Q Are “mugshots and their charges” releasable by the police department pursuant to a public records request?
A Generally, all information and documents in a law enforcement file prior to arrest are exempt from the Public Records Act. Thereafter, any item part of the “investigative report” is exempt from the public records laws, but is releasable by the law enforcement agency in its discretion under Section 25-61-12(2)(a). “Incident reports” are public records and not exempt from disclosure. Both these terms are defined in the same statute, and whether a document is part of the investigative report and thus exempt is a factual determination which must be determined on a case-by-case basis by the police department. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Brock, dated April 20, 2012)