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How to lookup arrest records in USA? (2022)

Illustration by Natasha Remarchuk from Ouch!

Wondering how to look up arrest records in USA? Yes, you are at the right place to find the public arrest records.

In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process to get arrest records in the USA.

Where to lookup arrest records in US?

Most states in the US allow the general public to obtain free arrest records from the website of the arresting agency or the judiciary.

Are arrest records free in US?

Accessing the arrest records on government websites is free. If you are not able to obtain free arrest records from these government websites, then you must visit the physical offices of these record custodians or send a mail request. You might need to pay a nominal fee to copy, certify, or authenticate the arrest record.

How to find arrest records through the Federal Bureau of Prison portal?

Follow the below steps to find arrest records through the Federal Bureau of Prison portal.

Visit the Federal Bureau of Prison portal

Click on the “Inmates” option on top of the homepage

Select “Find an Inmate” from the drop-down list

Now you will land on the  “Find an Inmate” page

Here you can locate the whereabouts of a federal inmate incarcerated from 1982 to the present. Due to the First Step Act, sentences are being reviewed and recalculated to address pending Federal Time Credit changes. As a result, an inmate’s release date may not be up-to-date. Website visitors should continue to check back periodically to see if any changes have occurred.

You can “Find an Inmate” by “Number” or “Name”.

If you select “Find by Number”, then select “Type of Number” and enter the “Number”.

find arrest records USA

Click on the “Search” button.

Arrest records search USA

If you select “Find by Name”, then enter “First”, “Middle” and “Last” name

Select “Race” from the drop-down list

Enter the “Age”

Select “Sex” from the drop-down list

Tap on the “Search” button

Use Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get Arrest Records

Sometimes the arrest records will not be publicly available. In these cases, you can make a request through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

You have to first find out where the crime happened (like, which police department would have handled it) and then submit an open records request. 

Once you have found out the details, follow the below steps to make a FOIA request

Visit the FOIA.gov official portal

Click on the “Create a request” at the top of the page

Type an agency name under the “Select an agency to start your request or to see an agency’s contact information:” field

Note: When choosing an agency – Remember that some agencies can’t yet receive FOIA requests through FOIA.gov. For those agencies, this site will provide you with the information you need to submit a request directly to the agency.

After entering the agency name, click on the search button

Now you will land on a page with, “Agency mission”, “Contact” and more

Tap on the “Start FOIA request” button

After tapping on the “Start FOIA request” button, Now you will land on the  “Make your Request” page and on the left side of the page, you can see the “Agency information”

Here you can fill out the request form with the instruction given there

After filling out all the required details, you can submit the request.

Wrapping Up

Hope you get an idea about looking up arrest records in the USA. Kindly let us know if you have any queries.

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