Why Police Reports Matter
Police reports are public records and in some states they may be viewable by just about anybody. Usually there are restrictions on how those records can be used, particularly by employers, landlords, and financial institutions. As already mentioned, police reports are particularly usefuland they may even be necessarywhen filing a claim with your insurer. The contents of a police report are important, so you need to make sure that any police report pertaining to you is accurate and does not cast you in an unnecessarily bad light.
What Are Criminal Conviction Records
Criminal conviction records are documents that detail events leading from complaint or arrest to the formal conviction of an individual in a trial court. These records are commonly known as “arrest and conviction records” by most state criminal justice institutions. Like all public records, criminal conviction records are available from the clerk of court in the court where a judge.
Court clerks generally maintain physical copies of the criminal conviction records. Criminal conviction records can be obtained in-person or by mail request, but these means are not always convenient or fast. Thus, most record custodians also store digital copies of criminal conviction records on online databases.
Criminal Records Dictionary
Acquittal: When the court hearing a case, formally absolves the defendant from blame in regards to the charges brought against them. The defendant is found not guilty.
Arraignment: The first formal court appearance in a criminal case, in which the defendant is formally required to plead either guilty or not guilty, and future plans for trial and/or sentencing is set by the court.
Arrest Records: This is a record of all arrests-or stop and detainments-made by law enforcement of a criminal for committing a specific offense. This record typically offers the criminal charges owned by the arrest, the law enforcement arresting the individual, and the jurisdiction in which the arrest was made.
Cases Involving A Juvenile
If the report contains information involving a juvenile you must complete a “Request for Release of Juvenile Case Information” form. You must appear in person at the police station to execute this document. Your signature must be witnessed by a police employee or notary public, as it must go before the Judge of the Juvenile Court for a ruling. The Juvenile Judge decides whether or not the report can be released to you. Please plan ahead for this process as it takes a little longer than normal. Generally it takes about two weeks.
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How To Find Police Reports And Arrest Records Across Multiple Jurisdictions
Conducting your investigation can become complicated if you need to do a background search on someone who has lived in multiple jurisdictions. To simplify things, an internet-based specialized investigation company can provide a comprehensive, multi-state search in one easy step. This allows you to search for multiple records from all over the country quickly and easily. And you can avoid the hassle of searching for individual records from various government entities.
BeenVerified has an online search form for public records. BeenVerifieds automated search aggregates from hundreds of databases and repositories. To search, just go to the online search form and enter the persons first name, last name, and city. The form will search multiple public records databases and provide a list of potential matching names. Scroll through the list and select the person youre searching for, then click Build Report.
Questions and More Information
If you have any questions about how to get a copy of your police report, please leave a comment below. Also, view more Law Enforcement Resources.
How Long Will It Take To Get A Copy Of A Report Once It Is Requested
- In most cases, if you attend in person to obtain a report, it will be prepared while you wait. If the report is incomplete , it will be released to you when it is completed. There may be an additional wait time for archived reports.
- Requests by mail will be responded to by mail as promptly as possible.
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What Is A Bench Warrant
A bench warrant is a court order that a judge issues for the arrest of a person who failed to appear in court. Defendants that are due to appear at trial must attend on the said date and time. Failure to do so without prior authorization will cause the presiding judge to deem the absent defendant in contempt of the court.
In executing bench warrants, the police can forcibly bring a suspected criminal to trial. Given the circumstances surrounding issuing a bench warrant, the suspected person is not eligible for release on bail or bond.
How To Obtain A Police Report
The Police Records Division handles public requests for reports. Crash Reports are free of charge if you visit the Records counter or you can access it through the online system.
The majority of requests are traffic accident reports, or incident reports. Crime Reports include all reports taken by the police department, in person or by telephone, other than a traffic accident.
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Requesting By Us Mail
Send to El Paso Police Dept. Records Division, 911N. Raynor St., El Paso, TX 79903. Include your postal mailing address. Allow 10 business days for a response. The fee for reports requested by mail is $1.50.
Costs and payment for reports and records
- ACCIDENT/ CRASH REPORTS: $6.00
- OFFENSE REPORTS and INCIDENT REPORTS: 10 cents per page for the first 50 pages Additional charges for overhead, materials, and labor if more than 50 pages.
- CERTIFIED ACCIDENT REPORTS: $6.00 plus $2.00 extra for a certified copy.
- OPEN RECORDS PROCEDURE REQUESTS: 10 cents per page for the first 50 pages There may be additional charges for overhead materials, and labor if more than 50 pages.
