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New York Arrest Records: How to Find a New York Arrest Record

New York Arrest Records: How to Find a New York Arrest Record
September 18, 2022

If you have been arrested for a crime in New York, be assured there is a record for it. 


Public records, which include arrest records, were first created in New York as far back as 1850. These records contain information collected from the 62 counties of New York State.


Every citizen of the state of New York has the right to request, study and utilize public records such as arrest records. 

This right is protected under New York's Freedom of Information Law, which provides that records generated by government agencies, such as law enforcement agencies, are considered public records unless otherwise stated. 

handcuffs lying on an illustration of the New York flag

What is Contained in a New York Arrest Record

The following details are contained in a New York arrest record:

* The name and address of the arrested individual 
* Time and date of arrest
* New York arrest disposition 
* New York arrest charges

New York laws do not mandate New York arrest records to include the criminal history of the arrested individual. 

However, it might contain such details if included by the sheriff or police department that released the records. 

Where to Find New York Arrest Records 

Finding details about an arrest record in New York only takes a few minutes. Below are the places where New York arrest records are kept:

The New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)

Arrest records, also known as RAP (reports on arrest and prosecution) sheets, can be obtained from the NY Department of Criminal Justice Services. 

This is the primary body responsible for maintaining the official arrest and conviction records in New York. 

a man being fingerprinted

However, arrest records cannot be obtained from the DCJS without fingerprints. 


The fingerprint is used to retrieve arrest records by matching them against the prints in the DCJS database. 


Afterward, you will receive a copy of your New York State criminal history record or a "no record" response. 


The "no record" feedback means you have no criminal record with the New York DCJS. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The FBI maintains a record of individuals' criminal history, including arrest records. 


These records are collected from every state and Federal Court within the United States. Similarly, the records cannot be obtained without the fingerprints of the person. 

a man wearing FBI uniform using a laptop

Credit Report Agencies

Another agency that hosts arrest records is the credit report agency. 


These bodies purchase information regarding criminal court cases and sell it to background check sites. These records also include arrest records and they can be accessed in New York. 


Another place where you can find arrest records in New York is the court. 


The court system maintains an informal record of criminal convictions. 


However, expunged marijuana records and sealed records are not contained under such court records. 

Credit reporting agencies and employers can't access sealed records; only official personnel and the owner of the criminal record can view sealed records. 

a gavel next to handcuffs lying on a piece of paper

Finding Arrest Records Through the New York State Office of Court Administration

The Office of Court Administration (OCA) of New York offers criminal records online and by mail. 


Records provided by the OCA are public information connected to pending and open criminal cases in all 62 New York Counties courts. 

To find arrest records online, visit the OCA website and create an account. You will be required to provide details such as the name, address, and contact information of the person or entity filling out the form. 


Other relevant information you need to input includes the exact name and date of birth of the person you are searching for. Incomplete or ambiguous details will be rejected. 

When searching for an arrest via mail on the OCA site, individuals are required to include self-address envelopes to receive the results and a postage-paid. 


The application is expected to be mailed to Criminal History Record Search, New York State Office of Court Administration, Office of Administrative Services, Criminal History Record Search, 25 Beaver Street (Room 840 - Front Desk), New York, NY 10004. 

Mail requests are usually processed within 24 hours. Each criminal history record search goes for $95, and you can make payments using a check or money order, credit or debit. Cash is not accepted. 

a police arrest warrant with a pen and a notepad on it

Finding arrest records in the New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) database has certain restrictions. They include:

* Cases with charges that don't require fingerprints are not provided under this search
* It does not include family, civil or federal court details
Removed or transferred family court criminal cases are not reported
* Pending youth criminal cases are not included
* Records are subject to nondisclosure requirements of case disposition in line with the OCA's policies. 

This means that arrest records affected by any of these limitations would not be shown on the site. 


Records of Arrest and Prosecution contain vital information about a person's criminal history. 


Finding arrest records in New York is a seamless exercise that does not require stress. 


Follow the above guidelines when next you wish to look for your New York arrest records!  

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