Reasons abound for checking someone's arrest records. You may be considering them for employment, rental tenancy, they might have moved in next door or you could just be curious. Many states have free websites available to the public to search the records of individuals. All criminal, civil, family, probate and traffic cases are considered public knowledge. However, obtaining this information can be difficult if you don't know where to look.
Discover whether the state whose records you want to search offers a free public website. States that have free websites are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. Some of these sites only list information for certain counties. See resources below for website information.
Be aware that many sites list only records of arrests in one state. If a subject has moved or has been arrested on vacation, for instance, their record can stretch across multiple states.
Try criminalsearches.com, publicrecords.com or crimcheck.com if you need records from a state that does not have a free website.
Put search engines to work for you. Type the person's name into a search engine and place quotes around it. If the person has been listed in a newspaper or on a website, you will find it here. This will also show whether the person has a public profile, such as MySpace or Facebook. Be aware that there may be many people with the same name, so try to limit your search by including areas that you know the person has resided in.
Call your local county government center and ask to access court records. Most court records and cases are able to be viewed by anyone, as they are all public information.