How to Find Old Arrest Records Using New Laws in 2022 (Search Anyone)

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Criminal Records | April 11, 2022

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Search Old Arrest Records Now

Find old arrest records, inmate records, jail records, and criminal files. Includes mugshots.
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Whether it’s to get ready for a job interview or just to ensure all the records are correct, many people wonder how to find old arrest records.

Fortunately, new laws in 2022 have made it easier than ever to find old arrests and search anyone’s criminal history record.

The process varies slightly for finding public records, based on jurisdiction, so users should be aware of any legal requirements about using old arrest records and know that the laws can change frequently.

How to Find Old Arrest Records for Free

Finding old arrest records for free is an easy process that just about anyone can do.

There are two main ways to find old arrest records for free: The DIY method, which examines public records stored in government locations, or by using a reputable background check agency that offers a 7 day free trial background check.

Note: fees will differ depending on which state the record is being requested from. For example, a California background check requires a fee of $25 and must include fingerprints (which also have a fee).

DIY Public Records Search

Although it requires slightly more work than simply hiring a background check agency, the DIY method for how to find old arrest records is still a great option. Arrest records are generally held by the county in which the arrest occurred.

County clerk website options for finding old arrest records

Most jurisdictions in the United States keep old arrest records at the county court clerk’s office, and they can be found by searching for service options on the website.

The method for how to find recent arrests and old arrest records is usually done through the county clerk, through an online or in-person request. Detailed steps for each state are provided below.

Some people wondering how to find old arrest records may be looking for federal arrest records. Federal records are even easier to search than most states or counties.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains a searchable online database. Simply enter in the name of the individual and the results will be available immediately.

United Stated federal Bureau of Prisons website screenshot.

The federal Bureau of Prisons catalogues mugshots from convicted and incarcerated offenders, and the website is very easy to search.

Background Check Service

Probably the easiest way to find old arrest records is to use a reputable background check service that can obtain arrest records. These agencies generally require a fee, however many background check services offer free trials or membership discounts. Background check agencies can be a great and quick solution for those trying to figure out how to find old arrest records. 

How to Search Old Arrest Records By US County

The best way to find old arrest records at the county level is through the county clerk. Keep in mind this will be a level 1 check and will not show out of state records like with a level 2 background check.

The county clerk is generally in charge of all public records, including those involving criminal activity, but is generally not the place to find out if someone was arrested. For that, choose the county sheriff’s office.

Detailed steps to search arrest records through the county clerk are outlined below, but keep in mind the process can vary slightly depending on jurisdiction.

Step 1: Access the County Clerk Website

If the local county clerk has a website, this should be the first stop. Information on how records are accessible and contact information is just some of the useful information on their website.

Example: 

In Los Angeles County, records are kept by the Los Angeles County Registrar-recorder/ County Clerk

Step 2: Locate Public Information Request Information

Each county clerk website should have a section with information about making a public information or public records request. What is on this page will vary slightly but generally there will be one of the following:

  • An online public records request portal
  • An online public records request form
  • Information on how to submit a request

Example:

The Los Angeles County Clerk website has a page with information on how to submit a public information request. 

Screenshot of the Los Angeles County Registrar recorder/county clerk website.

The county clerk’s office holds many key records, including property and business ownership, marriage licenses and divorce records, as well as some tax documents.

Step 3: Fill out Required Forms and Submit Request

There are normally a few forms to fill out with basic information both on the requester and the information that is being requested. Simply fill out the form and provide any associated processing fees and submit the results. Generally results should be available within 3-5 business days.

Example:

The Los Angeles County Clerk requires individuals fill out a Public Records Act Request and to mail or email the completed form.

Public Records request form for Los Angeles county.

How to find old arrest records can be tricky, but the county clerk’s office is a good place to start. For example, the Los Angeles County clerk makes records requests simple and easy to understand.

Find Old Alabama Arrest Records

The following lists contain county clerk contact information for all 50 states’ largest counties.

