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Arrest Records

Connecticut arrest records hold information on a person’s arrest history, detention, and questioning by the police over criminal acts or events. Every arrested person in the state has an arrest record, whether charged to court or not. Yet, a person’s arrest record is not the person’s entire criminal history. The reason is that in many cases, an arrest does not result in charges or convictions. So, an accused person may walk free without being declared a convict, despite having an arrest record. The full criminal history information of an individual is contained in their Connecticut criminal record.

In Connecticut, arrest records are public records that interested persons may request from the public agencies that maintain such records. These agencies may be in different jurisdictions, and they include the police department and various courts. In certain circumstances, state laws allow for the expungement of arrest records in Connecticut.

Connecticut Arrest Statistics

The Crime Analysis Unit of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection provides analytical services for the state. These services serve the State Police, municipal police departments, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), media, and other consumers of crime statistics within the state.

The unit oversees state-mandated programs like the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR), the Connecticut Family Violence Reporting Program, and the Connecticut Bias (Hate) Crime Reporting Program. Based on its 2020 arrest trends, there were 68,985 arrests in the state, with 3,823 juvenile arrests, while 65, 162 of the arrests were adults. In 2019, law enforcement agencies made 93,298 arrests in total, and a breakdown reveals that 6,996 of the culprits were below 18, while 86,302 were adults.

The FBI also records Connecticut crime data based on reports submitted by the state law enforcement agencies via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). In 2020, it recorded 4,695 violent-crime incidents and 5,107 offenses in the state, covering 97% of its population. Then, the FBI recorded 17,854 arrests for simple assault, 14,921 arrests for disorderly conduct, 8,711 for theft, and others.

What Is An Arrest Record in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, an arrest record is a report that law enforcement officers file after arresting a person that violates the Connecticut General Statutes. These records contain information on the arrested person’s alleged offense, booking, and other personal information.

Arrest records are a crucial part of the criminal justice process, especially in matters that involve trials. Even when an arrest does not result in a criminal charge or conviction, the arrest record forms a part of the person’s criminal record. It remains accessible to the public, except where the records are sealed or expunged.

What Is Contained in an Arrest Record?

Arrest records are official law enforcement reports produced after a person’s arrest. These reports typically contain the following information:

Arrestee’s Personal Information: Arrest records contain basic identifying information on a suspect, like a name, date of birth, phone number, residential address, social security number, etc.

Physical Description: Arrest records detail the arrestee’s height, weight, gender, race, tattoos, and other distinguishing features.

Arrestee's Booking Information: An arrest record contains the arrestee’s fingerprints, photographs, arrest location and date, booking number, bail amount (if any), court dates, and other booking information.

Interrogation Information: An arrest record features the police interrogation process as it pertains to the alleged offense.

Offense Classification: Connecticut statutes categorize offenses as felonies, misdemeanors, or simple offenses. A typical Connecticut arrest record states the category of offense that the offender is alleged to have committed.

Are Arrest Records Public In Connecticut?

Arrest records in Connecticut form part of a person’s criminal record, and these records are maintained by the State Police Bureau of Identification, classifying them as public records. The state’s Public Records Law allows the public to access public records in the state. Interested persons can obtain these records by requesting criminal history information from the police, the local sheriff’s office, or courts.

Who Can Access Arrest Records?

Since Connecticut arrest records are public records, any person can request access from the designated law enforcement agencies under the Public Records Act. It means that the arrestee, legal advisors, victims, and witnesses may access arrest records in Connecticut. Other interested persons are employers, insurance companies, courts, law enforcement agencies, etc.

However, the state may deny public access to an arrest record or part of it in certain circumstances. These situations include where the record may reveal a confidential source, a juvenile record, or if public access would interfere with the law enforcement process, etc.

How Do I Lookup Someone’s Arrest Records In Connecticut?

Interested parties may obtain Connecticut arrest records from the State Police Bureau of Identification by requesting a criminal history record. Criminal history records detail all the criminal activities of a person, and the required record may belong to the person conducting the search or anybody else in the state.

Connecticut allows only manual searches, and interested persons may conduct any of the following searches:

  • A name or date of birth search that verifies the existence of a criminal record but does not provide a copy of the record
  • A name or date of birth search that provides a copy of the record if one exists
  • Fingerprint search that also provides a copy of a criminal record, if there is any

The interested person must print or open the State of Connecticut Criminal History Record Request Form to initiate the search process. Next, select the preferred type of background search, and fill the rest of the form with appropriate information. If the searcher prefers a fingerprint-based search, the person must visit a Connecticut State Police location to get a fingerprint card with the fingerprint of the record holder for only $15.

Payments may be by check or money order with the correct amount made payable to the Treasurer-State of CT. If the search is for multiple subjects, it is advisable to use a single check to pay for the search, rather than multiple checks. Once completed, mail the form with the form of payment and fingerprint card (if any) to:

DESPP-SPBI
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, CT 06457-2389

How to Subpoena Arrest Records in Connecticut

A Connecticut subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum is a written order from the court that compels the recipient to perform specific actions, like attending court sessions or producing certain documents. For instance, if a person needs an arrest record exempt from public viewing, the person can subpoena the arrest record by filing a motion or requesting it with the court.

