Almost all law enforcement agencies say they are transparent when it comes to sharing information with the public, but far too often getting access to routine items such as a police report or police findings in a case can take weeks or even months to get. Even though Arizona law requires all public agencies to release public documents within a reasonable amount of time, this isn’t always the case and often you will need to reach out to the agency yourself to obtain a police report.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Phoenix, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, without an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney fighting for you, you may be facing serious jail time and consequences. If you have been charged with a crime in Phoenix, call JacksonWhite Law today to schedule your free case review.
What’s in a Police Report from the Phoenix Police Department?
Whenever the police arrive at the scene of an incident, in addition to ensuring everyone’s safety they are also in charge of documenting what occurred in a police report. Here is the vital information a police officer will take down:
- The address, phone number, and any other identifying information about the individuals involved
- Any information regarding what happened
- The location of the incident
- When the incident occurred
- Any determinations made by the responding officers
How to Obtain A Phoenix Police Report
Getting a copy of a police report is not as simple as calling the police department and asking them to email or fax it to you, instead, there are protocols that you must follow in order to obtain the report. Here are the protocols to obtain a Phoenix Police report:
As of December 2020, the Phoenix Public Records and Services Unit is not accepting in-person requests for public records due to COVID-19. Instead, Phoenix Public Records and Services Unit is offering virtual appointments for anyone who would like to speak with them directly or may require extra assistance with their matter.
- Visit the City of Phoenix public records portal and click on “get started”
- Create a City of Phoenix account or login if you already have one
- Under “Records Unit” you will need to find and add one copy of the incident to your requests. If you would like copies of other things such as the body cam video or pictures from the incident you may also add these to your requests at this time
- Enter contact information and make sure that the address you provide is your current address
- Fill out further information needed to determine the exact police report you are looking for
- Pay for any associated costs
- Wait for the Phoenix Public Records and Services Unit to send you the police report
Here are the common fees associated with obtaining a police report and records:
- Incident Report: $5.00
- Traffic Crash Report $5.00
- Police Body Camera Video/Audio: $4.00
- Photographs from the Incident: $4.00
Even though you may be in a hurry and need the report ASAP, there is not a set time for the Phoenix Public Records and Services Unit to get back to you. Arizona law requires public records to be turned over within a “reasonable amount of time” and due to the vagueness of the timeline, it can take weeks or months to receive the records.
In addition to the lengthy waiting periods for all reports, you should also know that homicides, fatalities, sexual assaults, and any active cases may not be available for immediate release. If the police report you are hoping to obtain involves any of these things, expect a lengthy waiting period before receiving the report.
Phoenix’s Top Criminal Defense Attorneys
Hiring an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between a minimum and maximum sentence for your case. The criminal defense attorneys at JacksonWhite Law have years of experience successfully representing clients and helping them to obtain the best case results.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free case review today.