Injury Law Blog

How to File a Police Report in Sacramento

Anyone who suffers victimization from a crime or who witnesses criminal activity should make every effort to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. Filing a police report as soon as possible not only helps ensure the reporter’s memory of the incident is as fresh as possible but also helps an official investigation start more quickly. Should you decide to purse a personal injury lawsuit for compensation for your injuries, a police report can add merit to your claim and be evidence for your personal injury attorneys.

All Sacramento residents should know how to file a police report and what to expect after filing one.

Can You File a Police Report Online?

Both the City of Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department accept police reports online. Filing a report online is the fastest way to report a crime or submit witness information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Additionally, these online portals also allow Sacramento residents to add additional information, supporting evidence, and corrections to existing police reports. Anyone filing any kind of amendment to an existing police report will need to refer to the original report number.

Any Sacramento resident should report a crime in progress by calling 911. However, if a resident must file a report and the crime has already occurred, filing an online report is acceptable in most circumstances. Residents should check the Police Department website for a list of acceptable reasons to use the online reporting tool for the City of Sacramento Police Department.

The Sheriff’s Department handles different types of reports online. If a resident’s report refers to a violent crime, robbery, sexual assault, or any other offense listed on the City of Sacramento Police Department website, he or she should call 911 if the incident is in progress or call the Sheriff’s Department’s non-emergency line, not file an online report through the Sheriff’s Department website. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department handles missing property claims and specific types of reportable offenses like identity theft, lost or stolen property claims, mail theft, and theft from a vehicle.

How Much Does It Cost to File a Police Report?

In the United States, the police do not charge fees for citizens to report crimes. You should not need to pay any fees for reporting a crime directly to the police via 911 or a non-emergency line, nor should you pay any fees when filing an online report. However, all Sacramento residents should remember that filing a fraudulent or false report is a crime. If you intend to file any kind of police report online, doing so will require a valid email address and any kind of false reporting will almost certainly lead to criminal charges.

Before filing a police report to the City of Sacramento Police Department, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, or any other law enforcement agency, refer to the appropriate agency’s website if possible to determine the acceptable reporting protocol for your situation.

How Long Do You Have to File a Police Report in Sacramento?

Ideally, you should submit a police report as soon as possible, typically as soon as you discover evidence of a crime. In any emergency or if a crime is in progress, the victim should attempt to call 911 as soon as possible for a more immediate response. For non-emergencies, filing a report through the appropriate agency’s non-emergency line or online portal may be more appropriate.

After submitting your police report, the police will verify your email address and send you a notification that they have received your report. The police department or Sheriff’s department will provide you with a police report number, and you can refer back to this number later if you need to provide additional information or amend your original report in any way. After filing a legitimate report, you should expect to hear from an officer, detective, or other law enforcement officer to discuss your report. They may need additional information or update you as to the status of their investigations. Ultimately, filing a police report allows an official investigation to proceed into a criminal matter and ensures a publicly accessible, official record of the offense.