A common instance where an arrest record may be subpoenaed is where it is needed for a judicial process. In such a case, the court will direct the arresting officer or agency to provide the arrest record in question before the court, based on the provisions of Sec. 52-143 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

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How To Search For An Inmate In The Connecticut Prison System

The Connecticut State Department of Correction maintains an online database that provides information on incarcerated persons. To find an inmate in the Connecticut Prison System, an interested person must first visit the Offender Information Search Portal. Then, input any of the following details in the provided column:

CT DOT Inmate Number: The inmate number is an official identification number issued by the Connecticut Department of Corrections. It is the primary means that the department uses to identify inmates. If a searcher has only this number, it is enough to conduct the inmate search.

Inmate’s Last Name: In circumstances where an inmate’s identification number is unknown or unavailable, the inmate’s last name is the only necessary search criteria. The name lists that show up after the search will include inmates whose last names start with the letters provided. For instance, a search for ‘Rob’ will also display ‘Robert,’ ‘Robinson,’ ‘Robles,’

Etc.

Inmate’s First Name: Providing an inmate’s first name alongside the last name will also help to narrow down the search. The search results will then display all inmates whose first and last names match the names provided in the search criteria.

Date of Birth: In addition to the details above, the inmate’s date of birth can be used to narrow the search. However, the date of birth must be entered in the mm/dd/yyyy format.

After providing the required information, click “Search All Inmates” to complete the search. It is important to note that a person’s current incarceration does not mean that the person is convicted of a crime. The reason is that the Connecticut correctional system also holds persons who are awaiting trial. To ensure that the database issues accurate information, the department updates regularly, and as such, information on the site may change quickly. So, the available information on the site may not reflect the current status of an offender. Also, due to possible changes in Risk Reduction Earned Credits, release dates may be subject to change.

The website also does not include information on persons held under the Youthful Offender Statute in the state and offenders held on behalf of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Interested persons may direct specific inquiries to the ICE regional office at (617) 565-4946. Further questions and comments may also be directed to the following:

Connecticut Department of Correction
Public Information Office
24 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Phone: (860) 692-7780

How Do I Find Out If Someone Was In Jail In Connecticut

The Connecticut DOC does not make information on former inmates available online. Thus, to find out if someone was in jail in Connecticut, interested persons may conduct a background check or request the person’s criminal history information. Criminal record information in the state is maintained by the state police or the judicial branch. Interested persons will have to fill a Criminal History Record Request Form and mail the request to the following:

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
State Police Bureau of Identification
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, CT 06457

How Long Do Connecticut Arrest Records Stay On File?

Connecticut laws do not provide a specific retention period for arrest records in the state. The length of time that a Connecticut arrest record stays on file depends on the kind of offense and the applicable expungement laws. Suppose a criminal conviction or record can be expunged in Connecticut. In that case, the arrest record will be wiped from official records once the arrested person applies to expunge the record.

What Is The Difference Between An Arrest Record And An Arrest Warrant?

A Connecticut arrest record is a report of a person’s criminal act and apprehension. It contains the offense(s) for which the person has been arrested, and the arresting law enforcement agency must generate it. On the other hand, an arrest warrant is an authorizing document granting law enforcement officers the authority to arrest a person suspected of a crime. Before issuing an arrest warrant, a judge or magistrate must conclude that there is probable cause for the arrest. Probable cause is often backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides information supporting the need for an arrest.

The major difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant is that while a judge or magistrate issues arrest warrants, law enforcement officers like the police may generate arrest records. Another significant difference is that arrest warrants are issued before an arrest, while an arrest record must come up only after the arrest.

What Is The Difference Between An Arrest Record And A Criminal Record?

Both arrest records and criminal records have similar and sometimes overlapping functions. Yet, there are some significant differences between arrest records and criminal records. An arrest record contains a person’s past and current arrest history, and the arrest details, like booking information, witness and victim reports, etc.

Criminal records are also called Criminal history records in Connecticut and are more detailed, as they contain a person’s entire criminal history, including warrants, convictions, complaints, etc. The main difference here is that the mere fact that a person has an arrest record does not mean that the person has been charged with or convicted of an offense.

Connecticut law enforcement officers may arrest a person on suspicion of a crime, provided there is probable cause. However, a person must have been convicted or charged with a criminal offense before getting a criminal record.

How To Obtain Arrest Records For Free In Connecticut?

Persons interested in obtaining Connecticut arrest records for free may contact the State Police directly. Connecticut courts also allow access to these records for free, with only small fees for photocopying, certification, etc.

How To Search For A Connecticut Arrest Record Online Using A Third-Party Search Service

Typically, requests for arrest records routed through official channels involve long processes and wait times. As a result, requesting parties may find arrest records and other information through third-party search services. Many of these online services allow interested persons to search and access Connecticut arrest records in exchange for a fee.

To find Connecticut arrest records using a third-party search service, the interested person must provide the required information on their preferred website. The required information includes the subject’s name and booking number. Most third-party websites require a one-time access fee, while some others operate on a subscription model.

What Can I Do If My Arrest Record Has A Mistake?

Generally, an arrest record contains a specific description of the events surrounding a person’s arrest. Sometimes, however, a person’s arrest or criminal history record may contain inaccurate information, like a wrong date of birth. In that case, the affected person may challenge the accuracy of the record by issuing a written notice to the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Investigation. Section 54-142l of the Connecticut General Statutes gives individuals the authority to challenge these inaccurate records.

The person must attach a sworn statement to the notice, and the statement must say that the challenge is made in good faith and all supporting information is correct. After receiving the notice challenging the record, the Bureau of Investigation will conduct an audit. The usual time frame for this audit is 60 days, within which the department will deliver the result to the individual challenging the record. The audit report will indicate whether the challenge was successful or not.

How to Expunge Arrest Records in Connecticut

The presence of a criminal record can cause many challenges in a person’s life. It may lead to a loss of employment, housing, or education opportunities. It is not fair for a person’s life to be defined by a criminal case, whether it resulted in only an arrest or a full criminal conviction. As a result, Section 54-142a of the Connecticut General Statutes gives individuals the opportunity to expunge certain criminal records.

In Connecticut, this expungement is called an “absolute pardon,” resulting in the erasure of a person’s criminal history record, including all police and court records related to the case. To qualify for an expungement, the affected person must satisfy any of the following criteria:

  • The case must have been dismissed
  • The record subject was charged with a crime but found not guilty
  • The prosecution dropped the case, and at least 13 have passed since the “nolle.”
  • Where the matter was revived or continued, and 13 months have passed with no further action
  • The accused person must have obtained an absolute pardon

While Connecticut state laws allow for criminal expungements, interested persons still have to wait for a certain duration before applying. For felony convictions, the waiting period is five years from the date of conviction, three years for misdemeanors, and thirteen months for a criminal case that was “nolled.”

If the applicant has previously applied and gotten denied, such a person will have to wait for a year before filing another application. The Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles reviews and grants such applications. To make a new application, the interested person must follow the following steps:

  • Gather all documentation that must accompany the Absolute Pardon application. These forms are accessible on the State of Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles website.
  • Fill an "Application for a Connecticut Absolute Pardon." The form will ask for a name and contact information, family information, criminal history, educational background, employment history, etc.
  • Complete a "Background Investigation Authorization" form. The Board of Pardons and Paroles would typically conduct a background check and gather personal information on the applicant. This information includes personnel, employment, and criminal records. The board will also contact the applicant’s family, friends, employers, and others.
  • Provide three references on the "Absolute Reference Questionnaire" forms. Possible options include employers, church leaders, co-workers, etc. Each applicant can include only one family member as a reference, and the relationship must be by blood or marriage.
  • An applicant’s references must attach a dated and signed letter to the completed Questionnaire. The form must be completed within one year of the application, and the references must show an understanding of the process.
  • Get the police reports for arrests that resulted in convictions within the last ten years, or letters from the arresting police department, showing that such reports no longer exist. All convictions must be included in the application, and if an applicant does not remember the details, such an applicant can request a criminal history record to confirm.
  • Provide a probation letter with the docket number(s), completion date(s), and probation completion status for each period of probation served.
  • Suppose the applicant previously served in the military. In that case, they must submit a "Report of Separation" from military service or a photocopy of their Uniformed Services ID (USID) Card. The applicant may access the National Archives website to obtain the separation report and the Department of Defense website to get the Uniformed Services ID.
  • The applicant must provide a copy of a valid driver’s license or State Identification Card and provide proof of employment or sources of income, such as unemployment or disability payments.
  • Fill in the "Statistical and Research Information Sheet."However, this form is optional, and it requests race/ethnic data for research and statistical purposes. It has no impact on whether the board will grant the application or not.
  • The applicant may then write a personal statement to the board and include any other additional documentation that may sway the board. Including positive achievements like community involvement, marriage, charitable services or donations, or law-abiding behavior may help.
  • Complete applications may be uploaded using the ePardons Portal or sent via mail.

After applying, the board will review it to determine if the applicant will be scheduled for an Expedited Review without a hearing or a standard pre-screen review. Where an applicant qualifies for an Expedited Review, the person may get an absolute pardon without being present. In circumstances where there is a hearing, the board may choose to grant an absolute pardon, deny the application, or continue the application to a full panel hearing.

Processing time varies depending on the volume of applications received, but it usually takes two to three months. In all instances, the applicant will receive a letter with the results of the review. It is important to note that the board grants a limited number of pardons a year. So, each applicant must file a detailed and accurate application.

The effect of a successful application is that the court clerk or any person responsible for retaining such records shall not disclose the information contained in the record. Also, the subject of the record will be deemed to have never been arrested. If the application is unsuccessful, the applicant may alternatively apply for a "Provisional Pardon," also referred to as a “Certificate of Employability."

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