How to Obtain a Police Report in Hillsborough County FL
If you or your loved one has been the victim of a traffic accident in Hillsborough County, Florida, one crucial piece of evidence in your personal injury case will be the Police Report. The Investigating Officer on the scene should provide you with their business card and a case number. However, the full Police Report will not be available at this time because it is prepared and submitted electronically back at the station.
The official report will likely have written notes and details as to the cause of the accident, the individual’s name who was assigned blame, estimated damages, any indications of injury, and a drawing or graphic of the collision marked to show damaged areas. Additionally, there will be codes and other information which can be difficult to decipher without legal assistance. You may contact Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez at (813) 774-3341 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your report with one of our local personal injury attorneys.
Our Police Report resource pages are provided as a public service to assist you in searching for and obtaining your report. We have included contact information and the most expeditious methods for receipt, as well as access to Florida statutes as they apply. In the state of Florida, all Police Reports are filed by the law enforcement agency which has jurisdiction over the accident location — which will be one of the three agencies, as described below.
Law Enforcement Jurisdictions for Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County, Florida consists of 1,266 square miles and is the most populous county outside the Miami Metropolitan area. In 2017, the population was 1.409 million, making it the fourth-most populous county in Florida.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is responsible for law enforcement services for its 888 square miles of unincorporated areas. The 3 incorporated cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace have their own police departments, as does the Tampa International Airport and the University of South Florida.
The Florida Highway Patrol has jurisdiction over accidents occurring on an Interstate or state highway.
Making an Online Request for Your Hillsborough County Police Report
Police Reports are available from the listed jurisdictions of Florida (see drop down after choosing the state) at this online page: Police Reports LexisNexis (formerly known as E-Crash). You must create a personal account first, which will include your date of birth and drivers’ license number. The fees are set by each legal enforcement agency and can be paid online by credit or debit card. BuyCrash.com is a second site, also owned by LexisNexis.
Only involved parties (victims, passengers, witnesses) and their representatives (legal, insurers) are allowed to purchase these reports through this site; which correlates with Florida confidentiality restrictions described in the next section.
Florida Laws for the Custody and Release of Police Reports
Police Reports are submitted by the Investigating Officers with 3-5 business days of an accident. Records are stored and released according to the Public Guide for Law Enforcement Agencies, which outlines Florida’s Public Law Statutes.
Here are a few notable points of this law as it related to police reports:
- The role of the records custodian (law enforcement agency) is to have supervision and control over the document or to have legal responsibility for its care, keeping or guardianship.
- Confidential Status protects records from the public eye for 60 days following the accident. (Online Requests as outlined in the above section are always confidential; in that, they are only released to involved parties and their representatives.)
- Certain Exempt Parties are allowed copies of the Police Report before the 60-day Confidential Status has expired. You can see a list of exempt parties on the downloadable form below. Exemption Requests for Records require a copy of current photo identification and proof of exempt status.
A Sworn Statement must also accompany the request, promising the document(s) “will not be used for any commercial solicitation of accident victims, or knowingly be disclosed to any third party for the purpose of such solicitation, during the period of time that the information remains confidential.” You may download this fillable pdf form at the FHSMV.
- Police reports become public record 60 days subsequent to the date of the incident and may be obtained by any party upon payment of copy fee. No identification or signature is required at this stage.
In-Person and By-Mail Requests for Your Police Report
We have personally contacted the records divisions with jurisdiction over traffic accident police reports for the Florida cities and unincorporated areas listed below. We will be adding individual pages for them to aid in your access to records in-person or by mail. If your area is not linked to or listed, please call us directly for information at (813) 774-3341.
Schedule your free evaluation at (813) 774-3341 today with Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez Attorneys at Law!