Old Arrest Records AlabamaCounty Court Clerk
Jefferson CountyJefferson County Clerk
Mobile CountyMobile County Clerk
Madison CountyMadison County Clerk
Baldwin CountyBaldwin County Clerk
Montgomery CountyMontgomery County Clerk

Find Old Alaska Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records Alaska County Court Clerk
YakutatYakutat Clerk
Bristol Bay BoroughBristol Bay Clerk
SkagwaySkagway Clerk
Lake and Peninsula BoroughLake and Peninsula Clerk
Denali BoroughDenali Clerk

Find Old Arizona Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records ArizonaCounty Court Clerk
Maricopa CountyMaricopa County Court Clerk 
Pima CountyPima County Court Clerk 
Pinal CountyPinal County Court Clerk 
Yavapai CountyYavapai County Court Clerk 
Mohave CountyMohave County Court Clerk

Find Old Arkansas Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records ArkansasCounty Court Clerk
Pulaski CountyPulaski County Court Clerk 
Benton CountyBenton County Court Clerk 
Washington CountyWashington County Court Clerk 
Sebastian CountySebastian County Court Clerk 
Faulkner CountyFaulkner County Court Clerk 

Find Old California Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records CaliforniaCounty Court Clerk
Los Angeles CountyLos Angeles County Court Clerk
San Diego CountySan Diego County Court Clerk
Orange CountyOrange County Court Clerk
Riverside CountyRiverside County Court Clerk
San Bernardino CountySan Bernardino County Court Clerk
Santa Clara CountySanta Clara County Court Clerk
Alameda CountyAlameda County Court Clerk

Find Old Colorado Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records ColoradoCounty Court Clerk
El Paso CountyEl Paso County Court Clerk 
County of DenverCounty of Denver Court Clerk 
Arapahoe CountyArapahoe County Court Clerk
Jefferson CountyJefferson County Court Clerk 
Adams CountyAdams County Court Clerk 
Larimer CountyLarimer County Court Clerk 

Find Old Connecticut Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records ConnecticutCounty Court Clerk
Fairfield CountyFairfield County Court Clerk 
Hartford CountyHartford County Court Clerk 
New Haven CountyNew Haven County Court Clerk
New London CountyNew London County  Court Clerk 
Litchfield CountyLitchfield County Court Clerk 

Find Old Delaware Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records DelawareCounty Court Clerk
New Castle CountyNew Castle County Court Clerk
Sussex CountySussex County Court Clerk
Kent CountyKent County Court Clerk

Find Old Florida Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records FloridaCounty Court Clerk
Miami-Dade CountyMiami-Dade County Court Clerk
Broward CountyBroward County Court Clerk
Palm Beach CountyPalm Beach County Court Clerk
Hillsborough CountyHillsborough County Court Clerk
Orange CountyOrange County Court Clerk
Duval CountyDuval County Court Clerk

Find Old Georgia Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records GeorgiaCounty Court Clerk
Fulton CountyFulton County Court Clerk 
Gwinnett CountyGwinnett County Court Clerk 
Cobb CountyCobb County Court Clerk 
DeKalb CountyDeKalb County Court Clerk 
Clayton CountyClayton County Court Clerk 
Chatham CountyChatham County Court Clerk 

Find Old Hawaii Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records HawaiiCounty Court Clerk
Hawaii CountyHawaii County Court Clerk 
Honolulu CountyHonolulu County Court Clerk 
Kauai CountyKauai County Court Clerk
Maui CountyMaui County Court Clerk 

Find Old Idaho Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records IdahoCounty Court Clerk
Ada CountyAda County Court Clerk 
Canyon CountyCanyon County Court Clerk 
Kootenai CountyKootenai County Court Clerk 
Bonneville CountyBonneville County Court Clerk 
Twin Falls CountyTwin Falls County Court Clerk 

Find Old Illinois Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records IllinoisCounty Court Clerk
Cook CountyCook County Court Clerk
DuPage CountyDuPage County Court Clerk
Lake CountyLake County Court Clerk
Will CountyWill County  Court Clerk
Kane CountyKane County Court Clerk
McHenry CountyMcHenry County Court Clerk

Find Old Indiana Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records IndianaCounty Court Clerk
Marion CountyMarion County Court Clerk
Lake CountyLake County Court Clerk
Allen CountyAllen County Court Clerk
Hamilton CountyHamilton County Court Clerk
St.Joseph CountySt.Joseph County Court Clerk

Find Old Iowa Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records IowaCounty Court Clerk
Polk CountyPolk County Court Clerk 
Linn CountyLinn County Court Clerk 
Scott CountyScott County Court Clerk 
Johnson CountyJohnson County Court Clerk 
Black Hawk CountyBlack Hawk County Court Clerk 
Woodbury CountyWoodbury County Court Clerk 

Find Old Kansas Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records KansasCounty Court Clerk
Johnson CountyJohnson County Court Clerk 
Sedgwick CountySedgwick County Court Clerk 
Shawnee CountyShawnee County Court Clerk
Wyandotte CountyWyandotte County Court Clerk 
Douglas CountyDouglas County Court Clerk 

Find Old Kentucky Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records KentuckyCounty Court Clerk
Boone CountyBoone County Court Clerk
Fayette CountyFayette County Court Clerk
Jefferson CountyJefferson County Court Clerk
Kenton CountyKenton County Court Clerk
Warren CountyWarren County Court Clerk

Find Old Louisiana Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records LouisianaCounty Court Clerk
Eastern Baton RougeEastern Baton Rouge Court Clerk 
JeffersonJefferson Court Clerk 
OrleansOrleans Court Clerk 
St.TammanySt. Tammany Court Clerk 
LafayetteLafayette Court Clerk
CaddoCaddo Court Clerk 

Find Old Maine Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MaineCounty Court Clerk
Cumberland CountyCumberland County Court Clerk
York CountyYork County Court Clerk
PenobscotPenobscot Court Clerk
KennebecKennebec Court Clerk
Androscoggin CountyAndroscoggin County Court Clerk

Find Old Maryland Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MarylandCounty Court Clerk
Montgomery CountyMontgomery County Court Clerk 
Prince George’s CountyPrince George’s County  Court Clerk 
Baltimore CountyBaltimore County Court Clerk 
Anne Arundel CountyAnne Arundel County Court Clerk 
Baltimore CityBaltimore City Court Clerk 
Howard CountyHoward County Court Clerk 

Find Old Massachusetts Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MassachusettsCounty Court Clerk
Middlesex CountyMiddlesex County Court Clerk 
Worcester CountyWorcester County Court Clerk 
Essex CountyEssex County Court Clerk 
Suffolk CountySuffolk County Court Clerk 
Norfolk CountyNorfolk County Court Clerk 
Bristol CountyBristol County Court Clerk 

Find Old Michigan Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MichiganCounty Court Clerk
Wayne CountyWayne County Court Clerk 
Oakland CountyOakland County Court Clerk 
Macomb CountyMacomb County Court Clerk 
Kent CountyKent County Court Clerk 
Genesee CountyGenesee County Court Clerk
Washtenaw CountyWashtenaw County Court Clerk 

Find Old Minnesota Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MinnesotaCounty Court Clerk
Hennepin CountyHennepin County Court Clerk
Ramsey CountyRamsey County Court Clerk
Dakota CountyDakota County Court Clerk
Anoka CountyAnoka County Court Clerk
Washington CountyWashington County Court Clerk
Saint Louis CountySaint Louis County Court Clerk

Find Old Mississippi Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MississippiCounty Court Clerk
Hinds CountyHinds County Court Clerk
Harrison CountyHarrison County  Court Clerk
DeSoto CountyDeSoto County Court Clerk
Rankin CountyRankin County Court Clerk
Jackson CountyJackson County Court Clerk

Find Old Missouri Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MissouriCounty Court Clerk
Saint Louis CountySaint Louis County Court Clerk
Jackson CountyJackson County Court Clerk
Saint Charles CountySaint Charles County Court Clerk
Saint Louis CitySaint Louis City Court Clerk
Greene CountyGreene County Court Clerk

Find Old Montana Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records MontanaCounty Court Clerk
Yellowstone CountyYellowstone County Court Clerk 
Gallatin CountyGallatin County Court Clerk
Missoula CountyMissoula County Court Clerk
Flathead CountyFlathead County Court Clerk
Cascade CountyCascade County Court Clerk

Find Old Nebraska Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records NebraskaCounty Court Clerk
Douglas CountyDouglas County Court Clerk
Lancaster CountyLancaster County Court Clerk
Sarpy CountySarpy County Court Clerk
Hall CountyHall County Court Clerk
Buffalo CountyBuffalo County Court Clerk

Find Old Nevada Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records NevadaCounty Court Clerk
Clark CountyClark County Court Clerk 
Washoe CountyWashoe County Court Clerk 
Lyon CountyLyon County Court Clerk 
Carson CityCarson City  Court Clerk
Elko CountyElko County Court Clerk 

