To check the police department's arrest records online, visit a particular city's official website and navigate to the police department's page. Unless there are specific exemptions, most states comply with the open records laws, allowing the public to access information about criminal convictions and daily arrests.
The police department in certain cities, such as Oklahoma and Portsmouth, allows online users to view daily arrest records without any charges. Oklahoma City has open records for daily jail blotters as well as a log of missing persons. Portsmouth, on the other hand, requires users to provide the block, street and census tract of an incident to start a relative search. The search brings back information from the day of the search to 365 days prior.
Some cities, such as Washington, D.C., only provide copies of incidents, accidents and offense reports upon request. In Washington, D.C., the complainants, their spouses, and parents or guardians do not have to pay a fee to request copies of incident/offense reports or PD-251, but have to pay $3 for other requested reports, as of 2015.
For an easier search, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press features a guide in understanding and accessing police records in all states. The guide provides information about each state's open records laws.