El Cajon, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: Can a public defender redact a police report.??.

i seen the public defender last thursday i asked for copy of police report said no problem to call him later.I did but got no answer for days .So today i went to court house to find him .Said he had redact the report before i could have one.. Is this legal?? sounds like he is tampering with the report. thanks

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ghazal Sharif
Ghazal Sharif
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In a criminal case, usually the part of the file of most interest to the client is the police reports. There is nothing forbidding defense attorneys from releasing these reports to the defendant (either during the representation or afterward), but in California we cannot include the address or telephone number of any witness in any document discovered to us by the prosecutor. That is, we must redact this information out of the reports prior to releasing the documents to the defendant. If we fail to do so, we commit a misdemeanor. Even should the client choose to represent himself, the addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses may not be disclosed to the client. Rather, the court must appoint a qualified private investigator to help the self-represented defendant and order that witness contact information be released only to that investigator.

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