Differences in Report Writing Documentation


Report writing is one of the most important elements in the court because it helps the advocate brief the judge on a case. Reports are used for specific cases, such as a criminal case against a minor or adoption (United States Courts, 2020). When the reports are presented consistently and produce clear documentation regarding volunteer involvement, they improve the ability of an advocate to give the defendant a voice in the hearing of the case. The judges use the information in the report to make their judgments. This study evaluates the information and documentation required in concluding misdemeanor and felony investigations, the purpose of internal and external statements, the audience that reviews the reports, and the effect of improper documentation.

Information Required to Complete Misdemeanor and Felony Investigations

The initial information is required in report writing, showing how an officer was involved in the incident, their immediate observations, and any actions taken. Secondly, there is the identification of the crime, which includes the accurate facts about the crime, the common name, and any other necessary information required for the crime to be complete (United States Courts, 2020). The third step is identifying the parties involved in the felony or misdemeanor if they are known. This includes their full names, telephone numbers, address, and their role in the felony or misdemeanor (United States Courts, 2020). The next information is getting victim or suspect statements of the involved parties, including details of the events, direct quotes used, and their own perspective of the event. In addition, property information is required and includes the approximate value, make, and full description where possible. Finally, officer observations are required whereby all the offers who responded to the crime should come up with a combined report of their personal views regarding the incident.

Internal and external reports

Internal statements are the meanings and assumptions offered to the court regarding the participants’ interpretations in the felony or a misdemeanor case. According to Peter Winch, internal statements are reflective understanding based on the participant’s unreflective understanding. On the other hand, external report theorists state that felony and misdemeanor cases should be viewed externally because the participants inhibit the delusions and motivations for conducting the incidents (Legal Information Institution, 2021). For instance, in a case of suicide, psychologists and philosophers would support the analysis of the case from an interior perspective. This is because they believe that an incident of suicide is due to absurdity in life where the participant struggles with a meaningless life. They prefer to interview the family and close friends about the participant’s social life on factors such as alcoholism, family problems, or loneliness. This helps the court come up with common theories about why the incident happened.

In addition, the same case of suicide can also be approached from external report writing. According to United Nations (2020), suicide is a social problem, not a psychological problem. Different felonies and misdemeanors are linked to the structure of various societies. For instance, a society with a high drug consumption rate is likely to experience high levels of suicide. A quick change in the division of labor can lead to anomie, a situation of maladaptation leading to suicidal thoughts (United States Courts, 2020). Although each victim of a felony or misdemeanor has their own reasons for committing, these criminal acts are taken as social issues. Therefore, an external report will include information about the general cause of the felony or misdemeanor without considering the specific insight which leads to the crimes.

The internal and external report statements impact the solution to the crimes. If the statement is taken from an internal perspective and not as a social factor, then felony and misdemeanor cases will be solved by seeking ways to help and uplift people’s psychological well-being (United States Courts, 2020). On the contrary, if the felony and misdemeanor cases are taken as a social issue, they will be solved by involving social programs implemented in society.

This creates a dilemma in writing reports and implementing solutions to the problems. For instance, if a task force is given the mandate to find a solution to felony and misdemeanor issues in a given society, they are not sure whether to use the internal or external perspective. The internal approach is said to miss the big social issue whereby participants of certain felonies and misdemeanors are jailed, leaving the epiphenomenon in the community (United States Courts, 2020). On the other hand, full reliance on the external approach may lack to capture the inner motives of participants of felonies and misdemeanors, focusing on the larger social context. This makes the participants of the felonies and misdemeanors under judged as the court focuses on the larger social context. However, the best way should be to take both sides of the phenomenon.

However, the internal and external perspectives become more distinct when viewed from a broader perspective. For instance, looking at religious practices, they have rules that they adhere to, which are carried in the internal account. When viewed from an external account, the same rules may present a totally different meaning. For instance, the internal reason why Christians gather together to worship together is to fulfill the biblical calling, which states that whenever two or three are gathered, I will be there. This implies that from their perspective, they gather together to invite God’s presence. However, from the external perspective, it may be seen that they are gathered together to express their religious solidarity. Therefore, Christians worship together to show their solidarity and togetherness and not due to calling the presence of God. This situation shows how a statement written in the report may influence the decision or outcome of a felony or misdemeanor.

In another instance, a boy drills a hole in the padlock of a shop to open it. Before he finishes, the police arrive and arrest the boy before he enters the shop. When taken to court, the boy was charged with a felony for intending to break into the shop. However, in the court, the boy’s lawyers argued there must be a physical entry of the body for a burglary to be completed. Therefore, according to the defendant’s lawyer, the felony had to be dropped and charged the boy with a misdemeanor. On the other hand, the prosecutor argued that the boy had already satisfied the definition of burglary when he drilled a hole in the padlock. Finally, the judge agreed with the first argument that there was no physical entry, and therefore, the boy was charged with a misdemeanor. This shows how the internal and external reports have the ability to influence the outcomes of the different cases.

The audience that reviews this report and the impact of improper documentation

The documentation report is viewed by the prosecutor who acts on behalf of the state. Therefore, when the report is submitted to the court, the prosecutor has to go over the report and ascertain various facts, which will help push the case to the court (United States Courts, 2020). Therefore, the prosecutor uses the information on the report to act on behalf of the state. Another person who might review the report is the lawyer who is representing the case. The lawyer acts on behalf of a given individual or corporate, or court in various matters. Therefore, the lawyer might have to review the report to get facts and form their defense (United States Courts, 2020). Small details are essential as lawyers look for flaws and finer details in the reports to form their arguments. If they find a small fact left out, they may use it as their defense; therefore, it is important to document everything well. Finally, the judge may review the documentation before making the final decision on a case. This allows them to read and understand the report from a neutral point of view.

Improper documentation may have a significant impact in altering the decision made regarding a felony or misdemeanor. Improper documentation would mean that some details are missing or not as they were in an incident. This would provide a significant opportunity for the lawyers and other people involved in the case to find a defense against justice. Therefore, it is important to ensure proper documentation in report writing so that the facts can come out clear hence fair trial and judgment.


Report writing and documentation is an important aspect of law as it helps keep records of events and facts that can be used to solve felonies and misdemeanors. Good documentation requires accurate capturing of the correct details. Reports can be viewed from an internal and external perspective which also helps solve felonies or misdemeanors. An internal report focuses on the internal motives for committing a felony or misdemeanor, while an external focus on the external motives, such as social and societal factors. The internal and external perspectives are essential as they determine the direction of a judgment. Therefore, it is important to ensure correct documentation, which is helpful in felony or misdemeanor cases.


Legal Information Institution. (2021). Evidence. LII / Legal Information Institute. Web.

United Nations. (2020). Basic principles on the independence of the judiciary. OHCHR. Web.

United States Courts. (2020). Current rules of practice & procedure. United States Courts. Web.

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LawBirdie. (2023) 'Differences in Report Writing Documentation'. 17 April.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Differences in Report Writing Documentation." April 17, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/differences-in-report-writing-documentation/.

1. LawBirdie. "Differences in Report Writing Documentation." April 17, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/differences-in-report-writing-documentation/.


LawBirdie. "Differences in Report Writing Documentation." April 17, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/differences-in-report-writing-documentation/.