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Public Arrest Reports

May 27, 2008
Public Arrest Reports are not good for the people with their names in them but definitely welcomed by others whose names are not. Not only are they freely retrievable for specific uses, they are in fact publicly posted by a great many enforcement authorities on a routine basis. These reports keep the public alerted while having a psychologically deterrent effect on potential criminals at the same time.

An Arrest Report is a record by law enforcement authorities of apprehensions that lead to detention or confinement. It constitutes a list of all arrestees with their personal details plus other information surrounding the incidents together with the ensuing charges if any. Individually, they form part of the Public Arrest Records of the offender.

Public Arrest Reports are mostly generated by the Police although there are other government agencies which are also authorized to do so. As a result, they are also known as Public Police Reports. Police come under state jurisdiction so there may be variations between the states but by and large, the function in regards to Public Arrest Reports is tasked to the respective individual Police Departments.

After an arrest has been completed, a report is put up by the arresting agency to document the incident. It is then submitted to the Case Intake Prosecutor assigned to it for further action. The report basically recites the entire event of the arrest furnished with all the pertinent details where possible such as the personal particulars of the arrestee, the time and place of the incident, case number and type, grounds of arrest, witnesses' names and addresses and even environmental conditions such as weather.

Public Arrest Reports are posted on various media by many Police Departments and Sheriff Offices for public viewing and attention. Weekly update is the norm but there is no fixed schedule, with some as frequent as live and some at monthly intervals. Cumulative lists over the years are also commonly available. Such reports are usually of a collective nature listing all arrests conducted over a certain period within a particular locality. Expunged records and those of arrestees below a certain age are usually omitted.

Apart from carrying out Standard Operating Procedures and fulfilling documentation requirements, Public Arrest Reports are raised as statement or evidence by the arresting agency to aid the Prosecutor or Grand Jury in fixing the appropriate charges. They also play a key role in the determination of bail, plea bargain or trial tactics and Prosecutors are known to make decisions by just cursorily reviewing these reports.

Public Arrest Reports are Public Records which are mandated by law as a right to anyone to retrieve. As such, they can be requested from government agencies which are tasked with the function. Not unlike most public services, there are procedures to follow and lead-time to wait through. That's why if time is of the essence, people turn to commercial record providers which can deliver in a matter of minutes.
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