Police Reports in Texas are public records and made available through several channels. Police records are reports made by the local enforcement agency, which contain information on the case including the type of case, the parties involved as well as the report of the officer who filed the case. Police records are divided into 3 types – criminal, traffic and administrative cases. The first and most common are criminal records. These records include those cases that have felony or are criminal by nature. Access to these records are restricted especially those that are still under investigation or have juveniles as suspect(s). Those records that have reached conviction though are open to the public.
Those who have altercations with government officials especially with police enforcers or want to obtain records pertaining to those similar in nature can do so by checking out administrative record cases. These cases deal with local enforcers who have cases filed against them or have committed violations of police policy. Traffic or incident reports on the other hand contain reports of incidents or accidents that happened in traffic. These also include infractions and police citation reports. Traffic cases include the name of the driver as well as the license plate of the vehicle(s) involved and the driver’s license number.
To access the police report, one only has to know the case or file number to make a written request. A defendant or a party has direct access to their police records and a copy is usually sent to the parties involved. For third parties, they can also access public information copy of the report. Reports that are criminal in nature are restricted while ongoing and can only be accessed after a conviction is made. To request for the report, one can walk in person to the office, send an email, a fax or a mail request.
Austin police records are available from the local police department although it can also be accessed online by checking out the APD incident police database. To make a search, include the police jurisdiction area or district, zip code and case number. Cost for each page is about $.10 each. The Records section is not open daily and as such, one needs to phone in or check the office schedule.
For those who want to obtain records in Houston, Texas, they can do so by email, fax or mail in their written request to the Police Open Records Division. Records that are still under investigation are available by requesting an “open records request” from the Attorney General. Processing takes about one to two months depending on the request volume. On the other hand, for those who want public information copies, they can send their request to the Records Division and pay $6 by cash, cashier checks or money order directly to the Office.
For a more convenient approach of extracting police records and other public records, one can check out online commercial public search sites that offer free public searches. This is the fastest and most convenient way to retrieve information without having to wait for longer periods.