Use of Police Personnel Files in a Criminal Case

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Use of Police Personnel Files in a Criminal Case

A criminal case is a court proceeding where a defendant, or someone accused of a crime, is tried for by the government to determine guilty or innocence. To help in proving innocence, a defendant can use police personnel files to prove an affirmative defense or discredit witnesses.

Why Use Police Personnel Files in a Criminal Case?

Police personnel files are used to impeach the police officer’s testimony. A judge or jury presumes a police officer is telling the truth even when defense eye witnesses counter his testimony. Using the police personnel files will also show:

How Do I Make a Request for Police Personnel Files?

Requesting police personnel files depends on the particular jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has different procedure that a person must complete to obtain the files.

Will I Automatically Receive the Requested Files?

No. In most cases, the prosecution will review the police personnel files to determine if:

The prosecution does not have to turn over all files. Rather, they are only required to hand over information that is actually relevant to the case.

Is There a Specific Time to Request Police Personnel Files?

Yes. The discovery stage of a criminal trial is the time to request police personnel files. During the discovery process, the defense can obtain information that is relevant to the case. This information includes evidence held by the prosecutor, such as:

Should I Talk to an Attorney about My Criminal Case?

If you are being charged with a crime, contact a criminal attorney. They can help you obtain evidence such as police personnel files and assist you in determining the best way to use the evidence in your criminal case.

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Last Modified: 10-14-2015 09:19 AM PDT

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