Police reports are the actual physical documentation that are made when any type of incident occurs. The reason they are so important is so that there is a record in case there are any type of future incidences or if there are any court dates in the future where the officer or any party may need to testify.

The population of San Diego County is around 3.1 million and the police literally are working each and every day writing reports and documenting important information. Some of the reports lead to an arrest, and some of it is just kept in storage just in case anything even happens where it needs to be read in the future. The most common reasons people want to obtain police reports are

  • They were arrested recently and want to see what the police said about them
  • They want to check up on a potential dating partner or spouse
  • They want it for a family law proceeding
  • They want to lose it against someone in a criminal or civil proceeding
  • They were in a car accident and need to try and determine liability

How do I obtain a police report in San Diego?

In San Diego County the best way to obtain a police report is to go to the police station and literally just ask for it. The downtown headquarters at the SDPD is open on the weekdays and you can make a request to an officer there. It generally costs around $12 and you just need to give them the information surrounding the offense. Arrest reports are much different.

Can anyone get a copy of the arrest report?

An arrest report cannot just be obtained by anyone and that is because there is potentially private and damaging information kept in that report. There are only certain people that have a right to an arrest report. They are:

  • The victim
  • An attorney with permission from the victim in the case
  • The police officer that took the report

The person, who was arrested, will have a right to the report but that is down the line during the discovery process. Just like everyone else, the same rules apply to Criminal Defense attorneys in San Diego as well. If desperately needed the report can be requested through the freedom of information act or the public records act. This can get you the information in limited circumstances.

When looking for court records or arrest records, it is always best to go to the courts directly. They have the most accurate representation of information regarding what happened with a certain case. Police reports are generally pretty clear. Sometimes they have information that has been redacted from it because it is either information regarding a juvenile or a protected party in the case. If you have been arrested in San Diego County we do not suggest that the first thing you do is go seek a report. Remember, in a criminal case everything is documented and even if you are innocent, you don’t want anyone to twist your actions and make you look like you are guilty.