What is an arrest record?
In the state of Indiana, criminal history data or arrest records are defined as the information collected by criminal justice entities and maintained and stored by the United States Department of Justice in their information system.
Arrest records in Indiana refer to a range of details; everything from photographs, finger prints and identifiable description of the criminal to indictments, charges filed, nature of crime, disposition in the matter and the data ion the correctional facilities where the criminal is incarcerated are all included in criminal history information.
Limited criminal history records are freely offered to the public by the Indiana State Police; however, such searches are restricted to felonies and Class A misdemeanors. Arrests records are not only maintained by the State Police Department but also the offices of the county Sherriff’s Department.
What is an arrest warrant?
In the State of Indiana, an arrest warrant is defined as a written directive from a federal or state criminal court to the police that orders the law enforcement agency to apprehend the individual against whom the warrant has been issued and present him/her before the court.
Certain perquisites have to be fulfilled for a warrant to be deemed legal; these include:
- A warrant cannot be verbal, it has to be a signed copy of an arrest order issued by the sitting magistrate of a judicial entity authorized to depose in criminal matters.
- The document should specify the name of the person to be arrested along with a description that will help police to identify him/her with reasonable certainty, like the age and gender of the suspect.
- The warrant should clearly set forth the nature of the crime for which the arrest order is being issued.
- Apart from, this the date of issue and the name of the county in which the order was issued should also be mentioned
- The arrest order should be signed by the sitting magistrate or by another officer authorized with the title of his office.
- The warrant should be a clear directive which mentions that the person against whom the indictment has been filed be arrested and brought before the court.
Arrest warrants are directed to the Sherriff’s Department of the county in which they are issued and often, a bail amount may be specified. Once issued, this arrest order is legally termed as an active arrest warrant and it can be used to take the person against whom it has been issued into custody. The issuance of an arrest order confers a legal authority on all law enforcement officials to apprehend the person in question on any day, at any time and from any place.
In fact, a peace officer has the right to use any means of force necessary to enter a premises that the suspect is believed to be in; this includes third party buildings and the suspects own home or office. Law enforcement officials can break one doors and windows to gain entry into the property; in case of damage, the owner of the property can approach the appropriate department with his/her claims.
Once the accused is taken into custody; he/she is to be delivered to the sheriff’s office of the county in which the warrant was issued. Upon arrest, it is also a legal mandate to present the suspect in court at the earliest for a bail hearing. Warrants that cannot be served are stored in an FBI hosted central database as well as well as retained by the Sheriff’s Department as outstanding arrest warrants.
How to search for an inmate in the Indiana Jail & Prison system?
For an inmate search, you will have to visit the website of the Indiana Department of Corrections at http://www.in.gov/apps/indcorrection/ofs/ofs for all prisoners that are incarcerated in correctional facilities in the state of Indiana as well as criminals who are serving time as a result of a conviction in Indiana. If the criminal is in prison for a federal violation, you will have better hopes of finding him/her through the website of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
To get inmate information, start by typing the name of the inmate in the appropriate field on the page of the site mentioned above. The results will include the name of the inmate, his/her race, gender and date of birth along with the DOC number and the name of the facility where he/she is incarcerated. You will also receive details on sentencing and release dates.
Who can search for arrest records and warrants in Indiana and how?
According to Sec.27 of Indiana Criminal History Dissemination Law, limited arrest records can be offered to any member of the public and also private organizations; however this information is only released on request if the subject of such an inquiry has applied for a job with a private/non legal government organization, school, or any other place where he/she will be entrusted with the care of children and seniors. Inquiries for limited history check will also be entertained against individuals who have a known sex offender record or if he/she has been convicted in a sexual assault case against a minor.
In essence, everybody from a home owner who intends to take on a renter to a private organization who wants a hire a person is allowed to conduct a criminal screening. In fact, even if you suspect a new neighbor of having a criminal record, you can request information on him/her.
People can request arrest records from the Sherriff’s Office of their county or The Indiana State Police. However, a recent amendment to the Indiana Code Title 35 which deals with criminal procedures and law in the state allows individuals to petition the court to place a restriction on access to certain arrest records. Under this amendment, a new section has been added to the Chapter for Expungement of Arrest Records.
This section, which handles restrictions on dissemination of conviction records, allows a person who was charged but not convicted of the crime or was involved in a case where the conviction was vacated can apply to the court to restrict access to these records. It is also possible for an individual to submit a similar petition if 8 years have elapsed since the sentence was served. However, this recourse is only available for people who were convicted of Class D non violent felonies and misdemeanors.
How to request records under the Indiana specific laws, freedom of information?
For reviewing the limited criminal history of an individual, you should visit the official website of Indiana State Police http://www.in.gov/ai/sub/. Stored here are records that date back to 1930. However, you will have to pay a processing fee of $16 to access this information unless you are seeking it on behalf of a non-profit or have exempt status.
You will need to pay the processing charges or enter your waiver before you are directed to a form. Provide all relevant information including the first, middle and last name of the person. The result will include listings of all misdemeanor and felony charges against the individual.
Often name searches yield inconclusive results; however, all online inquiries are deemed completed and are subject to the processing fee even when detailed records are not found. For offline searches try, http://www.in.gov/ai/appfiles/isp-lch/LCH_4-12_Approved_Form.pdf. You can download the limited criminal history form from this page and mail it to the Indiana State Police.
How long does an arrest record/warrant stay on my file in Indiana?
In the state of Indiana, an arrest warrant issued in misdemeanor cases expires after 180 days; however, the prosecuting attorney can apply for re-issuance. On the other hand, arrest orders granted in felonies stay in effect till an arrest is made.