Posted in Police on April 18, 2016
There are many reasons you may need to obtain a police record, especially if you’re involved in a criminal charger or a personal injury lawsuit and need access to police reports of the accident, eyewitness interviews, and detailed evidences. All police departments will provide you with a copy of your full police report upon request, with no need for you to disclose why you need it.
The California Records Bureau has two stations staffed with records specialists in Riverside, with public counter services that include releasing copies of reports to authorized persons.
Oftentimes, you’re only able to request the report if you were directly involved in the incident, but the rules vary depending on jurisdiction. In Los Angeles, for example, you must mail a written request and provide a list of qualifications to obtain a police record.
Typically, you need to request a police report from the law enforcement department in the city where the incident took place. You can find the contact information for the right agency online and mail a request to their address. In many cases, you can also submit an online request.
Some law offices will send you the PDF of the form you need to mail in, which you can then download and print from your computer. Other offices, however, will make you pick it up in person or wait for it to be mailed to you. You must contact your local Riverside office to get their specific requirements.
If you choose to request a police report in person, make sure you do so during business hours. The Riverside offices are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. The office is closed on weekends and holidays. The staff member working the information desk inside the office will be able to give you the proper request form to fill out. Have a current photo ID ready and money to pay the fee if there is one.
Once you’ve successfully obtained the request form you need for your county, you should familiarize yourself with the form and make sure you have all of the information it requests. In general, it will ask for:
You can find an example of a form here for reference, from the San Francisco PD. Yours may look different depending on the county. Double-check the information you put in the form before sending it. Mistakes can delay the process or cause issues further down the road. Make a copy of the completed form and keep it for your personal records.
Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you mail the request, so the department has no chance of getting your address wrong. This way, you’ll also pay for the postage and avoid delays.
Once your request has been received, the police office will contact you to pick up your police records. If you included a SASE, they will send it by mail. If you needed copies of your police record for a personal injury lawsuit, contact your attorney and let them know you have them.
The Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC is here to help you obtain and understand your police records, in Riverside and Orange County. You can contact us any time with questions or to make an appointment with one of our expert attorneys. No matter what incident you’re involved in, getting professional advice will help increase your chances of securing peace of mind.