- BACKGROUND CHECKS AND CLEARANCE LETTERS: $6.00
Please pay by cash, money order, or check. Send or to deliver to:
EPPD RECORDS DIVISION
What Type Of Information And Data Is Contained In A Police Report
The following are types of data and information that may be included. Please note that there is no universal police report. Information will vary from department to department.
- Identifying information for all parties involved in the incident, including full name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security numbers, driver license numbers
- Date of the occurrence or incident
- Location of the occurrence or incident
- The officers name and ID number
- The names of other officers who were present
- Diagrams or drawings of the scene
- The names of witnesses and their statements
- Reference number
The law enforcement case file may also contain motor vehicle information, as well as specific details of the incident and any evidence associated with the case.
Examples of police reports may include but are not limited to domestic disputes, traffic accidents, thefts, fraud, assault, burglaries, and stalking incidents. Other information that may be available includes crime surveys, crime statistics, calls for service, weather information, and traffic accident surveys.
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Why Are These The Only Crimes Shown
With the Police Reports Map and 9-1-1 Response Map, SPD is making almost all of our reports available online. The Department attempted to be very thoughtful about what information was released and what was not. These decisions were not made to “hide” types of crimes from the public, instead decisions were made about who to protect.
The only reports that are not being released under this system are when the rights of the victim, age of the victim, possibility of revictimization or overall public safety/security issues take clear precedence over the public right to know.
Information on Rape and other sexual offenses, Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Kidnapping, Suicides, locations that are sensitive , Homeland Security issues and tactical information that might compromise the safety of our officers are not being released in this system.
If the event is one of the many types we do show, but the location code was entered into the system incorrectly, the location of the event cannot then be verified. In this scenario, this particular event will not appear on the map at all, rather than providing possibly misleading information.
Warrant And Capias Information
Q: What is the difference between a warrant and a capias?
A: A warrant is an order which authorizes a law enforcement officer to arrest and bring a person before the judge. A warrant may be issued when a person is charged with a crime, convicted of a crime but failed to appear for sentencing, owes a fine or is in contempt of court. A capias is also an order for arrest of a person, typically issued by the judge or magistrate in a case. It is commonly issued after a defendant fails to attend a scheduled court hearing.
Q: How do I know if I have an outstanding warrant or capias?
A: Respond to any Police District or ask an officer on the street to run a query on your social security number. You should provide some type of identification, if possible. To protect your privacy, police will NOT run a query if you simply call a district on the telephone.
Q: If there is an outstanding warrant or capias, will I be arrested on the spot?
A: Most capiases allow an officer to re-cite, meaning you will be given a new court date. However, if you have been re-cited numerous times and have continued to ignore the court date, the officer may choose to physically arrest you. Most warrants require an officer to physically arrest the person. Once you are re-cited or processed through the Hamilton County Justice Center, the warrant/capias is cancelled by the Hamilton County Central Warrants Department .
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What Is The Sex Offender Registry
The sex offender registry is a public database of individuals convicted of sex crimes in the United States. Per Megan’s Law, every person convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender for a specified period depending on the severity of the crime. In turn, municipalities and states must maintain a searchable database of sex offenders registered or living in that jurisdiction. Likewise, the Department of Justice maintains a national sex offender registry.
Any member of the public may search an official sex offender registry for information on a suspected or convicted sex offender. A person may use information obtained from the sex offender registry to satisfy personal curiosity or protect loved ones. However, states have laws that caution against using the information obtained from the registry to harass, blackmail, or embarrass a sex offender.
Meanwhile, Megan’s Law also ensures residents receive notifications when a sex offender moves into the community. The sexual assault and murder of Megan Kanka of Mercer County, New Jersey, made these measures necessary. Megan’s attacker, Jesse Timmendequas, was a sex offender with two prior convictions of sex crimes against young children. Yet, the community was unaware of his status as a sex offender before he committed the despicable crime.
Are Police Reports Public Records
Many types of police records are exempt from public disclosure. There are two main reasons why they arent publicly available. First, disclosing the information could undermine an ongoing investigation. Second, it could jeopardize someones privacy and safety. In some cases, departments will release certain information related to the report, such as to a reporter doing a story. However, they rarely release a full copy.
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Citizen Online Police Reporting System
Welcome to the Saskatoon Police Service Citizens Online Police Reporting System.
If this is an Emergency please call 911.
Using this Citizens Online Police Reporting System allows you to submit a non urgent report immediately.
