How To Look Up Arrest Records: What You Need To Know 

Arrest records are open to the public, so you can find information about someone’s criminal background if you know where to look. You can learn about someone’s traffic violations, various crimes they’ve committed, if they’re a sex offender, and more. That said, some people will have less information than others; it depends on their court history.

While finding information can be tricky, we’re here to help. We’re going to take you through some surefire methods to look up someone’s arrest records. There are a handful of good methods, but the best option is to perform a people search with a people search engine. Read on to learn more below. 

What You Need To Know About Arrest Records 

An arrest record is a collection of information about someone’s criminal history. When someone commits a crime, the information about the court case and the verdict is typically available to the public. 

The formation of an arrest record begins when a law enforcement officer takes someone into custody. Typically, officers need an arrest warrant to arrest someone. Sometimes, an arrest warrant can be found when searching for someone’s criminal background.

Ultimately, when an officer of the law arrests someone, they need to create an arrest report. This starts the paper trail of arrest records. Those records can be made public or sealed depending on how the case turns out in court. Cases without an arrest warrant also have arrest records, but these cases are rarer.

Are Arrest Records Free? 

Arrest records aren’t always free. While you can find free records through census data, finding what you’re looking for takes a long time. Additionally, you might have to pay fees to validate information or if you need assistance searching for the records. There are also certification fees and even processing fees. 

For these reasons, the most affordable option is to run a people search. This way, everything that’s publically available will be included in one single report.

Are Arrest Records Public Information? 

Yes, arrest records are public information. Based on public access laws and regulations, people have the right to access background information. That said, the laws can vary depending on your state. There are still some things you need to be aware of. 

First and foremost, information about ongoing cases might be kept private to preserve the case. The court may also decide to seal records or keep information private permanently. Fortunately, you can still make requests to see private records as long as they’re not sealed.

What Information Is Included in a Criminal Record? 

Criminal records contain a lot of information about someone. Navigating the records can also be challenging if you don’t know what to look for, especially with courthouse jargon. Still, you can find out most of the details about the crime, the person, and their sentencing.

When looking for records about someone’s criminal history, you can expect to find the following:

  • Name, known aliases, date of birth
  • Contact information
  • Addresses
  • Fingerprint and mugshot
  • Height, weight, eye color, and other physical traits
  • Appearance traits like piercings and tattoos
  • Arrest records and warrants 
  • Information about the crime
  • Information about the trial 
  • Information about jail or prison time 
  • Bail/bond information 
  • Release dates of prisoners

Depending on the case, you may find a lot of information or only a little bit. It’s also important to note that people who have been pardoned will not appear in public access reports.

What Are the Types of Criminal Records?

There are a few types of criminal records, and the way they’re classified depends on the type of crime committed. For the purpose of this guide, you only need to know about a few classifications based on public access rules. 

Public Access 

Most people’s criminal backgrounds can be found with public access. Public access records are available to the public and are designed to allow the public and news outlets information to report on cases. Public access records include court proceedings, civil lawsuits, and some larger class action lawsuits. In cases involving large lawsuits, you can often see the lawsuit judgment or sometimes settlement information. Public access records also allow you to find out information about the length of someone’s sentence (if they did time). 

With public access records, you can also see information about traffic violations and learn about someone’s sex offender status. Additionally, you can find out if someone committed fraud or other serious crimes. You can gain access to these types of records at courthouses and through government agencies like the FBI. While some records are sealed, the public can look into information within the FBI’s public database.

While you can explore public access records through many databases, it’s best to perform a people search to get everything at once. People search engines like help you find public information about someone in minutes.

Record Holders 

“Record holders” are institutions (like courts) and agencies (like the FBI) that hold information about criminal cases. Many of these agencies have websites that give people access to the database, but you can also visit some of the offices in person. For example, central repositories can be accessed by the public to pull records.

That said, getting information from record holders is tricky. Some information can be sealed, and the lack of organization can make it challenging for people to learn more about someone. There are also high-profile cases where information might not be made public. The last thing to note is that it can take a long time for these databases to be updated, especially at the federal level. 

