The police report in my criminal case is inaccurate – what can I do?
Pray. You can pray. Unless the error in the inaccurate report is obvious or there is evidence that the events could not have unfolded in the manner described, the report will stand. If you end up at trial the officer will likely swear that the report is accurate. Or perhaps claim no recollection of the event. He or she will then state that it is his/her job to craft honest and fair depictions of the events.
So the trier of fact (judge or jury) will have to decide who is telling the truth – the officer or the defendant. In this society, the odds weigh against the defendant prevailing on that point.
Once in a blue moon an officer will be caught in a lie, but generally speaking it is an uphill battle. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.
Limiting the impact of this report is no easy task. A good criminal defense attorney will try to counteract the police report by:
1) undermining the officers credibility; and
2) trying to find evidence to contradict the police report.
Are there other witnesses not interviewed by the police? Does the physical evidence match up with the report? Can I draw out the inaccuracies in a meaningful manner that is helpful to my client? Does the police report align with the other physical evidence collected?
Analysis like this takes time to develop and discover. It is imperative that you inform your criminal defense attorney of any inaccuracies in the report as soon as you recognize them.