Find Old New Hampshire Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records New HampshireCounty Court Clerk
Hillsborough CountyHillsborough County Court Clerk
Rockingham CountyRockingham County Court Clerk
Merrimack CountyMerrimack County Court Clerk
Strafford CountyStrafford County Court Clerk
Grafton CountyGrafton County Court Clerk

Find Old New Jersey Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records New JerseyCounty Court Clerk
Bergen CountyBergen County Court Clerk 
Essex CountyEssex County Court Clerk 
Middlesex CountyMiddlesex County Court Clerk
Hudson CountyHudson County Court Clerk
Monmouth CountyMonmouth County Court Clerk 
Ocean CountyOcean County Court Clerk 
Union CountyUnion County Court Clerk 

Find Old New Mexico Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records New MexicoCounty Court Clerk
Bernalillo CountyBernalillo County Court Clerk
Dona Ana CountyDona Ana County Court Clerk
Santa Fe CountySanta Fe County Court Clerk
Sandoval CountySandoval County Court Clerk
San Juan CountySan Juan County Court Clerk

Find Old New York Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records New YorkCounty Court Clerk
Kings CountyKings County Court Clerk
Queens CountyQueens County Court Clerk
New York CountyNew York County Court Clerk
Suffolk CountySuffolk County Court Clerk
Bronx CountyBronx County Court Clerk
Nassau CountyNassau County Court Clerk

Find Old North Carolina Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records North CarolinaCounty Court Clerk
Wake CountyWake County Court Clerk 
Mecklenburg CountyMecklenburg County Court Clerk 
Guilford CountyGuilford County Court Clerk 
Forsyth CountyForsyth County Court Clerk 
Cumberland CountyCumberland County Court Clerk 

Find Old North Dakota Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records North DakotaCounty Court Clerk
Cass CountyCass County Court Clerk 
Burleigh CountyBurleigh County Court Clerk
Grand Forks CountyGrand Forks County Court Clerk
Ward CountyWard County Court Clerk
Williams CountyWilliams County Court Clerk

Find Old Ohio Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records OhioCounty Court Clerk
Franklin CountyFranklin County Court Clerk
Cuyahoga CountyCuyahoga County Court Clerk
Hamilton CountyHamilton County Court Clerk
Summit CountySummit County Court Clerk
Montgomery CountyMontgomery County Court Clerk

Find Old Oklahoma Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records OklahomaCounty Court Clerk
Oklahoma CountyOklahoma County Court Clerk 
Tulsa CountyTulsa County Court Clerk 
Cleveland CountyCleveland County Court Clerk 
Canadian CountyCanadian County Court Clerk 
Comanche CountyComanche County Court Clerk 

Find Old Oregon Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records OregonCounty Court Clerk
Multnomah CountyMultnomah County Court Clerk 
Washington CountyWashington County Court Clerk
Clackamas CountyClackamas County Court Clerk
Lane CountyLane County Court Clerk
Marion CountyMarion County Court Clerk

Find Old Pennsylvania Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records PennsylvaniaCounty Court Clerk
Philadelphia CountyPhiladelphia County Court Clerk
Allegheny CountyAllegheny County Court Clerk
Montgomery CountyMontgomery County Court Clerk
Bucks CountyBucks County Court Clerk
Delaware CountyDelaware County Court Clerk

Find Old Rhode Island Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records Rhode IslandCounty Court Clerk
Providence CountyProvidence County Court Clerk
Kent CountyKent County Court Clerk
Washington CountyWashington County Court Clerk
Newport CountyNewport County Court Clerk
Bristol CountyBristol County Court Clerk

Find Old South Carolina Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records South CarolinaCounty Court Clerk
Greenville CountyGreenville County Court Clerk 
Richland CountyRichland  County Court Clerk 
Charleston CountyCharleston County Court Clerk 
Horry CountyHorry County Court Clerk
Spartanburg CountySpartanburg County Court Clerk 

Find Old South Dakota Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records South Dakota County Court Clerk
Minnehaha CountyMinnehaha County Court Clerk 
Pennington CountyPennington  County Court Clerk 
Lincoln CountyLincoln County Court Clerk 
Brown CountyBrown County Court Clerk 
Brookings CountyBrookings County Court Clerk 

