If you are involved in a DUI, the police will create a report detailing the events that led to your arrest. Following this, you may need a copy of the DUI police report. To acquire these documents, you must go through a specific process that may vary depending on where the arrest occurred.
If you are trying to fight your DUI charge or have a conviction expunged, obtaining the DUI police report is critical. Your DUI lawyer will use the report to determine whether there were any issues with the arrest that may help you have the charges dismissed or expunged. To learn how to get a DUI police report, get in touch with Los Angeles DUI Attorney by calling or submitting our contact form.
Are DUI Police Reports Important?
A police report details what happened during an arrest. The reports are written from the officer’s point of view, providing insight into what they experienced. DUI police reports are important because they explain why the officer made the arrest and they present any evidence that supports the DUI charge.
Police reports are not technically considered to be evidence on their own. However, DUI police reports give attorneys an idea of what the arresting officer may bring up in their testimony once the case goes to court. The police report also provides insight into evidence that could potentially be presented at trial.
Having this information available as you plan your DUI defense can allow your lawyers to develop a defense that matches the intent of the prosecution. This means your defense will be designed to combat the strengths of the prosecution’s case while also capitalizing on their weaknesses.
What Is Featured in DUI Police Reports?
All DUI cases are different, but DUI police reports typically include the following information:
- The reason you were pulled over by the arresting officer
- Details about how the arresting officer came to believe that the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The defendant’s performance on field sobriety tests
- The results of any chemical tests conducted before or after the arrest was made
If there are multiple officers on-site during a DUI arrest, the police report will typically include a separate description of events written by each individual officer who was involved. Therefore, if three officers participate in a DUI arrest, the police report will probably include three different narratives.
How Do You Get a DUI Police Report?
In California, there are several ways to acquire a police report. The most straightforward way is to go to the police station that handled your arrest and ask for it. Though, they are not required to comply with your request. If they do deny your request, you have other options as well.
Here are some ways you can get a police report for your DUI in California:
Ask the Police Station
In some cases, the police station will be willing to provide you with the police report documents. Though, it is important to note that the police officers are allowed to legally refuse to provide you with the report when you ask to have it. Technically, you are not legally allowed to be given documents that include witnesses’ information nor can they give you information about a DUI accident’s victims.
Therefore, you can be denied your police report if witness details such as the following are contained within:
- Phone numbers
- Contact information
Sometimes, the police station will redact this information and provide you with an edited version of the police report.
Attend a DMV Hearing
If you ask for a Department of Motor Vehicles hearing within 10 days of your arrest, you may have the opportunity to request a copy of the police report during that legal process. Generally, you should request this hearing regardless of the circumstances of your case. If you don’t request a DMV hearing, the DMV will suspend your license automatically if 30 days pass.
To request your police report during your DMV hearing, your lawyer will usually request a copy of the discovery. This could include:
- Your police report
- Lab reports for chemical DUI tests
- Legal details associated with your arrest and charges
Complete Your DUI Arraignment
Many people acquire their DUI police reports at their arraignment hearing. These are normally the initial court hearings you have for your DUI charge. Most of the time, you must attend the arraignment hearing, meaning you should have the option to get your police report in person.
The arraignment is incredibly important because they give you the chance to learn what charges you face. You also have the option to plead guilty, plead not guilty, or plead no contest during the arraignment.
Keep in mind that not attending your arraignment hearing can lead to real legal consequences. Some people are even held in contempt of court for not attending their arraignment hearing. In more extreme cases, a bench warrant could be filed. Don’t treat your arraignment simply as a means of collecting your police report. Take it seriously because it is an important step in the process of combating a DUI charge.
Get Assistance Acquiring a DUI Police Report
Now that you know how to obtain a DUI police report, you need to take action. Though, carrying out these steps may require time and effort that you cannot afford to expend right now. While you do have to attend your arraignment, there are ways to get your police report before that.
A Los Angeles DUI Attorney representative can help you get connected with a lawyer who will walk you through the process. The lawyer you select can also help you during interviews with prosecutors, take steps to block evidence and work to get your charges reduced or completely dismissed. You can reach Los Angeles DUI Attorney by phone or online, so contact us now to get started with a free case evaluation.