What Is An Arrest Record?
An arrest record is a portion of a person’s criminal record. When someone is arrested for a criminal act and is facing a criminal charge, an arrest record is created for that person. If they have a criminal history, it will appear in past Federal Government and State police records. Often, arrest records are used by employers, landlords, and others when performing background checks on a person.
The Three Levels Of Arrests
- County: At the county level, rules and regulations regarding the police’s authority vary for each location. For the most part, local police handle most arrests. These crimes usually deal with theft, drugs, and traffic.
- State: As long as they use investigation units that have been approved by the Attorney General, state police agencies are permitted to make arrests.
- Federal: If a crime is serious enough to require federal involvement, it is handled by the Department of Justice. In addition, federal officers are restricted to foreign and interstate cases, as per the Constitution.
What Information Can You View On An Arrest Record?
- Date of the arrest.
- Where the arrest occurred.
- Name and description of the person who was arrested.
- The crime the person was arrested for.
- Past crimes arrested for.
- Any public records and documents (ex: court records) pertaining to the arrest.
Is It Possible To Find Arrest Records Online?
Besides using Kiwi Searches, most states and court systems do provide a way to search someone’s criminal past. However, most of the time these require paying a fee. Your best bet is using an online service that specializes in background and criminal searches.
Are Arrest Records Public, and Why Would Some Be Private?
Arrest records are typically made available to the public in the United States. However, this may differ state-by-state depending on state law. If the records are not public information, there are a number of reasons why they may be hidden.
- State law prohibits access to the records.
- The investigation is ongoing.
- Information contained in the records poses a public safety risk.
- Person was found innocent of their charges.
- Person was arrested as a juvenile.
Can An Arrest Record Be Expunged?
One of the reasons why an arrest record may not be public is if it’s expunged. This means that the records are erased in the eyes of law as part of the process of the offender wanting them sealed or destroyed. If records are expunged, they are not accessible through state and Federal repositories. When this occurs, the crime is likely to be removed from someone’s criminal and public record.
Are Arrest Records Free?
There’s no certainty that the arrest records you need will be free. Often, criminal background checks and state sites will charge to retrieve someone’s criminal history. However, some documents may be available publicly, and are able to be viewed for free.
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- 7 Crazy Hazing Stories That Ended In Arrests
- Do Misdemeanors Show Up On Background Checks?
View our other Glossary Terms here.
*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.