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  1. #1

    Default Can Police Omit Relevant Evidence from Their Police Reports

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: MI

    Can police omit relevant evidence from the police reports that they send to prosecution for authorization? In other words, do prosecutors sometimes base their charging decisions on more evidence than was actually provided for the defendant or public record? I am specifically referring to a case that was dropped before trial, so the defendent never had the opportunity to receive discovery but he was charged based on what seemed to be very minimal evidence provided in the police report that he obtained a copy of.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can Police Omit Relevant Evidence from Their Police Reports

    Eh? Police Reports are not typically the end-all of evidence collection in a prosecution. It is solely the result of a particular officer's investigation. Only enough information to support the probable cause for the warrant is needed. Much information is not disclosed to the public under the various exemptions to the public disclosure law (see Mcl 15.243). If someone doesn't end up being charged, no they have no particular right to discover what the police have against him. Discovery is a broader scope than "public access." Even stuff exempt from public disclosure is fair game in discovery. Unlike federal law, Michigan doesn't appear to have any law giving an indivdual rights to data collected by the state about him (what is called the Federal Privacy Act).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can Police Omit Relevant Evidence from Their Police Reports

    This is the sort of thing that is VERY specific to the exact details of your situation, and the obvious answer is to talk to an attorney, who will need to know everything.

    Your starting points are exactly how you have been damaged and exactly what law you think has been broken. Maybe false arrest, although that is not something I know much about. I have no idea what the law says about the flexibility the police have in sending information about the arrest to the DA. I do know if this had gone to trial, then "discovery" would have kicked in, plus some rules about exculpatory evidence.

    I do know that the FBI had something like 15,000 pages of documents, plus wire taps, and photos when they arrested John Gotti (The Teflon Don). Only a very small amount of that was ever used for the arrest and trial. The Don had very expensive lawyers and still ended up in prison. I am pretty sure that there is no general rule that the police must give up everything they know to anyone they arrest, but you really need to talk to an attorney about the complete specifics of YOUR situation.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can Police Omit Relevant Evidence from Their Police Reports

    Quote Quoting zags4champs
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    Can police omit relevant evidence from the police reports that they send to prosecution for authorization?
    Not really sure what you're talking about when you refer to a cop "send[ing] [a police report] to prosecution for authorization." However, while a police report probably should mention all evidence known to the cop at the time of the report's preparation, assuming that 100% of police reports will be 100% perfect in this regard would be foolish.

    Quote Quoting zags4champs
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    In other words, do prosecutors sometimes base their charging decisions on more evidence than was actually provided for the defendant or public record?
    This is a very different question than the question asked in the first sentence, and the answer is unquestionably yes. Also note that police reports are generally not matters of public record.

    Quote Quoting zags4champs
    View Post
    I am specifically referring to a case that was dropped before trial, so the defendent never had the opportunity to receive discovery but he was charged based on what seemed to be very minimal evidence provided in the police report that he obtained a copy of.
    Ok...and?

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