Arrest Records

Everything you need to know about Arrest Records!


When a person commits a crime, and if this act occurs in front of a police officer, he/she can be arrested on the spot. However, if this cannot be done, the law enforcement agency seeks a judicial order, read arrest warrant, to detain the individual in question.
Subsequently, this person will be apprehended by the police for further investigation. This process of placing a suspect in police custody is called an arrest procedure and the details pertaining to this event are called arrest records. The arrest records of a person contain the arrest list, which gives information of all the arrests.


Are arrest records public? Can I view records of recent arrests?

Arrest records are generally public unless they are related to an ongoing investigation. An arrest inquiry can be done by anyone. However, in some states there is a cap on the amount of information you can get from an arrest record. This limitation has been put into place to safe guard people who haven’t been charged yet, have been acquitted, or have had their records expunged. Also in some states, police reports are only made available to a person seeking a self-arrest report.


What is an arrest log?

Every police station maintains a log of the arrests done by the police officers of that station. These logs are called arrest logs, they contain information about the arrested persons, such as:

  • – Crime/s committed.
  • – Place where the crime was committed.
  • – Personal identifier information like the first name, last name and father’s name.
  • – Profession.
  • – Birth Date.
  • – Gender.
  • – Vital statistics like weight, height, color of skin and eyes.
  • – Current health status.
  • – Arrest time, day, month and year.
  • – Situation in which the arrest was done and if there was any problem while making the arrest.
  • – Bail amount.
  • – Conditions set for the release.
  • – Charges the person is accused of.
  • – Outstanding warrants or parole from other states or counties.
  • – Case type and Number with the Court name.



After the personal information is collected arrest mugshots are taken. Many states update their websites daily or weekly with the most recent mugshots. The procedure of collecting the personal information of the arrested person is called arrest booking.
The Police blotter is another information management system and has all the details related to the daily activities and arrests. As per Freedom of Information laws, it is mandatory for a police station to maintain details pertaining to each arrests such as the name of the detainee, address, reason for arrest and name of the officer who conducted the arrest in the police blotter. The data can be checked by people, and it is used by reporters to gather information on popular arrests.


Can I get jail records?

Jail records for every county are available and include details of the location where a person is being held and the time set for release.


What is the difference between an arrest record and a court record?

If you think that an arrest record is the same as a court record, you could not be more wrong. A court record gives details of judicial proceedings and not police procedures.


Do arrest records show up on a background check?

Yes, arrest records do show up in background checks and the arrest list furnished in response to such inquiries includes DUI arrests as well, unless the record is sealed or has been expunged. If you have ever been arrested or have an inkling that you may have violated a law or have missed the payments on some traffic tickets, you should check your arrest record and outstanding warrants. Typically, arrest records are checked by employers, landlords, DMV and passport issuing authorities.


How do I look up an arrest record?


Arrest records are found both offline and online.

  • Offline: They are available at the court house or the local sheriff’s office for a small fee. It is also possible to get the record from the FBI by filling the FOIA request and paying a $25 fee.
  • Online: : There are many third-party websites offering arrest records for a fee.


  • You can also try the arrest app offered by the police department, if such a facility is provided by local law enforcement. It’s a simple, quick and easy way to access these records. Through this tool, people can conduct the arrest inquiry as per the time of arrest. For example, to know about a person arrested yesterday, you can check the records of arrests made in the last 24 hours. Similarly, an arrest that occurred a few days earlier can be looked up in the “arrests done in the last 5 days” category.


    How do I correct a mistake in my arrest record?

    Criminal records are maintained in a central database from where copies are provided to people making an arrest inquiry. It is possible to correct the arrest record if there are any mistakes cited in it. However, not all states allow the arrest records to be corrected easily.



    Some states allow you to correct the arrest record by filling a form and paying a small fee. On the other hand, in a few states you will be asked to send a request letter to the law enforcement agency stating the errors in the record to be corrected. You can expect a response from the agency in 20-30 working days, as stipulated by the law.

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