A New York arrest record refers to an official document containing details of the arrest and detention of individuals within state limits.
When an alleged criminal is arrested in New York, they are detained and booked in a state-run or county holding facility. Arrestees are typically held until their New York arraignment or until they post bail if they are facing criminal charges. This process is documented by law enforcement officials and compiled into what is known as an arrest record. New York state law requires New York criminal courts to revise New York arrest records when no charges are filed. While arrest records are not proof of the arrestee's guilt, they are typically featured in their New York criminal record but may be expunged if the arrestee is deemed not guilty.
New York Arrest Statistics
In 2018, the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) reported (to the FBI UCR) that there were approximately 244,041 arrests made statewide. This represents a significant decrease from the 259,000 arrests reported in 2017.
The vast majority of these arrests were for non-violent offenses, such as drug possession or traffic violations. Violent crime arrests accounted for less than 10% of all arrests made in 2018.
When compared to other states, New York's arrest rate is relatively low. In fact, New York ranks 43th out of 50 states in terms of its arrest rate per 100,000 residents with only 762 arrests per 100,000.
Despite the overall decline in arrests between 2017 and 2018, certain types of crimes did see an uptick in 2020. For example, there was a 16% increase in the number of domestic violence arrests made in 2020. And while the overall crime rate remains at historic lows, there were almost 2,000 murders committed statewide in that year.
What is Contained in an Arrest Record?
New York Arrest Records must include the name and address of the arrested individual, time and date of arrest, New York arrest charges, and New York arrest disposition. New York law does not require New York arrest records to contain the New York criminal history of the arrested individual, but it may include this information if included by the police or sheriff's department that released the records.
Are Arrest Records Public in New York?
According to New York Criminal Procedure Law, New York arrest records are public information when no charges have been pressed against an individual. New York state law requires that when a judge declares that the arrestee shall be released from jail, New York arrest records can become public information. New York law also requires that New York arrest records are made public when a judge decides there isn't enough evidence to convict or after an individual receives a New York acquittal. However, while New York arrest records are public information, privacy laws may apply to sealed or expunged New York arrests.
Who Can Access New York Arrest Records?
New Yorkers have the legal right to request New York court arrest records, New York arrest warrants and New York criminal history reports. New Yorkers can submit a New York FOIL request to obtain New York arrest records under New York Freedom of Information Law.
New York arrest records are public information, but New Yorkers have the right to ask for their release only if they were not arrested or convicted. There are New York laws that protect New Yorkers' New York arrest records from being released.
How Do I Lookup Someone’s Arrest Records in New York?
Interested members of the public may find New York arrest records by going through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The website provides an online search tool for this purpose. Alternatively, one may visit a local law enforcement agency to make the request in person or by mail.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is the central repository for all criminal history information in the state of New York. The DCJS website provides an online search tool that anyone can use to look up someone’s arrest records. Simply enter the individual’s last name and first name into the search fields and hit “enter” or click on the “search” button. If there are any matching results, they will be displayed on the screen. Each result will include the individual’s name, date of birth, race, sex, case number, county of conviction, and sentence.
For mail-in requests, the requesting party may download and complete the “Subject’s Consent Release” form from the DCJS website. The completed form, along with a $50 processing fee (made payable to the Division of Criminal Justice Services), must be mailed to:
Division of Criminal Justice Services
Records Management Unit - SHU
80 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12260-8002
For in-person requests, the requesting party may visit the DCJS Records Management Unit in Albany, New York. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. The Records Management Unit is located at:
80 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12260-8002
The requesting party must bring a completed “Subject’s Consent Release” form, along with a $50 processing fee (made payable to the Division of Criminal Justice Services), to the Records Management Unit. The records will be provided on-site if they are available. If the records are not available on-site, they will be mailed within 14 business days.
New York arrest records are also maintained by local law enforcement agencies. Each county has its own sheriff’s office that is responsible for keeping track of arrests made within its jurisdiction. To obtain copies of New York arrest records from a local sheriff’s office, the requesting party must submit a written request. The request should include the individual’s name, date of birth, and case number (if known). The sheriff’s office will then conduct a search of its records and provide the requested information if it is available.
Some sheriff’s offices may charge a fee for conducting the search and providing the results. Others may provide the information for free. It is advisable to call the sheriff’s office in advance to inquire about any possible fees.
The address and phone number for each county’s sheriff’s office can be found on the DCJS website.
How to Subpoena Arrest Records in New York
It becomes necessary to subpoena an arrest record when an individual has been arrested and the record is not readily available because of its confidential nature. The process for subpoenaing an arrest record in New York is governed by state law and court rules, and it can be a complicated process.
An individual who wants to subpoena an arrest record must first file a motion with the court that issued the arrest warrant or presided over the criminal case. The motion must include a certification from the individual that states that he or she is seeking the records for a legitimate purpose, such as preparing for trial or investigating someone's background.
The court will then review the motion and decide whether to grant it. If the court grants the motion, it will issue a subpoena that orders the release of the records. The records will be sent to the individual who requested them, and they can be used for any legal purpose.
It should be noted that while the process for subpoenaing an arrest record is governed by state law, the records themselves are confidential and are not subject to the Freedom of Information Law. This means that the general public will not be able to obtain copies of arrest records through a FOIL request. However, individuals who have been arrested may be able to obtain their own records through a FOIL request.
The process can be summarized thus:
- Contact the Records Department of the arresting agency. In New York, this will either be the NYPD or the local police department.
- Provide the records department with some information regarding the arrestee as well as the requesting party
- Fill out a Subpoena Duces Tecum form. This form can be obtained from the local courthouses or online.
- Once the form is completed, submit it to the records department of the arresting agency.
- The records department will then provide a copy of the arrest record.
The form should be submitted along with a $15 filing fee to:
The Criminal Support Unit
New York, NY 10013
Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope in the request.
How to Search for an Inmate in the New York Prison System
Interested members of the public may find New York inmates by using the online inmate search tool provided by the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The search tool provides basic information about inmates, such as their name, age, race, and gender. More detailed information, such as an inmate's criminal history and current location, is available for a fee.
To use the online inmate search tool, interested individuals must first select the type of facility in which they believe the inmate is being held. The options are "state prisons," "city jails," "federal prisons," or "ICE detention facilities". After making a selection, individuals must then enter either the inmate's name or DOC number into the provided search bar. If multiple results come up, individuals can narrow down the list by selecting additional search filters, such as the inmate's race, gender, or age.
Once the desired inmate has been located, individuals can view basic information about the inmate, such as their name, age, race, and gender. More detailed information, such as an inmate's criminal history and current location, is available for a fee. To obtain this information, individuals must submit a request to the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Requests can be made online or by mail.
How Long Do New York Arrest Records Stay on File?
Arrests fall into two categories:
- Arrests that result in a conviction and an eventual sentence of imprisonment. These types of arrests usually stay on record for at least five years.
- Arrests that do not result in a conviction, meaning the defendant is acquitted or charges are dropped. These arrests only show up on public record during certain periods of time. Arrests that were made before someone turned 16 or 17 (depending on the state) may fall under this category.
When it comes to arrests that didn't result in convictions, arrest records can be expunged before the following time periods have passed:
- Arrests that were made before someone turned 21: Arrests of this type can be expunged 10 years after they are no longer on file. Arrests of this type cannot be reported until seven years have passed.
- Arrests that were made when someone was between 21 and 24: Arrests can be expunged seven years after they are no longer on file. Arrests of this type cannot be reported until five years have passed.
- Arrests that were made when someone turned 25, 30, 40 or 50: Arrest records can be expunged five years after they are no longer on file. Arrests of this type cannot be reported until three years have passed.
These rules only apply to arrests that were made for other crimes and not to those made as part of a sentence, including traffic violations and minor drug charges. Arrest records associated with these types of charges may remain indefinitely.
What is the Difference Between an Arrest Record and an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest record is a formal document that records the details of someone's arrest. This can include the person's name, date of birth, address, and the crime they were arrested for. An arrest warrant is a legal document that gives law enforcement the authority to arrest someone suspected of a crime. warrants are usually issued by a judge or magistrate.
An arrest warrant is more serious than an arrest record because it pertains to a court order to detain and question a person as an accused or a suspect, whereas an arrest record is not a court order. However, both have the same cause – being arrested by law enforcement authorities.
What is the Difference Between an Arrest Record and a Criminal Record?
An arrest record is a formal document that records an individual's arrest and the subsequent charges brought against them. This record is maintained by the arresting law enforcement agency and can be accessed by the public.
A criminal record, on the other hand, is a formal document that contains an individual's entire criminal history. This includes arrests, convictions, and any pending charges. Criminal records are maintained by the court system and are not accessible to the general public.
An arrest record only contains information about an individual's arrests; a criminal record contains information about an individual's entire criminal history. Arrest records are public information; criminal records are not.
How to Obtain Arrest Records for Free in New York?
There are a number of ways to obtain arrest records for free in New York. One way is to contact the county clerk's office in the county where the arrest took place. The clerk's office should have a record of all arrests that have occurred in that county. Alternatively, requesters can contact the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. This state agency keeps a central database of all criminal records in New York, including arrest records. However, in both instances, the requestor may have to pay a nominal fee to cover the cost of copies if required.
How to Search for a New York Arrest Record Online Using a Third-Party Search Service
Interested persons may be able to find arrest records online for free using a third-party search service. These services are not run by the government, but they may have access to government records. To use one of these services, the requesting party will need to provide the full name and date of birth of the individual whose records they are seeking. In addition, they will need to provide a valid email address.
If the records are available, the requesting party will receive an email with a link to the records. These records may contain information on the charges, the arresting agency, and the court case information. The requesting party may be able to access these records for free or for a small fee.
What Can I Do if My Arrest Record Has a Mistake?
If a record holder finds their arrest records to have a mistake in New York, they can petition to have the inaccuracy reviewed or removed from the record. A person can file a petition with the court that handled their case if they believe there was an error in their arrest or criminal records. The court will review the records and make a determination on whether or not to correct the mistake.
To petition the court, the record holder must write a letter to the clerk of the court that includes their full name, date of birth, case number, and the specific inaccuracies they wish to have corrected. The record holder should also include any supporting documentation that will help prove their claim. Once the petition is filed, the court will set a hearing date. At the hearing, the record holder will have an opportunity to present their evidence and make their case for why the mistake should be corrected. The court will then decide whether or not to grant the request. If the court grants the request, they will order the arrest or criminal records to be amended or expunged.
How to Expunge Arrest Records in New York
Interested and eligible persons may petition New York courts to have their arrest records expunged in the following steps:
- Request a copy of the record from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. The requestor will need to provide their name, date of birth, Social Security number, and other identifying information.
- Obtain an order from the court that issued the original arrest warrant authorizing the expungement of the record.
- Send the completed order to the Division of Criminal Justice Services along with a $95 processing fee.
- Once the record is expunged, they will no longer have to disclose their arrest when applying for jobs, housing, or other opportunities.
It is important to note that not all arrest records are eligible for expungement. Certain serious crimes, such as murder or sex offenses, cannot be expunged. Additionally, a record may not be eligible for expungement if the record-holder has been convicted of a crime or if they have pending criminal charges.