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Free Public Arrest Records

What Should I Know Arrest Records?

An arrest is an act by a legal authority (law enforcement) that deprives a person of their liberty by taking them into custody & detaining them on probable cause to answer for criminal charges.  Law enforcement can arrest an individual on probable cause alone, with or without warrant.  When a person is apprehended, charged, and found guilty of misdemeanor, felony, or other offense, an official record is documented.  These official records are compiled, and maintained by governmental authority at all three levels of government.  A person's criminal history can be ascertained by searching Arrest Records, as well as Court Records, Inmate Records, Motor Vehicle Records, Probation Records, Sex Offender Records, Wanted Criminal Records and others. 

Potential Employers, Lenders, Landlords & other similar entities will investigate an individual's Criminal History in order to evaluate the individual's trustworthiness. 

Are Free Public Arrest Records Available Online?

Absolutely.  Many governmental Criminal Records databases are accessible to the public.  Arrest Records are maintained primarily at the local and state level.  Thus, it best to search through specific state and local resources when looking for Arrest Records.  Some states include Statewide Repositories that contain Criminal Records supplied from county & municipal courts, which in some states are made available online.  It should be noted that information from Statewide Repositories can sometimes be incomplete, as some states don't make reporting mandatory.  Remember: Arrest Records are just one aspect of researching someone's Criminal History, and as such, most investigations should include searches of Sex Offender Records and similar resource types at all three levels of government to ascertain all pertinent data.  For further information on best practices for searching Criminal History, you can read our "Free Criminal Records Search" article in the Knowledge Base section of the site.  

How Can I Perform A Free Arrest Record Search At Background Check Elite?

Background Check Elite has aggregated a massive collection of Criminal Records resources.  To research specific Arrest Record data as well as an individual's entire Criminal History, we advise the following investigation methods:

In the left-hand search box, you can select "Arrest Records" for your SEARCH TYPE, along with your desired LOCATION.  For your location, you should think about any potential state(s) where the person may have been born, lived, or visited.  This is especially important for finding specific Arrest Record data.  You will also notice in the location drop down menu that after the list of states, we include the "Federal" option.  This includes search results not limited to a particular state, such as the National Sex Offender Registry.  This will be applicable for those seeking to find an individual's complete Criminal History.  Keep in mind, however, that Federal searches do not include state-specific resources, so you will likely want to search both.  If your investigation includes this need, we advise you select "Criminal Records" resources for your SEARCH TYPE.  This will yield many more search results than searching solely for "Arrest Records".  In fact, even if you are searching for one specific arrest, you may find better results through the "Criminal Records" SEARCH TYPE. After reviewing the resources available to you using "Arrest Records" or  "Criminal Records" some may need to broaden the scope of your search using some, or all of these additional resource SEARCH TYPE(S): Court Records, Inmate Records, Motor Vehicle Records, Probation Records, Public Records, Sex Offender Records, Skiptracing (to locate unknown whereabouts), Traffic Records, and Wanted Criminals.  Remember, to include all known LOCATION(S) with each SEARCH TYPE.  If you find yourself pulling out your hair from "research overload", you can access instant results in the right-hand premium search box.  From this box, you can search by name to obtain instant criminal history reports, complete background checks, etc.  These results can include available data specific to offenses, arrests and filing dates as well as case numbers, charges, and dispositions complete with dates and sentences.

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