Discovering that another driver filed a police report against you can be scary. You may be unsure of what you’ve done wrong and if it’s time to contact a lawyer.
Your next steps depend on the unique facts of your case, but the bottom line is that you have rights in these situations and a skilled lawyer can help protect them.
Reasons for a police report against an individual
First, let’s address the question, “Why is there a police report against me?” In car accident cases, police reports are used for:
- Determining liability
- Statistical analysis
- A source of information for the investigative record
When local police respond, they will complete an accident report and file it. However, if the police didn’t respond or weren’t called, the other driver can file a police report against you when they report the accident.
If this happens, it may indicate that you’ll be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. Now is the time to seek legal advice from a skilled San Luis Obispo car accident attorney. An attorney can advise you of your protections and help you understand each step.
Understanding the contents of the police report
Many California municipal police departments, including San Luis Obispo, follow standard formats for a police report. It typically contains:
- The date, time, and location of the event
- Description of the scene
- Any photos or videos
- How to contact victims and witnesses
- Any threats, weapons, or violent acts
- The names and pertinent identifying information of victims and witnesses
Many police reports also have a narrative section where the officer can write a description of the incident and include other information that may not be part of the standard form.
Legal options for individuals named in a police report
Your legal options depend on the type of incident being reported. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn what’s best for your situation.
In some cases, you may need to appear in court. In other situations, the police report could be part of a civil matter that can be settled in mediation.
Police report filed against you? We can help.
Your best defense against charges made in a police report is to remain silent until and unless your lawyer directs you to make a statement. Remember, a police report cannot be used as evidence in court – only the prosecutor determines if there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest.