Washington D.C. Arrest Records Online | StateRecords.org (2024)

Are Arrest Records Public in the District of Columbia?

Yes, arrest records are public in the District of Columbia, as provided by the Freedom of Information Act and the Criminal Justice Information System Act.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law providing public disclosure of government records. The FOIA applies to all federal agencies, including the District of Columbia government. Under the FOIA, any person can request access to government records that are not exempted from disclosure. The Criminal Justice Information System Act (CJISA) is a District of Columbia law governing criminal justice information release. The CJISA authorizes the release of arrest records to the public upon request. While some conditions must be met for an arrest record to be released, the public can only obtain an arrest record if it is not exempt from disclosure.

What is Considered an Arrest Record in the District of Columbia?

An arrest record in the District of Columbia is a public document that includes information about an individual's arrests and detentions. In the District of Columbia, arrest records are typically maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department and the District of Columbia Courts.

What is Contained in an Arrest Record in the District of Columbia?

An arrest record in the District of Columbia can contain much information about an individual. This includes the person's name, date of birth, address, and other identifying information. Additionally, an arrest record may contain information about the offense that led to the arrest and any subsequent convictions.

Who Can Access Arrest Records in the District of Columbia?

In the District of Columbia, arrest records can be obtained by the following individuals/institutions:

  • Law enforcement agencies
  • The court system
  • Individuals who have been arrested
  • Certain employers

Arrest records in the District of Columbia are public records that are available to anyone who requests them. However, there are some restrictions on who can access certain types of information. For example, only law enforcement agencies and the court system can access sealed or expunged records.

District of Columbia Arrest Search

District of Columbia arrest records are legal documents that detail the arrests of individuals by law enforcement. Arrest records are vital because they provide a detailed account of an individual's interactions with law enforcement. While arrest records may not be used as an alternative to Washington criminal records, they can reveal patterns of criminal behavior, which can help law enforcement solve crimes and prevent future ones from occurring. Additionally, arrest records can be used in civil lawsuits and other legal proceedings to prove that an individual has a history of criminal activity.

In Washington, DC, the Freedom of Information Act governs the dissemination of these records, and an arrest search offers a means for interested persons to access these records. According to the FOIA, Washington DC law enforcement agencies must make their arrest records available to the public upon request. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, juvenile arrest records are typically sealed and not open to the public.

District of Columbia Arrest Statistics

While the FBI UCR has limited information on arrest statistics in the District of Columbia, the statistics reported by the state's law enforcement agencies suggest that between 2007 and 2016, the District of Columbia saw a dramatic increase in the overall number of arrests yearly.

In 2007, were 17,532 arrests made by law enforcement in the District. This number rose to 24,023 in 2016, with nearly 7,000 arrests. Most of these arrests were for non-violent offenses, such as drug possession and public intoxication. However, the number of violent crimes reported each year has also increased in recent years. In 2016, there were 1,569 reported violent crimes - an increase of nearly 400 from the previous year. According to more recent reports, the city’s law enforcement agencies reported over 15,000 arrests in 2021. A nearly 30% decrease from the over 18,000 reported arrests in 2020.

It is worth noting that the District of Columbia has just over 700,000 people. This means the overall crime rate is still relatively low compared to other major cities in the United States.

How Do I Lookup Someone's Arrest Records in the District of Columbia?

Interested members of the public may look up Washington DC arrest records in one of several ways:

They may visit the Metropolitan Police Department website and use the online offender search tool. To use the tool, the requestor must input the offender's first and last name and date of birth.

Arrest records may also be requested from the Metropolitan Police Department in person. The requestor must fill out a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request form, which is available on the Department's website.

Otherwise, they can go in person to the police department's Central Records Division located at:

300 Indiana Avenue,
NW, Room 3058
Washington, DC 20001

To conduct a records search by mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope along with a written request that includes:

  • The name of the record-holder
  • The period for which the requestor would like records searched (arrests made within the last six months cannot be released)
  • The contact information of the requesting party (phone number and email address)
  • The request may then be mailed to the aforementioned address.

Official fees for searching and copying District of Columbia arrest records vary depending on the number of pages involved. For more information, please call (202) 727-4383.

Alternatively, arrest records may be obtained from the DC Superior Court. The requestor must visit the clerk's office and fill out a case search form. The form requires the case number, which can be obtained from the police department or online court docket.

How to Subpoena Arrest Records in the District of Columbia

It is sometimes necessary to subpoena arrest records in the District of Columbia to obtain essential information for a legal case.

The first step in subpoenaing Washington DC arrest records is to contact the clerk of the Superior Court in the District where the arrest occurred. The clerk will provide the requestor with the necessary forms and instructions for filing a subpoena.

Requestors must complete all the forms correctly and include all the required information.

Once the forms have been completed, they must be served to the agency that maintains their desired records. This can be done by mailing them or delivering them in person. The agency then has a specific time to comply with the subpoena and provide the requested records. If the agency does not comply with the subpoena, the requestor can file a motion to compel the production of the records. This motion must be filed with the court that issued the subpoena. Once this is done, a hearing will be scheduled, and both sides can present their arguments.

Following the hearing, the court will decide as to whether or not the records should be produced. If the court orders that the records be produced, the agency must comply with this order. If they do not, they may be subject to penalties imposed by the court.

How to Search for an Inmate in the Washington DC Prison System

Interested persons may look up inmates in the Washington DC prison system by visiting the Department of Corrections website and using the Inmate Lookup tool. To use this feature, they will need the inmate's full name, date of birth, and DCDC number. They can also narrow the search by adding information such as gender, race, or release date. The search results will provide the inmate's full name, photo, DCDC number, and location. The release date will also be displayed if the inmate has been released.

Those who wish to visit an inmate in person must first fill out a visitor application form which can be found on the Department of Corrections website. The form must be submitted at least 72 hours in advance, and visitors must bring a valid photo ID with them when they come to the prison. Inmates are allowed two 30-minute visits per week. Visits are non-contact and take place in a glass booth.

Inmate lookups can also be conducted using third-party search websites, which may provide additional information such as the inmate's charges, bond information, and sentencing data. However, these apps are not affiliated with the Department of Corrections, and the accuracy of their information cannot be guaranteed.

How Do I Find Out if Someone Was in Jail in the District of Columbia

To find out if an individual was formerly incarcerated in the District of Columbia, the requesting party will need to contact the Department of Corrections directly. Requesters can reach the Department by phone at (202) 523-7060 or by email at docpublicinformation@dc.gov.

To request inmate information from the DOC, the requestor will be required to provide the following information:

  • The name of the individual being inquired about
  • The individual's date of birth
  • The case number, if known

There is no fee for this service. However, please note that the DOC may require a valid photo ID for verification purposes.

How to Find Recent Arrests in the District of Columbia

Recent arrests in Washington DC are best accessed by querying the Metropolitan Police Department or the specific District law enforcement responsible for the arrest. Inquirers will likely need to provide details of the arrest and information about the inmate of interest.

How Long Do Washington DC Arrest Records Stay on File?

The length of time that an arrest record will stay on file in Washington, DC can vary depending on the circ*mstances of the case. However, most arrest records will remain on file for at least seven years. This is true even if the charges against the individual are later dropped or they are found not guilty in court. Some types of cases, such as those involving violent crimes or sex offenses, may stay on file for even more extended periods.

What is the Difference Between an Arrest Record and an Arrest Warrant?

An arrest record is a public record that includes information about someone who has been arrested, convicted, or sentenced for a crime. On the other hand, an arrest warrant is a court order that authorizes law enforcement to make an arrest.

An arrest record will contain more information than an arrest warrant in most cases. Typically arrest records include the suspect's name, date of birth, physical description, booking photo, charges, and bail information. An arrest warrant will typically only include the suspect's name and the charges against them.

It's important to note that having an arrest record does not necessarily mean that someone is guilty of a crime. Likewise, having an arrest warrant does not mean that the individual will be convicted.

What is an Arrest Report?

A DC arrest report is a narrative document prepared by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel that chronicles the events and evidence leading to an individual's detention. This differs from an arrest record, which is a list of an individual's arrests, including dates and charges, but without the in-depth context that an arrest report provides.

What is the Difference Between an Arrest Record and a Criminal Record?

An arrest record is a formal document that details an individual's arrests. This record is created by law enforcement agencies when an individual is arrested and includes information such as the individual's name, date of birth, booking photo, charges, and the arresting agency.

A criminal record is a formal document detailing an individual's criminal history. This record is created by courts and includes information such as convictions, sentences, and probationary periods.

An arrest record does not necessarily mean that an individual has been convicted of a crime; it simply means that they have been arrested for one. On the other hand, a criminal record reflects convictions and can be used to show an individual's criminal history.

How to Obtain Arrest Records for Free in Washington DC?

Interested persons can obtain Washington DC arrest records at no cost by submitting a completed Request for Arrest Record form to the Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) Central Records Division. The form is available on the MPD website. However, persons requiring record copies might be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of making copies and mailing them.

Washington DC arrest records are also available from the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The office is located at:

500 Indiana Avenue,
NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 879-1133

Persons requesting arrest records must complete a Records Request Form, which is available on the website of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and submit it to the office in person, by mail, or by fax. There is no fee for searching for arrest records, especially if the documents are public information and accessed using the court's self-help computers.

However, persons requesting certified copies of arrest records will be required to pay a $10 per record fee.

How to Search for a Washington DC Arrest Record Online Using a Third-Party Search Service

Third-party search services are a great way to remotely find Washington DC arrest records. Here's how they can be used:

  • First, the requestor will need to find a reputable third-party search service. There are many to choose from; users are advised to do their research before selecting one.
  • After finding the service, the requestor will need to create an account and provide some basic information about themselves.
  • Once logged in, the requestor will be able to search for records using the service's database. They will be required to enter as much information as possible (about the record) into the search form to narrow down the results.
  • After finding the record of interest, they may view it online or opt to make copies.