Find Old Tennessee Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records TennesseeCounty Court Clerk
Shelby CountyShelby County Court Clerk
Davidson CountyDavidson County Court Clerk
Knox CountyKnox County Court Clerk
Hamilton CountyHamilton County Court Clerk
Rutherford CountyRutherford County Court Clerk

Find Old Texas Arrest Records

Find Old Texas Arrest Records
County Court Clerk
Harris CountyHarris County Court Clerk
Dallas CountyDallas County Court Clerk
Tarrant CountyTarrant County Court Clerk
Bexar CountyBexar County Court Clerk
Travis CountyTravis County Court Clerk

Find Old Utah Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records UtahCounty Court Clerk
Salt Lake CountySalt Lake County Court Clerk 
Utah CountyUtah County Court Clerk 
Davis CountyDavis County Court Clerk
Weber CountyWeber County Court Clerk 
Washington CountyWashington County Court Clerk

Find Old Vermont Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records VermontCounty Court Clerk
Chittenden CountyChittenden County Court Clerk 
Rutland CountyRutland County Court Clerk 
Washington CountyWashington County Court Clerk 
Windsor CountyWindsor County Court Clerk 
Franklin CountyFranklin County Court Clerk 

Find Old Virginia Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records VirginiaCounty Court Clerk
Fairfax CountyFairfax County Court Clerk 
Prince William CountyPrince William County Court Clerk 
Loudoun CountyLoudoun County Court Clerk 
Chesterfield CountyChesterfield County Court Clerk 
Henrico CountyHenrico County Court Clerk 

Find Old Washington Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records WashingtonCounty Court Clerk
King CountyKing County Court Clerk
Pierce CountyPierce County Court Clerk
Snohomish CountySnohomish County Court Clerk
Spokane CountySpokane County Court Clerk
Clark CountyClark County Court Clerk

Find Old West Virginia Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records West Virginia County Court Clerk
Kanawha CountyKanawha County Court Clerk
Berkeley CountyBerkeley County Court Clerk
Monongalia CountyMonongalia County Court Clerk
Cabell CountyCabell County Court Clerk
Wood CountyWood County Court Clerk

Find Old Wisconsin Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records WisconsinCounty Court Clerk
Milwaukee CountyMilwaukee County Court Clerk 
Dane CountyDane County Court Clerk 
Waukesha CountyWaukesha County Court Clerk 
Brown CountyBrown County Court Clerk 
Racine CountyRacine County Court Clerk 

Find Old Wyoming Arrest Records

Old Arrest Records WyomingCounty Court Clerk
Laramie CountyLaramie County Court Clerk
Natrona CountyNatrona County Court Clerk
Campbell CountyCampbell County Court Clerk
Sweetwater CountySweetwater County Court Clerk
Fremont CountyFremont County Court Clerk

Search Old Federal Arrest Records (Using Archived Criminal Justice Information)

When deciding how to find old arrest records, if the records are too old, a different approach may be necessary. In some cases, records can not be accessed by local court clerks because the records are more than 15 years old. When this occurs it will be necessary to use the national archives to search for records. In other words, how to find out if someone is a felon (and has a federal arrest record) is different than searching local and state databases.

Note: searching for warrants requires a different method also known as a federal warrant search.

The quickest way to search through records in the national archives is using the website’s catalog search. Simply enter in keywords such as a name or district court to find records on arrests and other court documents.

Screenshot how to search the national archives for old arrest records.

The National Archive can be used to search for specific old arrest records.

For individuals that still can not locate the documents they are looking for, it may be worthwhile to reference the table provided by the national archives that shows which archives office to contact about certain records, based on location. Simply reach out to the office via email to assist with record finding.

There are many options to find various public records from anywhere with an internet connection, including ways to learn why someone was arrested. Although some methods may be quicker or cheaper than others, there are plenty of options to fit an individual’s specific needs when it comes to how to find old arrest records.

Are arrest records public?

Yes, virtually all arrest records are public information. Generally, they are held by the court clerk or county clerk. However, the arresting agency will also likely have records about the arrest that can be requested.

How long do they keep arrest records?

Local courts keep arrest records for 15 years. After 15 years the records are transferred to the National Archives.

How do I look up arrest records?

Using an online background check agency is the quickest way to find arrest records. There is also the option to contact the county clerk or court clerk to request arrest records.

Can I Look Up Old Juvenile Court Records?

Generally, Juvenile records are sealed so they can not be accessed the same way adult arrest records are.