There are a few options when looking for information about someone through record holders. You can search the database to find whatever information is available or use a private company to run a complete background check. These background checks can reveal someone’s criminal history, credit score, and other types of useful information.

Unfortunately, using a third party to perform a background check can cost thousands. Instead, running someone’s first and last name through an affordable people search engine is a much better option. You might not find as much, but you’ll get most of the public information about someone.

Sealed Records

Some records don’t fall into the public access rule. These records are known as sealed records. Sealed records are cases where the judge expunges a charge or issues an ACOD (cases that are expunged after six months to a year of good behavior). Anything that has been sealed is no longer public information, so you won’t be able to find information about it. Even if you run a people search, it’s not something that will show up on the report.

While sealed records remain closed to the public, there are some situations where the records can be accessed. Typically, the government can access these records for jobs within the military and FBI. So, the records are not gone forever.

Government Records 

The government also holds records. These records are held in buildings like courthouses, and you can visit them in person to request information about someone. With government records, you can learn about someone’s name, what the charge was, any fees that occurred, and more. However, you won’t get to know sensitive information like their medical background.

In some cases, courthouses keep this information online. Depending on where you live, you might find everything you need to know through an online database. Still, we recommend using a search tool like to find someone’s arrest records because you’ll get a more comprehensive report.

How To Find Someone’s Arrest Records 

There are a few ways to find someone’s arrest records. That said, some methods are better than others. We’ll take you through a few methods to find arrest records. Depending on the person, especially if they’ve never been in court, finding arrest records will be challenging.

People Search Engine 

People search engines are the best tools to find someone’s arrest records. Websites like use information from thousands of databases around the United States. When you search for someone with a people search engine, you’ll get a full report on them, which includes their arrest records.

All you need to use a people search engine is someone’s first and last name. You don’t need to have their address, city, or town, but it helps the search engine narrow down the options. Performing the search is easy too. All you have to do is type their name and open the report to learn more about someone.

Using’s search tool, you can find a lot of information. Below is what you can expect to find when using a people search engine:

  • Arrest records
  • Sex offender status
  • Traffic violations
  • Court history
  • Phone numbers
  • Addresses 
  • Filing status and marital status  
  • Relatives 
  • Friends 
  • Email addresses
  • Social media profiles

These are only some of the things you can find with a people search engine. Overall, it’s the best method to find someone’s arrest records. You can find them in minutes and without the hassle of visiting several databases or making countless Google searches.

Google Search 

Google is another tool you can use to find someone’s arrest records. Because arrest records are public, you can find information through online databases that Google has access to. However, while Google has access to these databases, the information is always limited – more limited than people search engines.

There are a handful of ways to search for someone’s records on Google. One of the best ways to find arrest records is to visit a government website that holds criminal records. If any of the records are kept online, you can enter someone’s name and look at the records there. However, you’ll have to visit the agency in person if they’re not online.

Another way to look up someone’s record on Google is to search for their name and news about the crime (if it was substantial enough). Finding news about the crime can help you find their full name and other relevant details about the crime.

Public Databases 

Another way to look up someone’s arrest record is to search through public databases. Websites like use a database that organizes the information for you in one simple place. That said, you can always use a traditional database to find someone’s arrest records.

To access these databases, be prepared to put in some serious work. You’ll have to visit state and federal buildings depending on the records you’re looking for. If you want federal crimes, you’ll have to visit federal buildings. On the other hand, for local things (think traffic violations), you’ll need to visit local courthouses.

When you reach your destination, you can ask someone to pull the records for you. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to access everything because some records are sealed or reserved for agencies like the FBI. You might also find luck visiting government websites or calling courthouses for more information.

While there are many ways to find someone’s information, performing a people search is almost always the best option.

Get the Arrest Records You Need Today 

Arrest records can tell you a lot about someone. You can determine if someone has committed crimes and learn about the types of crimes that were committed. With someone’s arrest record, you can also learn more about them before becoming friends to see if they’re someone you’d like to get involved with.

Still, looking up someone’s arrest records is not always easy. To find what you need to know, you have to search for them in the right place. It’s for this reason that you should look no further than’s people search engine will help you find someone’s arrest records and much more.