What are Connecticut Criminal Records?
Connecticut criminal records refer to official documents containing the criminal history information of persons in Connecticut. Also known as rap sheets, they comprise arrest records, court dockets, and conviction information, all assembled from local, county, and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities.
Criminal records in the state of Connecticut generally comprise the following:
- The full name of the subject (including any aliases)
- A photograph/mugshot
- Details of any unique physical identifiers
- A full set of fingerprints
- Current and former addresses
- Past and pending arrests, warrants, or charges
- Conviction history
Generally, obtaining a person’s criminal records will suffice for most criminal background checks. However, criminal records are only one of several police records compiled on persons who have run-in with law enforcement in Connecticut. Other police records include arrest warrants, arrest records, incident reports, sex offender information, and logs of police activities during the investigation.
Are Connecticut Criminal Records Public?
Yes, Connecticut’s Public Records Law allows the public to view criminal records. The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification (SPBI) is responsible for maintaining criminal records in the state. Interested individuals can obtain Connecticut criminal records by filling out a request form and mailing it in. Although the public can obtain basic criminal information by mailing a request, individuals who wish to obtain a complete criminal record must visit the Bureau’s office in person and get fingerprinted.
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
How to Obtain Criminal Records in Connecticut?
Criminal records are generally organized by local law enforcement agencies and published in public access online repositories. While the methods for a criminal record search may vary by jurisdiction, most records are accessible by filling and sending a Criminal History Record request form to the State Police managed by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). A name-only search costs $36, while a Conviction History Record Search costs $75. As per Connecticut state law, these are to be used as an alternative to the Letter of Good Conduct for purposes other than visa requests, foreign adoption, and immigration. Individuals that wish to perform a free public criminal record search may query the State Judicial Branch Criminal / Motor Vehicle Case Look-up page.
What are Connecticut Arrest Records?
Connecticut arrest records are a compilation of an individual’s arrest history following their alleged involvement in criminal offenses within the state’s jurisdiction. These records are typically generated and maintained by law enforcement agencies and other judicial administrative institutions. They include (but are not exclusive to) personal identification information, details about the arrests, and any consequent charges and convictions. Arrest records remain open throughout that person’s lifetime unless they are expunged or sealed. Having a record expunged or sealed is done by petitioning the court and receiving a court order that removes that arrest record from all public government records including police records.
Are Connecticut Arrest Records Public?
Yes, Connecticut’s arrest records are publicly available according to the state’s Public Records Law. The SPBI is responsible for maintaining arrest records in the state.
Interested persons can obtain Connecticut arrest records by requesting criminal history information from the State Police. They can find public arrest records by contacting their local police station or sheriff’s office and running an arrest search. Free arrest records are also available on the State Judicial Branch Criminal / Motor Vehicle Case Look-up page.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
Connecticut arrest warrants provide legal authorization to law enforcement agents seeking to arrest or detain person(s) named in the active warrant, or to search and seize property. They are primarily issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the local and state jurisdictions and often require that the requester of the warrant submit a written affidavit stating the crime and implicated person(s). Essentially, Connecticut state arrest warrants comprise:
- A description of the crime committed
- The date and time the arrest may occur
- Restrictions on the validity of the warrant
- Any applicable bail/bond conditions.
As per Connecticut state law, law enforcement agents may arrest criminal suspects without arrest warrants; this is the case if the officer is a witness to the crime. On the account of a suspect’s refusal to appear in court, the Connecticut state court may issue a bench warrant which often excludes bail or bond-related clauses. The Connecticut Judicial Branch Criminal / Motor Vehicle Case Look-up page provides records for anyone that wishes to perform a warrant search. Interested persons may also visit the US Marshall’s Warrant Information system to perform a nationwide active warrant search.
What are Connecticut Inmate Records?
Connecticut inmate records refer to official documents of information about a person’s current and sometimes past incarceration status. Incarcerated persons who are otherwise known as inmates are persons who have been deprived of his/her civil liberties and serving jail time subsequent to their conviction. Individuals that wish to find jail records can perform an inmate search online. Like most states, the Connecticut Department of Corrections maintains an online inmate database which often includes jail records and information such as:
- Inmate’s full name and alias
- incarceration and expected release dates
- Convicted offense(s)
- Mugshots, fingerprints, physical descriptors, etc.
What is the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry?
The Connecticut sex offender registry is a database of information regarding registered sex offenders in Connecticut. These listings are public records and in most cases are compiled by various jurisdictions within the state. It is the responsibility of the judges of various local courts to determine whether a criminal offense qualifies a person to be included in the sex offender registry of that jurisdiction. As per Megan’s Law, all convicted sex offenders are required to register with local law enforcement agencies upon their arrival at any Connecticut city or county. Whether they are expected to register for crimes besides the charges listed under the law is determined by the judge or magistrate in charge of their conviction.
What is an OUI in Connecticut?
An OUI in Connecticut (operating under the influence) is a serious traffic violation that happens when a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Serious traffic violations in Connecticut are considered the most severe of all traffic-related crimes in the state. This typically involves the willful disregard for public safety which may consequently lead to death, serious bodily injury, and damage to property.
In Connecticut, drivers above 21 years old are said to operate under the influence if their measured blood alcohol content is above 0.08%. Drivers below 21 years old are said to be driving drunk if their measured BAC is 0.02% or more. A commercial motor vehicle driver is said to be driving drunk if they have a BAC of 0.04% or more.
Per state law, enforcement officers must carry out alcohol tests in the field to assess a person’s blood alcohol levels. The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles is tasked with the assessment of points on the license of a person who is found guilty of an OUI. The penalties for operating a vehicle while under the influence range from two days to three years in prison, to $500 - $8000 in fines. Drivers can also have their licenses suspended for 45 days or permanently.
What are Felonies?
A felony offense in the state of Connecticut is a crime that may be punishable with a minimum sentence of more than 1 year, and in some cases by death (until 2012 when Connecticut abolished the death sentence). Inmates may serve their convictions in a county jail or state prison. In line with Connecticut laws, felonies were categorized as being capital offenses, Class A, B, C, D felonies or unclassified. While different sentencing laws apply for crimes committed in Connecticut before July 1, 1981, the following crimes are considered felonies across the board:
- Capital Offenses: Felony murder and murder
- Class A Felonies: Sexual assault of a minor, 1st-degree kidnapping, and home invasion
- Class B Felonies: 1st-degree Manslaughter and theft of property worth $20,000 or more
- Class C Felonies: Age misrepresentation and child enticement
- Class D Felonies: Prostitution
- Unclassified Felonies: Most unclassified felonies are judged according to the seriousness of the crime and its cost.
What are Misdemeanors?
Connecticut state misdemeanors are non-indictable offenses that are generally less severe than felonies. Like felonies, misdemeanor charges are classified by a number-based system which is primarily dependent on the severity of the crime. In Connecticut, misdemeanors are categorized into Class A, B, C, D, or unclassified crimes. The punishment can vary from 30 days for Class D misdemeanors to one year for Class A misdemeanors. The following are examples of misdemeanor crimes:
- Class A Misdemeanor: 3rd-degree assault, Pandering, prostitution, and related offenses
- Class B Misdemeanor: 2nd-degree trespassing and embezzlement of property worth $1000 or less
- Class C Misdemeanor: Theft of property worth no more than $500
- Class D Misdemeanor: Crimes considered to be of the least severity compared to all others.
How to Obtain Parole Information
Connecticut parole records are primarily generated and maintained by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles which is tasked with overseeing all the state’s parole proceedings. Paroles, which refer to early jail releases, are typically granted to inmates who fulfill all of the state’s requirements in the course of their prison term and before the completion of their maximum sentence. Connecticut state prisoners who are eligible for parole are supervised while in custody. The parolee may be required to pay a fee which may be lowered by the board if the prisoner is deemed unable to pay the stated fee. The conditions of parole are determined by the state parole board which is tasked with ensuring that the interests of the prisoner and the state are served.
What are Probation Records?
Connecticut probation records are official documentation that features details of a convict’s court-ordered supervision. Probation sentences are often issued as an alternative to prison time. Essentially, convicts on probation may serve their sentences out of custody, following the conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. Probation sentences are typically issued in proportion to the crime, thus, sentences may differ depending on the case. Probation Sentences may be minimally supervised, supervised or intensive, with minimally supervised probations being far less strict than intensive sentences.
How to Obtain Juvenile Criminal Records
A juvenile criminal record in the state of Connecticut refers to records pertaining to the criminal activity of children or adolescents in the state. As per Connecticut laws, these records are confidential and members of the public have limited rights to attend hearings involving persons under legal age. Juveniles are not considered convicts but delinquents if proven guilty of a crime. They are not kept in prisons but in juvenile detention centers. Juvenile criminal records including arrest records, detention center records, and records of proceedings involving juveniles are confidential but remain valid unless the individual petitions to have it expunged. Persons found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, may not respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime.
What are Connecticut Conviction Records?
Connecticut conviction records are official documentation that provides information regarding a person’s public criminal charges. The records detail the plea of the offender and indicate whether the alleged crime is a felony, misdemeanor, or other offense. Conviction records are only created subsequent to the offender’s conviction and sentencing. However, arrest records are generated and maintained regardless of the alleged suspect’s role in the crime. Conviction records also detail the sentence of the accused whether prison time, fines, or community service. However, these records exclude final judgments relieved by pardon or set aside/reversed.
