How to Find Public Police Records in the State of West Virginia
To put a curb on crime rates, a state must collect information on a daily basis on criminals, offenders and their criminal and anti-social activities. Governments across the world maintain a repository of police records to help people and law enforcement agencies to know and investigate criminals around them. All 50 states in the USA have enacted laws to dispense Public Police Records to citizens of state and country so that they can use the information to know about the criminal background of a person before employing or doing business with him.
The State of West Virginia started collecting public records including police records from the year 1917. The 55 counties of the state send police records to the central repository of the state to distribute records to the public on request.
Fundamentals of Public Police Records in West Virginia
Public Police Records document, which essentially contains information of individuals who have been involved in criminal activity. The records mainly list name, date birth, place of arrest, type of crime, sentence, conviction, etc. of an individual who had been caught while indulging in criminal or anti-social activity. They also provide information on mishaps like accidents, suicides and other untoward incidents. Public Police Records are broadly divided into the following categories.
Arrest Records – Arrest records are documents containing details of an offender collected at the time of the arrest. Apart from personal details of the offender, arrest records also mention whether the offender was questioned, apprehended or detained at the time of the arrest. Arrest records are not considered criminal records until the offender is proved guilty and sentenced in the court of law.
Arrest Warrant Records– Arrest warrant is an official document issued by a court authorizing a law enforcement authority to detain an offender allegedly involved in crime and other antisocial activities.
Criminal Records – Criminal records are the documents, which contain information collected from courts, detention centers, and other law enforcement agencies regarding criminal background, arrests, sentencing, incarceration, probation, and parole of a convicted individual.
Accident records – Accident records contain details of accidents like vehicles involved in the accident, names of owners of the vehicles, place, name of the road, timing, etc. These records help people in getting insurances and also finding the causes of accidents.
Obtaining Public Police Records in West Virginia
The West Virginia State Police (WVSP) is the main authority that maintains, updates and distributes Public Police Records in the State of West Virginia. Records like background checks, criminal history, arrest records, mugshots, crash reports, etc. can be obtained from the department on request. The following are the ways to obtain police records in West Virginia.
1. Personal Visit – The main headquarters of West Virginia is situated in South Charleston. You can visit the headquarters to apply for any type of police record. The cost of a copy of the record costs you $20. Copy of identifications and fingerprints are needed depending upon the type of records you are applying for. You can also get records by visiting branches of WVSP, police stations, Sheriff’s office, FBI branches, and other law enforcement agencies. The address of the WVSP headquarters is given below.
West Virginia State Police Headquarters
725 Jefferson Road
South Charleston, WV 25309
Phone - 304-746-21002. Online – The WVSP has collaborated with a third party website identigo.com to distribute police records to people and private organizations. You can get the records by logging into the website. You can also get police records by visiting other third party websites. The fee depends on the website you visit.
3. Mail – The WVSP prefers sending records through the mail. Hence, you can send a mail with the filled form to the above-given address to get police records. Payments can be made through checks and money orders. For more information, visit the official website.
Official website link - https://www.wvsp.gov/Pages/default.aspx
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