CA numbers, CC numbers and unfamiliar names of crimes: It is completely natural to become frustrated sorting through this kind of coded language for the first time. However, after a few minutes of preparation, you should have very little trouble investigating charges using an arrest report as a starting point.

Before beginning, please get clarification for any doubt you might have about any entry on a report. It is very rarely advantageous to assume anything when it comes to the law.

Getting a copy of these types of documents should usually be easy, as arrests are matters of public record. For example, on the Newark Police Department website, anyone is able to access daily publications of arrest logs.

About the arrest

These summaries contain most of the information you would need in order to take the first steps in defending yourself. While some of these facts could serve as evidence in your case, it is usually better to look at reports as reference documents. You should be able to find the following general data on an arrest report:

  • Name and other identifying information for the arrestee
  • Location, time and date of the arrest
  • An identification number for the incident

About the charges

You would also find information about each charge the arrestee faced. Each line should have the official name of the allegation and a code for that specific charge. You should also find information about whether each item on the list was gun related, domestic-violence related and so on.

In summary, arrest reports are relatively easy to read once you know how. However, these documents do not attempt to tell the whole story of an allegation. Instead, they provide an index of important facts.

It could require some advanced context to understand what all of the information means — and to know how you might want to proceed based on that information. Please make sure you fully understand every element of your situation before taking any action that could affect your future.