What are Arrest Records?

Arrest records contain details regarding an individual’s suspected criminal activity. Based on the availability of the information, you may be able to learn if the suspect was questioned, detained, arrested, taken into custody/detention, charged, indicted or tried for a crime. It is important to note that these are different from criminal conviction records, as explained below. Typically, you’ll be able to find information if the suspected crime involved a vehicle, was considered violent, included theft or robbery and if it involved drugs or was related to business. Here is some of the things you can find within an arrest record:

  • Personal information
    Details including the suspect’s age in addition to other personal information.
  • Crime Classification
    Learn if the suspected crime was an infraction, misdemeanor or felony.
  • Fines/Monetary Restitution
    Find out if the suspect was required to pay any fines or was subject to other monetary restitution.
  • Pending Litigation
    View details related to additional convictions, upcoming hearings and more.

In the United States, there are three branches that have the power to make an arrest:

  1. County Police
    Counties establish their own rules when it comes to arrests, charges and the length of time an individual would be held in a county jail.
  2. State Police
    Investigation units operating under the Attorney General’s office are typically the ones to make arrests at a state level.
  3. Federal Authorities
    Federal level arrests involve the Department of Justice. These agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Federal officers are typically involved with interstate and foreign matters.

How do These Records Differ From Criminal Conviction Records?

In many cases, an arrest results in a conviction, but it would be a mistake to consider arrest records and criminal conviction records synonymous – they are two completely different things. An arrest occurs when someone is suspected of committing a crime, but a criminal conviction comes later if the subject is found guilty. For this reason, arrest records serve a different purpose than criminal records, and it’s important to understand the difference. An individual is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law. Sometimes these records are temporarily made private if they concern an investigation that is active or ongoing. Additionally, certain states do not allow information made public if the suspect was never charged, was acquitted or successfully had their records expunged.

About the Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the United States was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. This freedom of information law allows for full or partial disclosure of information and documentation controlled by the US Government that was previously unreleased. In short, this law aims to promote federal government transparency. Certain states have followed this model with their own similar laws that give citizens access to records at a state level. This includes arrest records. In 1996, the Electronic Freedom of Information Act was passed to allow for the information to be made available via electronic means. Prior to this, the public records were limited to those who contacted their local law enforcement agency or filed a request in order to gain access. Now, anyone can view public records from the convenience of their computer or mobile device using a service such as CheckThem.com.

Benefits of Criminal Arrest Records:

Our customers use criminal arrest records for many reasons, some include:

  • to Protect against Criminals
  • to Search a New Date
  • to Search a Significant Other
  • to Investigate Business Associates
  • to Search Your Own Criminal Arrest Record
  • to Trust Family Acquaintances

Checkthem runs comprehensive court searches to supply you with vital information in a timely and cost-effective manner. Count on us to keep you and your loved ones informed.