjoyed of all those within Canada are contained in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Criminal procedure is the process by which an accused person is arrested and brought through the justice system.

Sentencing refers to the punishment that is ordered when an individual is found guilty of a criminal offence.

Firearm Smoke

Offences in Canada are listed in the Criminal Code. They include crimes related to people, vehicles and weapons.

Elements of an Offence

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Criminal Records