You may also print a copy of both the Temporary and the Permanent police report for your personal records only. These copies cannot be used for insurance purposes
What’s The Difference Between A Misdemeanor Vs Felony
The definition varies with jurisdiction, but in most states, a felony is a crime that carries a sentence of more than one year in jail. Colloquially known as true crimes, most jurisdictions consider felony offenses as the most serious of offenses. Thus, persons convicted of felony charges typically serve a sentence in a correctional facility under the supervision of the state department of corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons if the felony is a federal crime. The security level at these facilities is high, given the nature of the crime and the offender. Besides jail time, non-sentencing alternatives for felonies are typically punitive, and the conditions for parole upon release are strict. Common felonies include:
- Murder in the first degree
- Human trafficking
- Multiple DUI or aggravated DWI, or drunk driving
Compared to felonies, misdemeanors are less serious crimes. In most states, misdemeanors are offenses punishable with less than one year in a county or municipal jail. If the offense is not serious enough for imprisonment, the court will impose sentencing alternatives like fines and probation.
In cases where the offense mandates jail time, the offender will serve time at lower security facilities at a county level rather than state facilities that are higher security. Some states even allow misdemeanor offenders to serve time at home under supervision. Common misdemeanors include:
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What Is A Criminal Record
A criminal record, also known as a rap sheet, is the collection of documents that show all the times a person has interacted with the Criminal Justice System. The content of a criminal record is chronological, and includes descriptions of the individual’s earliest offense to the latest offense. Criminal records will include information on the arrest of the individual, the circumstances leading to the arrest, information on the individual arrested, their trial, the outcome of the trial should it result in a guilty verdict, incarceration, probation, parole information and more.
Information on criminal records through each of the 50 states and Washington DC can be found here:
The content of a criminal record differs according to the jurisdiction. Each state and municipality adopts its policy for creating and storing criminal records per its criminal justice system. The following reports and information can typically be found in a criminal record that has not been expunged or sealed or ones that have not been pardoned by a government official.
What Happens During A Criminal Case
Every state adopts a rule of criminal procedure that the criminal justice system follows to establish guilt and punish an offender for a crime. Although the events in criminal cases vary with the case and jurisdiction, a typical case goes thus:
Initial Appearance: Following an arrest, law enforcement shall bring the suspect before a judge within 24 – 48 hours. The judge shall inform the individual of the charges and assign a court-appointed attorney if the individual does not have a personal attorney.
- Bond or Bail Hearing: The court conducts a bail or bond hearing for the accused’s conditional and temporary release in exchange for collateral. Generally, most courts will release an accused on bail or bond unless the person committed a serious felony, deemed a flight risk, or threat to society.
Arraignment: Here, the prosecutor, or the district attorney, files formal charges against the suspect, and the court requires the individual to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. In some cases, an offender pleads nolo contendere. From here on, the case ends in a plea deal or goes to trial.
- Plea Deals: The burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove a person is guilty of the criminal charges. However, suppose the evidence or other factors suggest a lengthy case or uncertainty for either party. Then, the prosecution and the defendant may negotiate a plea deal for the accused to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence or some other benefit.
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What Types Of Crime Reports Can I See
General Offense Reports in PDF format are available for almost all crimes reported to SPD. These reports are made available within 8 hours after the event is closed. For the major crimes of Burglaries, Robberies, Aggravated Assaults and Homicides, additional information is made available through a redacted full narrative. These reports are available within 5 business days after the event.
Criteria For Filing An Online Report:
- This is not an Emergency
- The incident does not involve personal violence nor a hate crime
- You must have a valid email address to use this system. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose.
- There are no known suspects – either person or vehicle – and there is no visible physical evidence at the scene
- If the incident occurred on a provincial highway or outside the Saskatoon Police Service jurisdictional limits – refer to the FAQ.
- Only the below types of reports are allowed to be completed online – see definitions for each type.
- Reports may not be filed on behalf of a 3rd party except in the case of children. Reports must be filed by the actual complainant, owner or authorized representative.
If your incident falls within the above criteria, you are ready to file your report online. Please make sure to turn off your pop-up blocking software before filing the report.
Note: Only information fields noted with the red * are mandatory.
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What’s In A Criminal Record
Let’s break it down, an individual’s criminal record can consist of the following things:
- Arrest records
- Conviction Records
Keep in mind that some of these reports can be considered null and void if the criminal charges were dropped or if a person was found innocent of the crime. This will likely depend upon the jurisdiction. A criminal record will also have a list of crimes that a person was convicted of and the sentence. These include jail or prison terms served, time of probation served, parole grants, and even violation of probation or parole. A criminal record will also show any warrants for a person.