Once you call 911 to report an incident, crime, or accident, one of the responding officers will begin completing a police report, as any skilled lawyer knows. As a physical record of an incident or crime, police reports (also known as “incident reports”) will open an investigation into the claim, giving police a chance to start working on the case. Categorized under “emergency” or “non-emergency,” police reports have great importance, many different purposes, and contain comprehensive information about the incident, crime, or accident in question. Read on to learn more about Georgia police reports and how to amend them should it be necessary.
Types of Police Reports
Eight different reports assist law enforcement with their investigation of the related incident, crime, or accident.
These eight types of reports include:
- Crime Report/Incident Report
- Investigative Report
- Administrative Report
- Supplemental Police Report
- Traffic Report
- Witness Report
- Internal Affairs Report
- Arrest Report
Information and Data in Reports
As the victim’s first official document of the crime, police reports contain the following information and data.
Police reports will record incident details such as the type of crime committed and where and when it occurred. The report will state if anyone involved sustained injuries, the names and badge numbers of the responding officers, and how the report was received and reported.
The name of the individual who reported the incident gets recorded in the report, as does their physical appearance, ethnicity, address, date of birth, social security number, marital status, and relationship to the perpetrator.
The name of the victim(s) gets recorded in the report, as well, along with the same information as the reporting party (i.e., address, social security number, physical appearance, etc.)
Regardless of the owner, if any property got damaged or used during the crime, the responding officer will record those details in a separate section on the report.
Whether one or more individuals face accusations of committing the crime, the officer will compile a thorough physical description and any other known data of each suspect for future apprehension.
The officer will record the details regarding the events leading to the associated incident’s results. The narrative is the first-hand account given by the victim and witnesses.
Reporting Officer Information
Not only will the officer describe what they saw and heard from the victim, suspect, and witnesses, but they will also take pictures, sketch diagrams, and take measurements of distances or objects, attaching them to the report.
Importance of Police Reports
Police reports, an integral component of the criminal justice system, have great importance. Reports:
- Facilitate criminal prosecution
- Provide judges with a third-party view of the court case circumstances
- Serve as vital pieces of documentation, helping victims of criminal injury recover damages and find justice.
Purpose of These Reports
Not only do reports help law enforcement start an investigation, but they serve as an unbiased account of the details surrounding the incident. Police reports determine liability, provide evidence for the victim, and provide information to the community.
How to Amend a Georgia Police Report
Correct Factual Errors
What happens if you read a police report and find an error or discrepancy? Reports have three common types of mistakes: mistakes of fact, judgment, and law. If you find a factual error (e.g., a spelling error, the wrong make/model of your vehicle, inversion of address numbers, etc.), provide proof of the right information to the corresponding officer to correct the mistake.
Contact the Responding Officer
The report will most likely stay the official version of events, even if your recollection of the incident conflicts with the report. While not impossible, changing and amending police reports is difficult. Before you contact the responding officer who completed the police report, write down your version of events clearly and concisely. Be factual and point out instances in which the police report differs from how you believe it happened. Request your statement to serve as an addendum to the police report. Your goal is to have the officer consider your version of events and add them to the report. The decision is ultimately up to them.
Amend Disputed Facts
Provide as much evidence as you can to amend disputed facts. Evidence can include pictures, medical records, written eyewitness accounts, etc. Collect thorough backup information to get your version of the incident added to the police report.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Carrollton
The professional legal services of John B. Jackson, a personal injury attorney, will provide you with a chance to determine who is liable for any injuries you experienced from an incident, crime, or accident and to ensure the police report conveys it accurately. While determining damages for a personal injury claim, John B. Jackson will gather evidence, including the police report, to determine if you will suffer any long-lasting repercussions. Do not wait. Contact the Law Office of John B. Jackson now!