What are arrest records and warrants?
Arrest records provide detailed accounts of each arrest incident in a person’s arrest history. This information includes, but is not limited to, pictures taken at the time and place of the incident, specifics of the location, and consequences of the arrest. Such consequences may include conviction and sentencing, the details of which are described in the arrest record. Typically, an arrest record released in the state of Texas only contains information about Texas arrests. Arrest records from different states must be obtained separately.
A law enforcement officer must have a warrant accompanied by an affidavit in order to arrest an individual pursuant to a previously committed crime. Warrants require probable cause, which must be sworn under penalty of perjury; this is recorded in the affidavit. Warrants must be signed by a judge, and issued by the court. When an individual is in contempt of court, a bench warrant is issued. This allows a law enforcement officer to arrest the individual on sight. A bench warrant often means that an individual has evaded law enforcement in order to avoid jail time. However, a warrant can be outstanding for other reasons, such as the individual not knowing about the warrant and unknowingly evading arrest, or the governmental body failing to carry out the warrant due to a lack of resources.
How to search for arrest records & warrants in Texas?
The Texas Public Information Act allows anyone to access government documents by written request. To access arrest records and warrants, contact the sheriff’s office of the county where the arrest or crime took place. You do not need to provide identification or a reason for accessing such information, but you may need to provide a written request for the records you which to view or duplicate. The following is an example of how to format a request for information.
This request is made under the Texas Public Information Act, Section 552 of the Texas Government Code. In accordance with the law, which requires that the ‘Officer for Public Records shall promptly produce such information for inspection or duplication, or both, in the offices of the governmental body,’ I respectfully request access to the following information.
How to search for inmates in Texas
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice provides a searchable online database for the safety and convenience of the general public. The Offender Information Search can be found at http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/mediasvc/offender_information/index.html. This database enables you to search by basic identity indicators such as name, race, and sex.
Texas Arrests and Crime Statistics
1,144,178 separate arrests were made by Texas law enforcement officers in the year 2010. It is estimated that someone is murdered in Texas every seven hours. Someone is raped in Texas every hour. One robbery happens every 15 minutes. One aggravated assault happens every seven minutes. These are only estimates, but the more you know, the more you are empowered to protect yourself. Follow your gut and conduct an arrest records search.