Are Police Reports Magical?

police reports are not magical

I can not tell how many times I am involved in a case where the other side tries to bring police reports into evidence against my client. Frequently, I see this in family law and domestic violence cases all the time. This usually happens with litigants that represent themselves, always a big mistake.

Police Reports are not magical!

Usually, the presentation of a police report happens most often, in domestic violence, stalking violence, repeat violence, dating violence, and sexual violence cases.

There is a common misconception that police reports are gospel.

However, I assure you they are not. Just because a police officer writes a report does not mean all the statements in the report are factual.

Firstly, In order to have a police report admitted into evidence at a trial or hearing the police officer who wrote the report must testify.

The police officer must authenticate the police report.

Police Reports are not magical!

As always, at a trial or hearing, the accused has a right of cross-examination. A report, or any other document, cannot be cross-examined.

Police reports are given no more importance than any other document. The same holds true for written witness statements, letters from employers, letters from religious figures, and so forth. All such documents are hearsay and inadmissible as evidence in a trial or hearing.

Hearsay is an out of court statement made by someone else and attempts to prove the truth of a matter asserted.

For example, the most common situation I see is when a litigant tries to use a police report to prove they were the victim of a crime.

However, there are hearsay exceptions that allow certain types of hearsay evidence to be presented at a trial or hearing. Most people have no idea what they are.

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No part of this video is to be considered legal advice. This video is for educational purposes only. No attorney/client relationship is formed from watching this video.

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