In the majority of situations, police reports are public information. This means it is possible to obtain them directly from the police department that filed the report, according to TheLawDictionary.org. Both victims and defendants have the right to obtain multiple copies of standard police reports.
Each state and district has its own policies regarding police reports and accessibility, TheLawDictionary.org reports. Additionally, there are more involved processes depending on the age of the involved parties as well as mitigating factors surrounding the case. One of these situations is juvenile cases, as cases involving juveniles contain restricted information. This information is not made public, making it more complicated to gain access to a police record. In most precincts, juvenile records are classified, which protect the identity of the youth.
Additionally, third-party entities have difficulty accessing police records. The police district is likely to turn down any other requests, unless the case is already closed, states TheLawDictionary.org. If a third party wants access to a police report, he must provide additional information, including the number of the police report as well as the name and location of the issuing clerk's office.
The fee involved with this process varies, according to TheLawDictionary.org. Initially the police department issues a report for both the victim and the defendant free of charge, but extra copies often have associated costs.