Arming yourself with as much information possible regarding any criminal charge is imperative for both understanding your rights and having them defended accordingly. This holds true for DWI charges as well. Finding a DWI arrest record is the first step in putting on an effective defense once a court date has been set for the charge. Knowing where to look and what information you'll need before beginning your search will make the process much easier.
Gather all information that you have pertaining to the arrest itself. Write it down and keep it handy. Some of the information you will need to know includes:
The city and country where the arrest occurred GO The time of day the incident/alleged crime happened GO The arresting officer's name GO The length and location of incarceration GO The time of day the arrest occurred GO The name of the jail where you were incarcerated.
Once you know the name of the city and/or county where the arrest occurred, perform an Internet search via one of the major search engines (such as Yahoo, MSN, Google) to see if that city or county has arrest records available online. If so, your search ends here. You can print off directly what you need from the website or order what you need online to be picked up in person at a later date. The website will give you the address and telephone number of the location where the record can be retrieved.
Research the name of the city where you were arrested. The location of the arrest record will depend on the location where you were arrested. A record of an arrest that happened within the city limits will be located at a city police department, but a record for an arrest that occurred outside the city limits will be located at the county sheriff's office. Call the local police department with the address to be certain if the location was inside or outside city limits. At this time you can also inquire about fees for copies of the record as well as turnaround time on how long it takes to get the copy.
After a certain period of time passes, some records of arrest are transferred to the county courthouse and are only available through the courthouse itself. Placing a call to the county courthouse to inquire about processing times and fees is prudent before making a trip to pick up the record.
If you are directed to the local police department or sheriff's office to pick up your record, it is prudent to call ahead to confirm that they do have it and also to inquire about copy fees and turnaround times. These records can usually be picked up during normal business hours.