What Can I Do if My Arrest Records Has a Mistake in Washington DC?

If a Washington DC record holder finds that their arrest record has a mistake, they may take steps to correct the error. First, they can contact the law enforcement agency that submitted the inaccurate information to the criminal justice information system. The requestor will be required to provide the law enforcement agency with documentation that proves the inaccuracy of the information. The law enforcement agency will then update the information in the system. If the record holder is still not satisfied with the results, they can file a petition with the court to have the records sealed or expunged.

How to Expunge Arrest Records in Washington DC

Interested persons may request an arrest record expungement in Washington DC if they meet the requirements. The first step is to file a motion with the court, which will then review the request and make a determination.

To be eligible for an arrest record expungement in Washington DC, the requesting party must:

  • Have completed all terms of their sentence, including any probation or parole
  • Wait at least one year after their sentence is completed before requesting an expungement
  • Not have been convicted of any other crime during that period

To petition the court for expungement, the requestor must complete and submit a motion and any supporting documentation proving their eligibility. The court will review the request and decide based on the circ*mstances. If granted, the arrest record will be expunged and sealed from public view.

Washington D.C. Arrest Records Online | StateRecords.org (2024)


How do I look up someone's criminal record in DC? ›

A resident of the District of Columbia may obtain a Police Criminal History Report (PD-70) from the DC Metropolitan Police Department, Police Criminal History Report Division, 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room 1075, Washington, DC 20001. Call (202) 727-4245 for details.

How do you obtain a court record of a criminal conviction in DC? ›

D.C. Criminal Court Records
  1. Go to the criminal clerk's office at D.C. Superior Court, located at: Clerk's Information Office. Criminal Records Division. D.C. Superior Court, Room 4001 (on the 4th floor) 500 Indiana Avenue, NW. Monday-Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm.
  2. Request your entire Superior Court criminal record:

How do I find divorce records in DC? ›

For divorces that occurred from present day - 1957, please contact the D.C. Superior Court directly for certified copies of divorce decrees via email: FamilyCourtCertifiedCopies@dcsc.gov or by calling the phone number 202-879-1010.

How to look up criminal records in California? ›

Requests for record searches may be made in person in the Criminal Operations Department at any Justice Center. Additionally, Online Case and Calendar access will now allow you to conduct record searches online by case number, person name or business name.

Are marriage records public in DC? ›

** Birth certificates beginning in 1895, death certificates beginning in 1945, and marriage certificates beginning in 1919 are not yet open to the public, pursuant to section 124(i) of the Vital Records Modernization Amendment Act of 2018, effective October 30, 2018 (D.C. Law 22-164; D.C. Official Code § 7-231.24(i)).

How to find mugshots in Maryland? ›

In addition to online options, you can also visit the local police department or courthouse to obtain Maryland Mugshot Records. However, some police departments may require obtaining these records from the county or state level as they might not have access to them.

Does Washington, D.C. have a case search? ›

The DC Superior Court online case search system provides docket information for most cases as well as document images in some cases.

How do I get my record sealed in DC? ›

In order to inquire about having your record expunged or sealed you must contact the Public Defenders Service for the District of Columbia at (800) 341-2582, in person at the following address: The Public Defenders Service, 633 3rd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, or visit: https://www.pdsdc.org.

Are restraining orders public record in DC? ›

A civil protection order does not go in a criminal record. There is no public record of a civil protection order that could damage someone's job, etc. It's simply a civil order by the court that they have to stay away from another person, so it's typically most important that they prioritize.

Who is the clerk of court in the District of Columbia? ›

Honorable James E. Boasberg, Chief Judge | Angela D. Caesar, Clerk of Court.

Are divorce records public in Maryland? ›

Divorce records are generally open to the public. Some financial information or information regarding children may have restricted access. Follow the steps in this video to get a copy of your judgment of divorce.

How to find Court cases in Maryland? ›

If you need information about court records, there is a valuable on-line tool that can help. It's called Maryland Judiciary Case Search or just “Case Search.” To get started visit mdcourts.gov/casesearch.

What is the best free website for public records? ›

All Federal court records are available online at PACER.gov, an electronic public access service that is overseen by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. This includes all Federal civil court cases, criminal charges, as well as bankruptcies. In all, there are over 500 million documents on PACER.

Is TruthFinder free? ›

Truthfinder typically offers a limited free trial, but it's important to note that its core services are not entirely free. While you may access some basic information during the trial period, comprehensive reports and in-depth background checks often require a subscription or one-time payment.

Are all arrests public record in California? ›

Arrest records are public records in the State of California. This means that if you were arrested for a crime, you have the right to look them up or access them as a matter of California law. This right is provided by: the Public Records Act, and.

Does DC have a case search? ›

The DC Superior Court online case search system provides docket information for most cases as well as document images in some cases.

How to get a police clearance certificate in Maryland? ›

Procedure of Getting Police Clearance Certificate from Maryland. You will have to write a letter to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, stating that you require a PCC and that you are authorizing authorized agency to collect it on your behalf.


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