The government of the US allows its citizens to access arrest records about themselves or anyone they know. This means that you have the right to obtain and view all the arrest records in the US. These records list a person’s encounters with law enforcement agencies, including arrests and any other charges.
By accessing these records, you can find the name, age, gender, sex, and physical description of the arrested individual. So, whether you are accessing these records for legal clarity or performing background checks for employment, the process can be really helpful.
There are many ways you can access these records, and we are going to mention some of them in comprehensive detail in the below paragraphs. Keep reading to find out.
1. Visiting the Local Police Department
If you want to access arrest records within your area, the most direct way is to go to your local police or sheriff’s department. They will have all the arrest records of the area under control and can be of help to you. To access these records, you will have to physically visit the law enforcement agency that controls your area and where the intended arrest occurred.
Just be prepared to have a national identification with you, such as a driver’s license or state ID. After meeting the front desk guys, you will need to ask them for the specific procedure to request arrest records. You may need to fill out a request form, which will specify your name and other relevant details.
Most of the time, you may also need to pay a processing fee, after which they will provide you with copies or let you see the requested arrest records.
2. Check Online Databases
With the whole world going digital, the federal government and many states have also digitized their record-keeping systems. This has made arrest records accessible on multiple databases available online to everyone who wants to access them.
For example, if you want California arrest records, you can either visit the official website of the government of California or access any other online database to check if they provide access to arrest records. To access these records, you will also have to provide your identity, just like in the process mentioned above.
You will have to provide your name, location, identity, and other personal details to proceed. This process is simpler and more user-friendly as compared to all other options because online databases are designed to be interactive, making it relatively easy for individuals to search for and access arrest records.
3. Utilize Online Background Check Services
Along with online directories and databases, online background check services can also provide quick and easy access to arrest records in any state, city, or town. These services are usually not government-provided and are offered by third-party providers who provide reports on all public records, including arrest records.
However, these online background check services charge a specific amount of money for their services. So, it is advised to choose a reputable and reliable service provider to ensure the information you access is accurate and up to date.
To access arrest records using these services, you will have to provide the person’s name and other relevant details to find a report with all the arrests and other public records.
4. Explore Public Records Websites
There are websites out there that provide all the public records, including information on arrest records. These websites organize and fetch public records information from government websites and then provide it to general users on demand.
This makes it easy for US citizens to access arrest records of any state or country. All you have to do is sign up and log in to these websites and then search for a specific arrest record by providing the individual’s name, location, and crime type, and you will be provided with all the relevant records.
While using these websites, you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects. These websites have straightforward navigation and search functionality that anyone can use with ease.
5. Contact the State Department of Corrections
If you want to see cases that resulted in convictions, you can refer to the state’s Department of Corrections. This department maintains records of every arrest and conviction, and you can use their website or visit them to find all the information you need.
Before visiting them in person, you can locate their contact information and ask them how you can access the arrest records. The procedure can be different for every state, so make sure you contact your state’s department to find out the right approach.
After inquiring about the process, follow their instructions on accessing the records both online and visiting them in person.
6. Access Federal Arrest Records through the FBI
For federal arrests, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) manages arrest records. This is done through the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. This division is responsible for maintaining all the records about federal crimes, so be sure to refer to them to find the arrest records you need.
One thing you will have to keep in mind is that accessing federal records is somewhat difficult as you will usually need to submit a fingerprint card and the processing fees. To find the details of the procedure, you can visit the FBI’s official website and learn how to request your own record. So, be sure to have proof of identity with you when requesting a federal arrest record.
7. Consult with a Licensed Private Investigator
Licensed private investigators are one of the best resources to access arrest records. These private investigators have specialized resources they can use to expedite the retrieval of information, which can be beneficial to you.
However, when you are hiring a private investigator, be sure to finalize the one who is licensed and reputable, as this guarantees the legitimacy and accuracy of the information. Also, be aware that hiring a private investigator involves a certain amount of fee for their services, so be prepared accordingly.