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In the latest application of a 2004 U.S. Supreme Court Confrontation Clause landmark ruling, New York’s Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously held that a trial court erred when it permitted a Department of Motor Vehicles employee to submit an affidavit suggesting that a defendant knew or should have known he was driving with a revoked license. Such knowledge is an element to the felony charge of aggravated unlicensed operation, on which the defendant was convicted.

The state judges found that, under Crawford v. Washington, 541 US 36, Stephen M. Pacer’s Sixth Amendment rights were violated by the admission into evidence of the affidavit. They rejected a prosecution claim that such a document is more akin to a business record than a testimonial statement. People v. Stephen M. Pacer, 45.

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