APD Will Not Give You The Police Report

While checking my referrer stats, I noticed someone find my blog by Googling “copy of police report Austin Texas”. This site pops up as one of the top responses to that search, probably due to my recent post about the criminal discovery process, both generally and here in Travis County. But the first site Google returns is the Austin Police Department’s FAQ page which purports to answer the question…

4. How do I purchase a police report?
For information about purchasing a copy of a police or accident report, contact that Austin Police Department Report Sales office at 974-5212. Reports can be purchased at either Police Headquarters in downtown Austin located at 715 E. 8th St; reports are available Monday through Friday between 7a.m. and 6 p.m. or you may purchase them from the North Substation locate at 12425 Lamplight Village Drive, reports are available Monday through Friday between 8 a. m. and 5 p. m.

Wait a minute, didn’t I just blog about the difficulties defense lawyers have in getting prosecutors in some counties to even allow them to read the police report, never mind getting a copy of them?

Well, here’s the answer, if you think there’s a conflict between APD’s FAQ page, and how things really work. Sure, they will take your money and hand over to you what they tell you is the police report, but it’s not…

It’s usually a two page document filled with information you already know or don’t care about, like the date of the arrest, the charges filed, the officer’s name, whether bias or family violence was involved, etc. etc.  Then there’s the section that gives detailed information about the defendant’s name, date of birth, driver’s license number, etc. etc.

But what about substance, the officer’s observations, any statements made? Well, I’m going to quote you exactly from one that I just took a look at:

On 8-25-06 at 0142 AM an arrest for DWI was made.

That’s it. It’s not a police report; it’s something called and actually titled a “press release”. You already know who you are, and what you were arrested for. Don’t waste your money giving it to A.P.D. for a so called copy of the police report.  Yes, there is such a thing as an offense report, which details all the officer's observations and conclusions, but it's not for sale.

I've had plenty of clients come into my office a few days after their arrest and announce to me that they already have the police report.  It always pains me to have to tell them that they have just wasted their time and money.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
JT Barrie - October 30, 2006 7:57 AM

I believe that the chickens are afraid of any kind of public scrutiny. Those at the top often act like gang leaders. They lapdogs at the media often run interference for them in the frequent times that they abuse basic liberties of the downtrodden. After all, the lapdogs tell us, those who are poor deserve their fate and are fair game for the chickens in the police force. Only those who "coddle criminals" criticize them, right?

Observation - September 3, 2012 6:49 PM

I think it is interesting how people that disagree with certain groups like to objectify them as things other than common men and women that they disagree with, or dislike the way they interact with them. Depersonalization is a dangerous road to venture down. Thinking of everyone as a person, politicians, public servants, we the people, is a much more productive way to view our society in whole. Pointing fingers and name calling doesn't solve anything, and never will.

dana hajovsky - October 25, 2012 12:09 PM

I actually got a copy if the full police report I filed...observations and all after hounding the APD. I reported this as a sexual assault. When I read the report, it made me sound like a dump slut. The officer referrers to the one I reported as a "gentleman". The case was dismissed because what this guy did was legal but not moral. He posed as someone else...pretended, had alisas and I found out by accident. I thought he was someone else for two years. The story may sound silly but not if you are the one that got screwed.

My question is, since I have a copy of the report and I think it is public info, is it against the law to post it on s blog talking about the perils of dating sites? Can I name his alias identity?

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