Is personal information (e.g., names, address, phone number, past residences, etc.) of arrestees published publicly? Are arrest records public at all? If so, how would they be found?

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking arrest records are open and made available to the public. Except in the case of an ongoing investigation. In which case the rules vary by state.

The details of what's available also vary by location.

I would begin searching by going to the courthouse or police station if you know it. And inquiring with the clerk. If you want a broad search on a specific individual, you can do a criminal background check which sweeps multiple databases of many jurisdictions simultaneously.

Here is an article explaining more details.

  • Very often people who have been recently arrested immediately begin receiving letters from legal offices. Are police departments sending information directly to these lawyers, or are the lawyers searching some kind of digital record of recent arrests?
    – B T
    Sep 13, 2015 at 8:15
  • Lawyers are searching. Or hiring a third party company that supplies them that service for a fee. Police departments are definitely not doing extra work for these lawyers just to send them business. @BT Sep 13, 2015 at 8:19
  • I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that names and perhaps age and city of residence would be publicly available (you often see this information published in newspapers). I'd think that address, phone number, etc would not be, but one can often find these in publicly available or subscription-based databases (or in the old days, the phone book). Sep 13, 2015 at 14:30
  • @Mowzer "definitely not doing extra work" - unless of course those lawyers pay them to... right? Why do you say "definitely not"?
    – B T
    Sep 13, 2015 at 19:02
  • @BT: The behavior you describe is frowned upon at best by most regulatory authorities if not outright banned as illegal and unethical. Sep 13, 2015 at 19:08

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