Getting arrested is obviously not something that anybody ever intends to do. Whether it’s for unpaid tickets, traffic violations, misdemeanor drug possession or a more serious offense, keeping records is always smart so you know where you stand down the road. It can also be useful to know who else you know has been arrested, or has a criminal record. Knowing ” how to find if someone was arrested “, can be useful information for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you want to know if your neighbor or co-worker has been arrested, or perhaps someone else that your family associates with. Having this information can help to keep those you love safe and be able to avoid difficult situations that can arise from associating with a known criminal. Finding arrest records on individuals other than yourself may become a necessity and it’s not always possible to do this with legacy state run systems. Luckily, there are a variety of ways that people in the US can look up someone else’s public record to see if they were arrested. The FOIA and online public record websites make this journey of discovering arrest information fairly simple.
An arrest record is commonly referred to as a criminal record. In fact, most people that you come across will refer to records using this more common nomenclature. In the simplest terms, an arrest record is a document designed to detail a person’s arrest from a law enforcement agency. Arrests are not always criminal records however, sometimes someone is arrested and then let go or deemed innocent in a court of law. That said, there is still a public record of someone’s arrest that can be accessed and viewed by anyone online.
On an arrest record, you may find one or more criminal charges. In some cases, old criminal charges may be removed, particularly if an individual committed a crime when they were a minor and now they are an adult. That’s because old arrests can be sealed or expunged, so they don’t retroactively penalize a person for past mistakes many years later.
Arresting information is public record which is made available to the general public via the Freedom of Information Act. Arrest records are generally available to individuals of the public. However, if a case is currently ongoing, is in court or there is simply suspicion about whether a person committed a crime, you may not be able to find any record at all.
Old records where a person was not convicted of the crime are also sealed and not made public, though most police and judicial systems do keep these records. Expunged records for minors or individuals who performed community service, for example, are not typically available to the public either. Military arrest records are also not part of the public record that can not be searched.
These are just a few of the most common types of criminal records you can find online and through in-person searches. Other types of arrest records may exist depending on the jurisdiction where the report was created. Arrest records can give you an idea of a person’s past, but there are a few different types of crimes to look for as mentioned above.
A criminal record is simply a recording of a crime that has been committed where a person is found guilty in a court of law. For this reason, a criminal record is not created every time an individual is arrested. If the person has been arrested before, a record of the event will be added on that date. This can be followed up by a criminal record if the person was found guilty by a judge or jury. There will still be a publicly available arrest record even if the person was found innocent and the charges were dropped.
However, it’s important to note that not all criminal records are serious or problematic for everyone. A misdemeanor, for example, will likely fall of your record, or sealed after a certain amount of time. Felonies, on the other hand, may stay on your record permanently.
Getting arrested is a big deal. Even if you are never convicted of a crime, the fact that you have simply been arrested can have a major impact on your life. Potential employers may be hesitant to hire you, landlords could deny you housing, and you may have a hard time qualifying for a loan. For these reasons and more, it is important to make sure you know what is on your arrest record. Arrest records are often needed by people living abroad, especially if they are working or studying abroad. Alternatively, you may want to find out if somebody you know, such as a neighbor or a new date, has a history of run-ins with the law. Knowing how to check my arrest charges is a question most of us don’t want to have to answer but it’s better to know just in case this scenario arises.
If you have been arrested it is important to stay calm and know who to contact, you may only be allowed a limited amount of phone calls. Remember that you do have the right to remain silent and a right to an attorney. It is almost always best if you exercise both of these rights. Trying to argue with the police rarely ends well and you could say something that could hurt your case later on. Ask to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will have a much better understanding of your rights and proper police procedures than you will and they may be able to get the charges against you thrown out or reduced. If you do not have an attorney or legal counsel then you may just want to reach out to your spouse, partner, family member or close friend to help acquire a lawyer.
To lookup who was arrested you can access this information online with a simple name search. An arrest record is essentially one part of a public criminal record, so the same rules that apply to looking up a criminal record also apply to looking up an arrest record, they are all public records according to the FOIA. One of the most popular and easiest way to find out if someone was arrested is to use a third party public record website, these are privately run database repositories that allow people to search arrests quickly with a first and last name. A big benefit to using resources like this is you can lookup anyone’s arrest and not just your own, which is what you are limited to with government state agencies. With these privately run resources a person can quickly reference arrests with a simple name search from any device that has an internet connection.
Checking arrest charges can seem complex, but there are a few ways you can find your own arrest charges. You may also be able to find another individual’s arrest record using the third party public record websites.
Using state run or federal run arrest lookup resources, the steps will vary depending on where you live. These are official resources that you can use for official purposes such as employment, security clearances, rental agreements and academic applications. In some state and federal jurisdictions you can request a local or state arrest record online, but only your own. Pennsylvania, for example, allows you to lookup your own arrest record online for a fee but you wont be able to lookup other people’s arrest record. In other states and counties, however, you will need to head to your local police department and request an arrest record in person but it is not always possible to get someone else’s arrest record this way. Be sure to have your Social Security Number and a piece of photo I.D. with you when making a request. There will also usually be a fee that you will have to pay that will vary depending on what agency it’s from and what type of arrest report you are requesting.
Before looking up an arrest record, for a potential employee, make sure you use the correct resources so that you are not violating any laws by doing so. You must use a certified FCRA service to access background information for employment. if you are looking up another person’s background record without using a certified service, you could inadvertently be breaking privacy laws. This is especially true if you are an employer checking a job applicant’s background or for other official purposes. Even if that applicant’s arrest record is public, you still need to have authorization to use that record in determining whether he or she is a suitable candidate for employment.
You will first need to decide whether to get your arrest record from the FBI or from a local or state police department. You will only be able to access your own arrest record this way, you will not be able to access arrest information on other people. If you need your arrest record for employment or other official purposes, then usually an FBI record will suffice. An FBI arrest record is known as an Identity History Summary. You can begin the application process for your Identity History Summary online by visiting the FBI’s webpage. You will need to fill out the application and pay the required fee. Also, you will need to provide a set of fingerprints to the FBI in order to complete your application. You can get your fingerprints done at your local police station. Note that you can only request your own Identity History Summary and not somebody else’s.
Keep in mind that some arrest records can be expunged. While the exact definition of expungement varies from state to state, it generally means that the record of the arrest is no longer viewable by the public. Not all states have the same expungement laws and, those that do typically restrict it to non-violent offenses. Furthermore, to be eligible for expungement you will usually have to go through a waiting period during which you cannot have any new arrests or convictions. Expungement is rarely automatic and it usually can only be obtained by petitioning a judge to grant it.
Hopefully most of us will not need to answer the question, ” How to lookup my arrest charges ,” but if this situation arises at least there are some guidelines you can follow