How to Search Arrest History Records

Searching Arrest History Records

Searching for someone’s arrest history or arrest records online can be challenging, time-consuming, and frustrating. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy to use government websites and online resources that can help you get the job done.

Today, we’re explaining some of the best options for finding your own criminal record or arrest history, or finding someone else’s arrest history record, by using online sources.

Request Your Own Federal Records Through the FBI

The FBI lets anyone request arrest records – but you can only request your own. The FBI calls this your Identity History Summary, which is just fancy bureaucratic-speak for your criminal record. The FBI only allows you to request a copy of your own criminal record, and you will not be able to look at someone else’s federal criminal records during your search.

Why would you want to look up your own criminal record? Well, you may want to double check to make sure you know what’s on there – especially if you have a criminal past, if you’ve had records expunged, or if charges were dropped. You never know what could appear on your own record.

At the time of writing, the FBI’s processing time was 12 to 14 weeks. If you don’t have a federal criminal record or arrest record, then the FBI will send you proof that one does not exist.

Start requesting your federal criminal record from the FBI here.

You’ll need to jump through some hoops, like submitting your fingerprints and completing an application form. You’ll also need to pay the FBI $18, so it’s not quite free.

Check State & Federal Courthouses For Someone’s Arrest History Records

This is where things get a little more complicated: if you want to search arrest history records for someone else, then you can go to a local, state, or federal courthouse – ideally, the courthouse in the jurisdiction where the crime took place (or where you believe the crime took place). The records are almost always kept at the courthouse where the individual was tried.

Courthouses have a clerk of courts. A clerk of courts will be able to access someone’s criminal record provided you give them the information they need to retrieve that record.

That means you need to come prepared with the person’s name and birth date. The more information you have, the easier it will be to find someone’s record. Case numbers, the types of charges held against them, and and when the crime took place are all helpful information.

If the person committed crimes in multiple jurisdictions and was tried across multiple courthouses, then you may need to make a few trips or phone calls to get a complete record.

Using PACER Or NSOPW To Search Records

The US federal government maintains two public criminal record database websites anyone can view online. Those websites include the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database and the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

PACER lets the public view docket information from federal courts. You’ll need to register and use the individual’s information to search court records. PACER is not free, unfortunately, and you’ll need to pay fees to access certain records.

The NSOPW site, on the other hand, is perfectly free to use. You don’t even have to register. All you need to do is go to the homepage (or download the mobile app) and enter your zip code or area. You can also search using first name and last name.

Good Old Google Search

One of the weird online search tricks that can often be used to find someone’s criminal record is to type their first name and last name into Google followed by “mugshot”.

This works particularly well for high-profile cases or famous people with criminal records, but it can also turn up some surprising results for minor cases. It’s good to check if you’re looking for a free and easy option to search arrest history records.

Famous People With Criminal Records – 7 Celebrity Arrest Records You Probably Didn’t Know About

Mugshot - Famous People With Criminal RecordsCelebrities are just like us! And, just like millions of Americans, famous people have criminal records too.

You probably know about Chris Brown’s arrest record. But what about the time Bill Gates got arrested? And did Mark Wahlberg really try to murder someone? Find out today as we identify 7 famous celebrities you forgot had criminal backgrounds.

7) Bill Gates – Driving Without A License And Speeding

In 1975, long before he was a famous billionaire or even a millionaire, Bill Gates was arrested for driving without a license and speeding.

Bill clearly didn’t learn from his lesson: in 1977, he was arrested for driving without a license and not stopping at a stop sign. Fortunately, Bill’s record has been clean ever since (at least, as far as we know).

6) Jay Z – Stabbing Someone

Jay-Z stabbed someone once. And this isn’t back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he was (allegedly) slinging cocaine on the streets of New York City.

Instead, in 1999, Jay Z stabbed a record executive in the stomach during a fight at a night club. Hova would later plead guilty to an assault charge and received three years’ probation.

5) Vanilla Ice – Possession Of A Firearm, Assault, And Battery

When you think of famous hardcore rappers with a criminal background, you probably don’t think of Vanilla Ice. Surprisingly, Vanilla Ice has had multiple brush-ins with police.

In 1991, Vanilla Ice – whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle (seriously) – was arrested after he allegedly pulled out a pistol and threatened a homeless man.

To celebrate the anniversary of his first arrest (I’m guessing), Vanilla Ice was arrested for assaulting his wife in 2001. During an altercation, Mr. Ice pulled out some of his wife’s hair. He would later plead guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to probation.

Vanilla Ice couldn’t wait ten years for his next arrest. In 2008, he allegedly kicked and hit his wife and was charged with battery. Charges were later dropped, however, after it was revealed that he had only pushed his wife.

