Q:

How do you obtain a police report?

A:

Quick Answer

According to TheLawDictionary.org, victims and defendants have the rights to obtain a police report upon request at the police department where the report was filed. Copies of police reports are available immediately for the victims, while defendants can receive a copy from the District Attorney's office or through their lawyers.

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Full Answer

In most cases, the victims may request a police report by going directly to the police department and filing a police report request form. Some police agencies, such as in the Los Angeles Police Department, have made the required forms available online, allowing victims or their families to download and fill out the form at home. According to the LAPD's specifications, the victim may choose to mail the request form to the police department's address or submit it directly to the police station. As of 2015, the LAPD requires the requester to pay the amount of $24 for the copy of the police report. The amount may be refundable if no report existed.

A defendant who wants to request a copy of his personal police report may obtain the form from the District Attorney's office prosecuting the case, as stated by TheLawDictionary.org. The defendant's lawyer normally gets a copy of the report in preparation for the case. A previously incarcerated offender may also request his personal criminal history by going to the sheriff or corrections department's office that manages the county jail or state prison, as in the case of the LAPD and the LA County Sheriff's Office Records Bureau.

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