Arrest Records Search

What is an arrest record?

Arrest records contain documented information pertaining to an individual’s criminal history. Records are only maintained of any convictions in a court of law. Judicial administration and law enforcement agencies both maintain the arrest record in their archives.

The Arrest Records are maintained for a certain duration dictated by the ‘statute of limitations’ that is in turn dependent on the nature of the crime. The statute determines how long the arrest records should be maintained. After this stipulated period, the record needs to be destroyed and no longer considered valid.

What details do the arrest records contain?

The Arrest Records will contain details such as:

  • Age and other demographics: The current age and the age of the individual at the time of the criminal activity is mentioned. Fingerprints, identification marks, photographs, social security number, race, prior arrests if any are also listed in the arrest records.
  • Criminal classification: The nature and type of crime is mentioned in this section. Misdemeanours involve imprisonment that do not last beyond a year and have a shorter statute of limitation. Felonies on the other hand are more severe in terms of punishment and involve longer statutes of limitation.
  • Details of any fines: If the crime involved payment of fines or penalties if any are mentioned in the arrest record as well.
  • Pending hearings or litigations: The arrest record will also indicate if there are any pending litigations, hearings or additional convictions.
  • Military service record if applicable: If the individual was serving in the military and the crime was committed during the service, the arrest record will contain these details beside the details pertaining to dishonourable discharge.

Use of arrest records

Arrest records can be used in some states to perform background checks in certain situations such as pre-employment verifications, insurance, renting of property or firearm sales. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, arrest records cannot be used as the sole criteria for rejection of an employee. Employers need to carry out further investigations and checks to find out if the crime was actually committed by the person.

In some situations, it may be possible to clear the arrest records. Each state has different rules pertaining to expungement of arrest records, based on the nature of the crime. If an expungement is allowed, it will delete or remove the order of conviction from all public records including the ones maintained by the police and the judiciary.

Arrest Records Search