Arrest Report Law and Legal Definition

An arrest report is a record of a law enforcement agency of an arrest and of any related detention or confinement incident together with the connected charge.

The following is an example of one state's law governing arrest reports:

Each law enforcement agency of this state, of any county, and of any municipality shall maintain records of all incidents reported to the agency, investigations and arrests made by such law enforcement agency. All incident reports and arrest reports shall be open records. Notwithstanding any other provision of law other than the provisions of subsections 4, 5 and 6 of this section or section 320.083, RSM, investigative reports of all law enforcement agencies are closed records until the investigation becomes inactive. If any person is arrested and not charged with an offense against the law within thirty days of the person's arrest, the arrest report shall thereafter be a closed record except that the disposition portion of the record may be accessed and except as provided in section 610.120.

Except as provided in subsections 4, 5, 6 and 7 of this section, if any portion of a record or document of a law enforcement officer or agency, other than an arrest report, which would otherwise be open, contains information that is reasonably likely to pose a clear and present danger to the safety of any victim, witness, undercover officer, or other person; or jeopardize a criminal investigation, including records which would disclose the identity of a source wishing to remain confidential or a suspect not in custody; or which would disclose techniques, procedures or guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, that portion of the record shall be closed and shall be redacted from any record made available pursuant to this chapter.

Any person, including a family member of such person within the first degree of consanguinity if such person is deceased or incompetent, attorney for a person, or insurer of a person involved in any incident or whose property is involved in an incident, may obtain any records closed pursuant to this section or section 610.150 for purposes of investigation of any civil claim or defense, as provided by this subsection. Any individual, his or her family member within the first degree of consanguinity if such individual is deceased or incompetent, his or her attorney or insurer, involved in an incident or whose property is involved in an incident, upon written request, may obtain a complete unaltered and unedited incident report concerning the incident, and may obtain access to other records closed by a law enforcement agency pursuant to this section. Within thirty days of such request, the agency shall provide the requested material or file a motion pursuant to this subsection with the circuit court having jurisdiction over the law enforcement agency stating that the safety of the victim, witness or other individual cannot be reasonably ensured, or that a criminal investigation is likely to be jeopardized. If, based on such motion, the court finds for the law enforcement agency, the court shall either order the record closed or order such portion of the record that should be closed to be redacted from any record made available pursuant to this subsection.

Any person may bring an action pursuant to this section in the circuit court having jurisdiction to authorize disclosure of the information contained in an investigative report of any law enforcement agency, which would otherwise be closed pursuant to this section. The court may order that all or part of the information contained in an investigative report be released to the person bringing the action. In making the determination as to whether information contained in an investigative report shall be disclosed, the court shall consider whether the benefit to the person bringing the action or to the public outweighs any harm to the public, to the law enforcement agency or any of its officers, or to any person identified in the investigative report in regard to the need for law enforcement agencies to effectively investigate and prosecute criminal activity. The investigative report in question may be examined by the court in camera. The court may find that the party seeking disclosure of the investigative report shall bear the reasonable and necessary costs and attorneys' fees of both parties, unless the court finds that the decision of the law enforcement agency not to open the investigative report was substantially unjustified under all relevant circumstances, and in that event, the court may assess such reasonable and necessary costs and attorneys' fees to the law enforcement agency.

Any person may apply pursuant to this subsection to the circuit court having jurisdiction for an order requiring a law enforcement agency to open incident reports and arrest reports being unlawfully closed pursuant to this section. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the law enforcement officer or agency has knowingly violated this section, the officer or agency shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount up to one thousand dollars. If the court finds that there is a knowing violation of this section, the court may order payment by such officer or agency of all costs and attorneys' fees, as provided by section 610.027. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the law enforcement officer or agency has purposely violated this section, the officer or agency shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount up to five thousand dollars and the court shall order payment by such officer or agency of all costs and attorney fees, as provided in section 610.027. The court shall determine the amount of the penalty by taking into account the size of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense, and whether the law enforcement officer or agency has violated this section previously.

The victim of an offense as provided in chapter 566, RSMo, may request that his or her identity be kept confidential until a charge relating to such incident is filed.