Can he get my address from the police report? :(
November 15, 2009 7:56 PM   Subscribe

Can he get my address from the police report? :(

I had to make a police report against an acquaintance of mine. Eventually, I will also be testifying against him in court. (I was told what he did was a felony).

Although he has never directly threatened me or been violent that I know of, he is a sociopath with zero conscience. I'm terrified of him coming to my house to do something in revenge, or sending one of his many lowlife friends for the same reason.

So: can he get my address from the police report? The officer wrote down my address when I made it. The report will be provided to his lawyer if/when he gets one, at the lawyer's request, won't it?

If so, is there anything I can do now to change my address on the report? My friend is willing to let me use his address, since he lives in a well guarded high rise and I stay there often anyway. I made the report a couple days ago.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should really talk to the police about this. They can answer your question most accurately since they're the ones with the report, and they can talk to you about your options if you feel like you're in danger.
posted by ishotjr at 8:05 PM on November 15, 2009

He can. Most states make police reports public records. He can likely get the police report without going through his lawyer.

What state are you in? Some states make exceptions for information that may put someone in harm's way.

Talk to the police. They'll be able to tell you on what documents your information is listed. They may also be familiar with legal ways to get your information removed.

I'm guessing that it is a public record no matter what. I wouldn't dwell on getting rid of the address. If he really wants to find out where you live, there are ways other than the police report that he can find it. Follow the same personal safety steps either way.
posted by chris p at 8:45 PM on November 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

I am a criminal defense lawyer, and yes we always get the police report. We don't always provide copies to our clients. But when I do (and I can't speak for all lawyers here), I usually black out the identifying information of witnesses - such as addresses and social security numbers. From what I know, this is standard practice at most police departments as well.

It would be a bad move to change the address or give some fictitious address on the police report. Doing something like that is a defense lawyer's dream. Because (assuming the case doesn't just deal out as 90%+ of cases do) we will figure out your real address (via an investigator), and figure out you lied on the police report. Then, on the stand, under oath, we would expose in front of the jury that you lied on the police report. This will make you look really bad, even if the reason was to protect yourself from this person.
posted by falconred at 8:57 PM on November 15, 2009

Talk to the police AND the lawyer from the District Attorney's office assigned to the case. It is in the interest of the DA's office to keep witnesses happy and on their side.
posted by zachlipton at 10:40 PM on November 15, 2009

What zachlipton said. There is probably a Victim Assistance division at your county's DA. Talk to them.
posted by donpardo at 3:43 AM on November 16, 2009

If the individual in question knows your last name, chances are very good that your address can easily be tracked down.
posted by onhazier at 5:31 AM on November 16, 2009

Call and ask if it can be removed. If not, tell them you want to change your address. And no, catching you at on this lie is not the defense lawyers dream, it's the prosecutors when you explain you were uncomfortable giving your address since you fear for your life.
posted by xammerboy at 7:53 AM on November 16, 2009

« Older Help me de-fuzz   |   Shirts for swimming? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.