How Can You View Arrest Records for Free?

Basic information about arrest records and convictions is often available for public viewing in the county sheriff's or city police department's website. In most cases, the individual searching for the records has to provide details about the arrested person, such as full name, booking number and other identifications.

In most counties and cities, the sheriff's office allows the public to access police blotters and arrest warrants during a specified period. For example, the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Ford Myers, Florida provides a list of active warrants on its website. Oklahoma City and Washington County provide daily logs of people booked into the city's county jail. Updated daily, the logs are available in PDF format and contain information such as name, address, race, sex and the charges against the arrested individual. Some counties and cities have inmate search tools that give access to users to view the details of the arrest.

Thanks to the open records act of each state's constitution, the public can access arrest records, warrants and other information within the criminal judicial system. Some information, however, may be more difficult to obtain due to the sensitivity of the case or a determination by authorities that the records are private and not for public viewing. Open records laws vary from state to state.