4) Marilyn Manson – Sexual Misconduct

Marilyn Manson is one of those wild card famous celebrities: he’s well-educated and successful but also does some pretty crazy things from time to time.

One of those “crazy things” was when he was arrested for sexual misconduct after he rubbed his crotch against a security guard’s head. Manson later had the charge reduced to a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct and paid a $400 fine.

3) Bruno Mars – Drug Possession

Even before Bruno was arrested, a lot of people could see this one coming (it’s just something about his eyes). In 2010, right before he shot to fame, Bruno Mars was arrested for possession of cocaine. He would plead guilty and reduce his sentence to a $2,000 fine and 200 hours of community service.

2) Matthew McConaughey – Drug Possession

For a lot of people, walking into a house and finding Matthew McConaughey naked is their wildest dream.

But for police in 1999, that was a dream that came true. In 1999, McConaughey was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after a neighbor made a noise complaint. Police arrived at the resident to find McConaughey naked and dancing in his home. They found “illegal substances”, but charges were eventually dropped and McConaughey pleaded guilty to an all right fine of $50.

1) Mark Wahlberg – Attempted Murder

This might be the best-known celebrity criminal record on this list. Mark Wahlberg was arrested in 1986 and charged with assault and attempted murder after he was accused of attacking a man in the street with a wooden stick and knocking him unconscious.

Mark’s criminal past goes all the way back to the age of 13, when he became addicted to cocaine. He was also accused of assault against minority groups in his neighborhood numerous times. At age 16, he approached two Vietnamese men in the street in separate incidents. He attacked one man with a stick and another with his fists. Later that day, Wahlberg was arrested while reportedly yelling racial slurs.

Wahlberg would eventually plead guilty to assault and served just a 45 day sentence. Wahlberg, however, has a felony on his arrest records to this day.

Top 7 Most Popular Reasons to Check Someone’s Criminal Record

Look Up Criminal Records

Checking someone’s criminal record is a perfectly legal thing to do. Criminal records are public records. They’re accessible to normal people like you and me.

Why would you want to check someone’s criminal record? There are plenty of good reasons. Millions of people check criminal records every day across America to answer important questions in their lives. Here are seven common reasons why people use Check Criminal Record to check someone’s arrest records or background history.

7) Check Your Own Record

Have you been applying for jobs without receiving any responses? Maybe it’s because you have a criminal record.

Many people are surprised what pops up when they search for their own criminal records online. You may find old traffic tickets, for example, or even charges that have been dropped against you.

In some cases, you could find totally erroneous charges that somehow ended up on your record due to some clerical error.

In any case, it’s a good idea to check your own criminal record periodically. It shows you what your future employers see.

6) Checking A New Date

Maybe you met someone online. Maybe you swiped right on the man of your dreams on Tinder. Maybe you just met someone at the dog park and exchanged names and numbers.

Whether it’s the first date or the fiftieth, it’s never a bad idea to search for a date’s criminal record information. Online dating makes it easy for people to hide their true selves. Is your new date hiding something from you? Hopefully not – but you’ll never know for sure until you check their records for yourself.

5) Coworkers And Bosses

You work with certain people every day. But do you really know these people? Or are they a total mystery to you? Running a confidential criminal background check on your coworkers is a fast and easy way to get valuable information.

Has your creepy boss received sexual assault charges in the past? Are your coworkers telling the truth about their legal age? Public records searches can turn up this information and help you answer crucial information about the people around you.

4) Learn More About Your Neighbors

Are your neighbors being truthful? Whether you know the names of your neighbors or not, a public records search can give you crucial information about the people living around you.

Find out if there’s a sex offender living on your street. Discover the number of people living in the household across the street. See if the new neighbors moving in next door have any criminal history you need to know about. A quick public records search can help protect your children and your family.

3) Discover Marriage And Divorce Records

Public records searches can reveal more than just a criminal record: they can also reveal marriage and divorce records. Has that coworker in your office been married before? Did your boss really get divorced last year? A quick marriage and divorce record search can reveal interesting information.

2) Find Someone’s Real Birthday

How old are the people around you really? Is your coworker being honest about his real age? Public records searches and criminal record checks can reveal someone’s real birthdate. Many people are surprised to learn the person they’re dating is years older than they claimed to be. Others find that the opposite is true, and that the person they’re dating is years younger.

Whatever your situation may be, public records checks are an excellent way to discover someone’s real birthdate.

1) Analyze Someone’s Driving Record Before a Road Trip

Criminal record searches can turn up a wide range of information about someone. In addition to criminal records and police reports, you can find things like traffic and speeding tickets.

How good is someone at driving? Is your friend’s driving record really as clean as they claim it is? Did your boss really get a DUI while on vacation last summer? If you’re catching a ride with somebody, it’s okay to be nosy about their driver safety record!