arrest report | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction 

An arrest report is a record maintained by a law enforcement agency concerning an arrest, including statements, evidence, and related charging information.

The exact contents of an arrest report will depend on agency policy and the legal requirements of the arresting officer’s jurisdiction.

Arrest reports serve a critical purpose. They offer a clear record of an arrest, which comes in handy for various reasons. For instance, a prosecutor might use it to start criminal charges against the arrested person. Courts can also use arrest reports. They help judges decide if there’s enough evidence to keep the person in jail until their trial.

What’s Included in an Arrest Report?

These reports pack in a lot of information. They list the name and other identifying details of the arrested person. They also state what offense or offenses led to the arrest. Other details like where and when the arrest happened and who made the arrest are also included.

If there were any witnesses to the arrest, the report would include that too. It might also have statements from the arrested person or others involved in the incident.

Additional Evidence in Arrest Reports

These reports can include more than just basic information. They might also contain different kinds of evidence. For instance, they could have pictures or videos taken at the arrest scene. They might also document any physical evidence gathered during the arrest. This evidence can help build the case against the arrested person. It could be used in court when the person is tried for the crime.


Law enforcement agencies hold on to these reports. Since they’re public records, anyone can ask to see them. However, there might be limits on releasing certain information. For example, agencies might not share the names of witnesses or confidential informants.

Arrest Reports and Criminal Investigations

In some situations, they can help with criminal investigations. Let’s say someone is suspected of a crime and gets arrested. Law enforcement can use the details in the arrest report to dig deeper into the person’s activities. They can gather more evidence to strengthen the case against the person.

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Last Modified: 06/09/2023


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