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Guide To Finding Mugshots In California

Guide To Finding Mugshots In California
Michelle S. July 31, 2022

Mugshots help to identify people suspected to have been involved in unlawful activity. So if you have someone in mind who you suspect to have committed a crime, you can get clarity by searching for information about their run-ins with law enforcement.


And if a mugshot pops up alongside their arrest records, you'd have confirmed for yourself. Here are some channels you can explore in your quest to find the mugshots of anyone in California. 


California Criminal Records


A criminal record is the register of a person's criminal actions and all the relevant information associated with their crime.


In California, these records are obtained from law enforcement agencies at the local and county levels, trial and appeal courts, and government-managed correctional facilities.



You can expect to find the following in a California arrest record:


* The subject's full name and any known aliases

Their date of birth, race/ethnicity, and fingerprint 

Features of any unique physical identifiers

All past and present indictment


How Do I Access Criminal Records In California?  


You can mostly find these records in online archives managed by the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ). However, there are certain caveats in the California public records act that may restrict access to a search to law enforcement agencies, some employers, and the subject themself.


The latter would need to pay a $25 fee and submit their fingerprint images to access their records whenever they go to the CA DOJ to request their criminal record.


You'll have to apply for a fee waiver if you wish to search public criminal records for free. 


California Arrest Records


California arrest records serve to document all the information related to people taken into custody as a result of their alleged involvement in a crime.


The information in these records is compiled from law enforcement officers such as the police and the sheriff's department.


In these records, you should find things like the arrested person's personal information, the date and place of the arrest, and the name of the arresting officer, among others. 




How Do I Access California Arrest Records? 


If you know the place where the arrest took place, the police department or the local sheriff's office in the same place should be first on your list of places to stop by.


There, you may be asked to provide information such as the full name, birth date, or case/booking number of the arrested person so they may be easily identified.


And on your part, you'll be required to provide your full name, contact details, mailing address, a valid photo ID, and a copy fee to be said in check, cash, or money order.


Alternatively, you can approach the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) for a more comprehensive view of your subject's arrest record. 


Inmate And Jail Records


California inmate and jail records are documents that record information about people with a history of incarceration in any of the jails and detention facilities in California.


The California Department of Criminal Records (CDCR) is responsible for managing these records. And if you get access to these records, to can find information such as the following:


The inmate's full name and aliases, if any

Their personal information—birthdate, sex, etc. 

Their mugshot

Any applicable bail/bond conditions

Any related previous convictions and time served

Dates of incarceration or potential release




How Do I Obtain Inmate/Jail Records In California?


You may start by checking out the Public Inmate Locator System maintained by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to find an inmate in the California prison system.


However, you must have the inmate's last name or CDCR number to get information related to their current location, parole information, admission date, and other personal information.


And if the search returns blanks, you may contact the CDCR's identification unit. For a more precise search, you may explore inmate lookup tools available on the websites of the county sheriff or police department with interest in the subject.


There, you may find information about your subject's arrest, housing location, mugshots, booking, and bail, among other things. 


Third-party Websites


Third-party websites provide perhaps the easiest way to find the mugshots of anyone. They are managed by private persons, and their possession of vast reserves of public records puts them in a position to bring your quest to a successful end. 




How Do I Obtain Mugshots From Third-party Websites?


Interested persons may visit the homepage of any mugshot finding site or a prison handbook site and perform a quick search using the names and states of their person of interest.


You can also visit background check websites and fill in the same details about your subject before clicking on the search box.


There, you should find results matching your search terms, and you can whittle down the results to just one by providing additional information about them.


The records should come with a mugshot along with other information about the person.  

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