What are Criminal Court Judgements?
In Connecticut, criminal court judgments refer to the final resolution in a criminal case reached at the end of a bench or jury trial. These typically include the final judgment and/or anything pertaining to the sentence - i.e. fines, community service prison time, mandatory courses or sessions, and any forfeited rights.
What Happens During a Criminal Case?
While criminal trials in Connecticut typically vary depending on the crime and/or the accused, proceedings are generally similar. The process often begins as soon as the first arrest occurs and then proceeds thus:
Connecticut state arrests are often preceded by a warrant and followed by a court summons. Within 24 hours of the summons (or the next business day), the arrested individual will make their first court appearance and following the initial appearance may opt to post bail or bond (except those arrested on a bench warrant).
- Indictment & Arraignment:
Indictments refer to the formal charges leveled by the prosecution. These charges must be prepared within 30 days of the initial arrest after which they are assigned at the arraignment at which the defendant may state their plea - i.e. guilty or not guilty.
The defense and prosecution may negotiate possible plea deals in the light of the available evidence, witnesses, etc. This may be done in private or in an open court. Unsatisfactory negotiations may then lead the case to a judicial pretrial where the presiding judge will decide as the final mediator. Cases that remain unresolved will then proceed to trial.
- Trial & Judgment
As per Connecticut State law, defendants may be subject to a bench trial or a jury trial depending on the offense committed. Bench trials often require a 3-judge panel and jury trials between 6-12 persons considered to be ‘peers’ of the accused.
To arrive at a judgment, most verdicts must be unanimous otherwise a hung jury may be declared.
In cases that are dismissed or in which the defendant is found not guilty, all court records are automatically erased and are not available to members of the public. However, this may not be the case with trials outside the state.
All convictions, both guilty and not guilty, may be appealed in a higher court. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, the case may be retried and the initial judgment overturned.
History and Accuracy of Connecticut Criminal Records
Record keeping in the state of Connecticut depends primarily on each of the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record is generated. Most criminal records in the state go back as far as the 1970s when the earliest efforts to centralize and compile criminal and arrest data into an organized database were made. With the advent of technological advancements beginning in the 1990s, the quality and accuracy of record-keeping improved exponentially. These advancements have significantly improved the process of retrieval.
Find Connecticut Criminal History Record for Free
A criminal History Record is an official document that contains the details of an individual's contact with law enforcement. The information contained in this document ranges from details of arrests, convictions, and incarcerations maintained by government or law enforcement agencies for reference. An informal name for a criminal record is the "RAP (Record of Persecution and Incarcerations)" sheet.
RAP sheets are public records in the State of Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act Sec. 1-200(5), and individuals, law enforcement, and employers can request access to these documents for background checks or criminal investigative purposes, as the case may be.
The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification (CSPBI) is responsible for maintaining Criminal Records. Individuals seeking access must fill out the record request form and submit it with live fingerprint scans at the State Police Fingerprinting Identification Unit (SPFIU), CSPBI headquarters. Admittance to the premises for fingerprint service is strictly by appointment; requesters are required to make an online booking through the SPBI portal and ensure to receive confirmation of enrollment. When going for the fingerprint appointment, here are a few requirements:
- Appointment and pre-enrollment confirmation page printout, including tracking number and barcode
- A valid government-issued photo ID (Driver's license, Connecticut ID, or passport)
- $15 fingerprinting fee, $75 for state criminal history check, and $13.25 for federal criminal history check.
All fees are required for all services mentioned; federal criminal history checks are only available based on state statutes or federal acts.
Another option for retrieval of Criminal records is to perform a name-based/Date of Birth search (which would cost $36 and would only provide confirmation of the records' existence, not the actual records) by filling out the document request form and mailing it to:
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection,
State Police Bureau of Identification,
1111 Country Club Road,
Middleton, CT 06457
The final option is to run an online search using third-party websites approved by the government to provide a general basic criminal history search, information such as the subject's name, date of birth, past and present addresses, mugshots, arrests, charges, etc.
However, the information found on these sites may need to be more accurate and up to date. Hence users must thread with a lot of discretion. This kind of search provides the individual with basic information about another person; it may serve as a good starting point for running a background check on a person, say, a friend, intended spouse, neighbor, or anyone of interest.
Are Police Records Public in Connecticut?
Largely yes, Police Records are Public Records. Police records refer to information about citizens, which are acquired, developed, or preserved by law enforcement agencies and are used to either detect and prevent or investigate a crime, report an incident, or aid in prosecuting a crime. These reports may include arrest reports, accident/incident reports, traffic violation reports, DUI reports, conviction and incarceration details, etc.
Police records are public records under Sec.1-200(5) Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (CFIA), but access to these records under the exemptions captured in CFIA (Sec. 1-210) is restricted. Except otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records are available for public inspection or copy.
Disclosure of police records, under the following conditions, is prohibited:
- When the preliminary notes or drafts provided by the public agency have determined that the public interest in withholding such records outweighs the public interest in disclosure
- When the disclosure of personnel or medical and similar files would constitute an invasion of privacy
- When there is a disclosure of the identity of informants or witnesses (not otherwise known) whose safety would be endangered by being subject to threats or intimidation by making their identity known
- When it involves the identity of minor witnesses
- When disclosing signed statements of witnesses
How to Obtain Police Records in Connecticut
In Connecticut, the best and surest way of accessing police records is by contacting the State Bureau of Identification, which happens to be the designated custodian for criminal records. Individuals can visit the office headquarters having booked an appointment, and have filled out the request form through the online portal, for fingerprint services required to access specified records. It is certain that as long as there are no exemptions to the requested record under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the requestor has met all the requirements, whoever is seeking access receives it.
Another option is to search using the subject name and date of birth, which would simply return a confirmation of the availability of the records and not the actual records. The process begins by filling out the request form and submitting it via the U.S. Mail to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) at the State Police Bureau of Identification.
Finally, third-party websites provide general and basic criminal records such as subject name, age, address, arrests, charges, and so on. This is a good place to begin a search, considering that the information here might need to be more accurate, accurate, or complete. Where to start the search depends on the type of information that is required.
How to File a Police Report in Connecticut
A police report is a document compiled by law enforcement about an arrest or an incident after such an event has taken place, and it details the names of victims, the place and time of occurrence, and all the needed facts about the event. This document is to serve as a reference for investigative purposes and background checks. The following are types of police reports:
- Arrest Reports: These reports contain information about an arrest, such as name(s) of suspects, charges, nature of the crime, venue, addresses, and any other detail that is required. For example an armed robbery attack or Driving under the Influence (DUI).
- Accident Reports: These reports contain information regarding accidents of any sort, particularly motor vehicle accidents. Details such as name(s) of victims, place of occurrence, and vehicle registration details (insurance documents et al).
- Incident Reports: Information captured in these reports may include theft cases, rape, burglary, fraud, etc. the responding officer compiles all the required details of the event.
In Connecticut, Police reports are filed through the local agencies based on the city or county of the affected individual, most of which provide an online platform for submitting such complaints, particularly in non-emergency cases. Complainants can also walk to the nearest law enforcement office and file complaints. In cases of emergency, victims are advised to call 911 or any other emergency line provided by the city or county, as the case may be, to secure an immediate response.
Here are a few considerations to make when filing an online report based on a few counties/cities sampled in Connecticut:
- Ensure it is not an emergency.
- Ensure that the incident occurred within the jurisdiction of the agency with which you are filing the report.
- Ensure that there are no known suspects, firearms, or other weapons involved.
Having met the above conditions, the following incidents qualify for reporting online:
- Identity theft
- Lost property
- Harassing phone call
- Damage to motor vehicle
- Credit card fraud
- Pilfering etc.
After filing the report online, a message of confirmation would pop up to notify the user that the report has been successfully submitted, and then a police report case number would be assigned to the user and he/she would be able to print a copy of the report.
Where to Find Free Public Police Records
The Connecticut Freedom of Information Act mandates all public agencies to provide access to public records to the citizens of the state. Hence, individuals or any requesting body can visit the law enforcement agency during regular working hours, to either inspect or copy such records. Access to records is restricted based on the exemptions as stipulated in the freedom of information Act and anyone requesting to retrieve public records must adhere strictly. Note that processing fees apply for each requested record and this may vary based on the type of information retrieved.
Third-party websites also provide the public with access to public records, using the online search option. Information retrieved through this process may be limited in terms of details and accuracy; hence, it is not advisable to use it in making critical decisions such as one made by an employer.
However, it is advisable to visit official law enforcement agency websites for more legit police records, based on the jurisdiction of where these records are kept.
Where to Find Mugshots in Connecticut
A mugshot or "mugshot" refers to a photograph of arrested or convicted persons, taken by law enforcement and used for identification or reference. Mugshots usually display the side and front profile view of the individuals captured from the face to the shoulders of the subject.
In Connecticut, mugshots are considered public record, there are no exemptions in the Act that prohibits public access and anyone can retrieve them, but in many cases, criminal record searches do not return copies of mugshots, however, a request can be made for it.
The State Police Bureau of Identification provides access to criminal records, which often contain mugshots, or the Connecticut Supreme Court, which is the custodian for court records. For example, inmate records in Connecticut contain copies of mugshots, which are available through the state Department of Corrections (DOC), by performing an online search.