How can I get a copy of the DUI Officer's Police Report?
There is a widespread belief that criminal police reports are public records that you can simply go down to the police station and demand a copy. But this really isn't the case.
Sometimes you can obtain the DUI police report simply by going to the police department and requesting a copy. Sometimes the police agency will provide it to you.
Most often, however, the police will only provide the DUI police report to the district attorney and to the DMV. They refuse to release it directly to the person who got arrested or even to the person's California DUI attorney.
In this case, there are two avenues for getting a copy of the DUI police report. First is from the DMV. When you request a DMV hearing to contest the drivers license suspension, tell the DMV you want a copy of the “discovery.” The DMV will then send you and your California DUI attorney a packet of materials. Included in these materials will be the police report and BAC lab reports. The California DUI attorney can then subpoena further documents and information from the DMV, the arresting agency and the crime lab.
The second way to obtain the DUI police report is at court. At your arraignment, the prosecutor must provide the police report, lab reports and any other documents relevant to the DUI case. Usually, the prosecutor only provides these at the first court date—the date indicated on your citation. But in San Bernardino County DUI cases, the DUI defense attorney can do a “counter arraignment” at the court clerk's office—and get the police reports—even before the first scheduled court date.
It Can Take a few Weeks to Obtain the DUI Police Report
Most people understandably feel a great deal of anxiety following a DUI arrest. You want to read the police report right away. You want to see what the officer is saying. Unfortunately, however, it can take up to a few weeks before you or your California DUI attorney can obtain the DUI police report either from the DMV or from the prosecutor. Meanwhile, there are still other tactics the DUI attorney can use to begin preparing the defense.