How Do I Get a Police Report for My Arrest in Utah?
If you were arrested, there is likely a police report and records pertaining to the arrest. An attorney can help you get a copy of these reports, but it requires jumping through a few legal hoops.
Arrests come with many reports and records filed and maintained by law enforcement. If you have been charged with a crime, you probably need a copy of these records to begin mounting your defense. Certain aspects of your arrest are public records, while others are for confidential use by the police. In either case, an attorney can help you get a copy of these police reports. They may contain details about what happened the day you were arrested. Details about where the arrest occurred, who was involved, and what was said might be contained in the reports. Record requests are not always approved, but as the subject of the arrest report, you should be granted access.
Facing criminal charges after an arrest is difficult, and our Sandy criminal defense lawyers can help you bear the burden and get copies of your arrest reports. For a free case evaluation with our team, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.
Requesting Public Arrest Records from the Police in Utah
Arrests are complex matters of private and public interest. On the one hand, crimes, investigations, and arrests are very sensitive matters, and the police may withhold certain information for private use. On the other hand, alleged criminal offenses and subsequent arrests are issues of public concern, and some information is a part of the public record. Our Utah criminal defense lawyers can help you get copies of these records to use in your case.
Public arrest records often contain basic information about the alleged offense and who was involved. For example, public arrest records may contain details about how and where the alleged crime occurred. They may also contain details about the person arrested, such as their name, physical descriptions, and even where they live. They may also contain details about the ensuing judicial proceedings, such as when the next court date is scheduled and if any criminal charges were filed.
The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) provides everyone with the right to request records from various levels of the government, including police reports regarding arrests. Under Utah Code § 63G-2-201(1), you have the right to inspect public records free of charge and the right to make copies of these records.
Our Utah criminal defense attorneys can help you determine which police department to contact regarding your arrest records and how to submit a request for copies. Most aspects of arrests tend to be part of the public record, but we might run into roadblocks if the police have classified certain information.
How to Obtain Private Arrest Reports from the Utah Police
While basic police reports regarding your arrest are generally part of the public record, there might be instances where certain pieces of information or records are private, confidential, or classified. For example, suppose your arrest is only one part of a larger criminal investigation. In that case, certain information might still be classified because the police are still trying to locate and arrest other suspects.
One example of private or controlled documents can be found under Utah Code § 63G-2-302(2)(g) and includes body cameras worn by police officers. If the police have body cam footage of your arrest, that footage is certainly very important to our case, but it is not part of the public record and must be requested differently.
Access to private or controlled records is explained under Utah Code § 63G-2-202(1). Under the law, confidential or controlled records may be disclosed to certain people, including the subject of the record. This means you may request copies of private records about your arrest. However, this is easier said than done. You must submit a formal request for the records, and there is no guarantee your request will be approved. Our Murray criminal defense lawyers can help you submit a request for any private records about your arrest. We can also help you plan what to do if our request is denied.
Why You Should Get a Copy of the Police Report for Your Arrest in Utah
You need copies of your arrest records to prepare a defense for your criminal charges. Many people assume that the fight against criminal charges begins when we get to court, but this is not so. In reality, the fight begins as soon as you are arrested, possibly even sooner.
A significant aspect of any criminal defense involves heavily scrutinizing the government’s actions, including the police. If the police did not follow proper protocols or violated your rights during the arrest, we can use this information to undermine the case against you. For example, suppose during your arrest, the police illegally seized evidence. In that case, we can begin to process of having that evidence suppressed and excluded from your upcoming trial, so it cannot be used against you.
We also need copies of the police report for your arrest because it creates transparency and allows us to hold the government accountable if they did anything wrong. The police are not always known for honesty and sometimes try to cover up mistakes rather than take accountability. Having records and reports from your arrest helps us hold the police accountable for their mistakes, so you do not end up paying for them.
Can I Be Denied a Copy of the Police Report for My Arrest in Utah?
You may be denied access to certain elements of police reports for your arrest. Generally, any arrest reports that are public records are not denied unless there is a good reason. However, private, controlled, or confidential records, like body camera footage, are not always available.
If you are denied access to records about your arrest, our Lehi criminal defense attorneys can help you appeal this decision. This might involve filing a complaint or a new request with the police. It might also involve going in front of a judge and getting a court order making the police turn over the reports we need.
Call Our Utah Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help Now
If you were recently arrested, our Park City criminal defense lawyers can help you with your defense, but first, we need to get your arrest reports. For a free case review, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.