Indiana Court Records
Indiana Arrest Records
The criminal justice process in Indiana usually begins with an arrest. When a person is suspected of committing a crime, they are arrested by law enforcement immediately or apprehended following the issuance and execution of an arrest warrant. These events are documented within an official report by Indiana Law enforcement agencies and are termed Indiana arrest records.
An Indiana arrest record comprises information about the arrestee and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. It details their name, date of birth, physical descriptors, list of charges, types of crime, location of arrest, case number, and other pertinent details.
Local law enforcement agencies typically maintain arrest records in their custody and jurisdiction. However, the Indiana State Police provides online criminal history services for state-wide arrest records on misdemeanors and felonies that are less than one year old and over one year old with a court disposition.
Are Arrest Records Public in Indiana?
Yes, arrest records are disclosed to the general public in Indiana pursuant to the Public Record Act (APRA). The APRA, also called Open Door Law ("ODL")(Ind. Code 5-14-1.5), was initially enacted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1977. It grants citizens of the commonwealth the right to request access to examine, view, or make copies of all public records, including arrest records.
Some arrest records, however, may be restricted from public disclosure following a court verdict, law enforcement agency rules, federal exemption law, or expungement. These provisions are outlined in Indiana Code §35-38-8-1. In determining whether a particular arrest record is exempt from disclosure under the APRA, Indiana courts interpret these exceptions narrowly.
Exempted arrest records and information include:
- Arrest records of someone who was arrested but never prosecuted in a court of law
- Records of an arrestee whose charges were dropped or dismissed
- Arrest records of someone whose criminal charges were acquitted
- Information contained in an arrest that may jeopardize the safety of a witness or offender
- Arrest records for class A misdemeanors or class D felony convictions where someone was not injured in the process of the offense
- Arrest records of individuals accused of non-sexual or non-violent offenses
- Juvenile arrest records
- An individual's social security number
- Investigatory records of law enforcement agencies, especially for ongoing crime investigations
Aside from these restrictions and exemptions under appropriate state and federal laws, all arrest records created from an arrest over crimes committed under the State Criminal Law and Procedure Act are considered public records. Suppose an arrest record is not exempt from disclosure and is identified with reasonable particularity according to I.C. § 5-14-3-3. In that case, the law enforcement agency cannot deny requesters access to the record.
What is Included in Indiana Arrest Records?
An Indiana arrest record typically contains information about an offender's apprehension by the law enforcement agency and denial of freedom until acquittal and discharge.
Inquirers may find the following information in an Indiana arrest record:
- Offender's identification details (such as their full name, date of birth, social security number, race)
- Offender's physical description: This includes The offender's sex, race, photograph, weight, hair color, and height, including distinctive features such as tattoos
- Arrest data and booking details (including arresting agency, date of arrest, mugshot, fingerprint, court date, bail, date, criminal charges filed, location of area, date and time of booking)
- Final judicial disposition data submitted by a criminal justice agency, police, or court
- Data of the judge who issued a warrant or verdict
- Crime classification, for example, if the offender was arrested for a felony or misdemeanor
- Custodial information, for example, if the offender was detained in a correctional facility.
- Law enforcement interrogation details
Find Public Arrest Records in Indiana
To find a public arrest record in Indiana, inquirers must contact the arresting agency in the jurisdiction where the arrest occurred.
Juvenile arrest records, for example, may be obtained through local police departments. However, these records are usually exempt from public disclosure and Inquirers may be required to complete a fingerprint analysis before their requests are processed.
On the other hand, the arrest records of persons over 18 may be obtained by contacting the Indiana State Police. In this case, the requestor must request a criminal history check as criminal information encompasses arrest history. However, full criminal histories can only be requested by the individual that the history covers.
Summarily, arrests are executed by the arresting officer and agency who receive the arrest warrant from the court and execute it. This may be the Office of the Indiana State Police or County Sheriff's Offices.
Inquirers may access arrest records in person, by mail, by filling out a request form, or online. For in-person queries, the requestor may be required to make an appointment with the custodian agency:
Requesters may mail a request form to:
Indiana State Police
Criminal History Limited Check
P.O. Box 6188
Indianapolis, IN 46206-6188
It is worth noting that certain records categorized by APRA under non-disclosable public records are exempted and redacted from public perusal. Access to these records typically requires the inquirer to provide a subpoena. A subpoena (also known as Subpoena Duces Tecum) is a court order that requires the presence of an entity in court to testify or provide relevant records to a trial under their control. Interested persons may check the requirements for an arrest subpoena through the particular agency maintaining the record. Requests for a subpoena form can be made at local courts in the state or through the local sheriff.
How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Indiana
Inquirers may lookup arrest records online in Indiana through any of the Criminal History Records databases provided by the Indiana State Police or the county sheriff's records division. Felonies and misdemeanor arrest records, for instance, can be obtained through a Limited Criminal History (LCH) search.
The results from all searches carried out on the ISP Limited Criminal History service are acknowledged by the State as official document. Hence, the service dissallows users from saving or sending the results to another entity for reference later. The information provided in the search results is the official record as of the time the search was performed.
Most county sheriff's offices do not have an online database for viewing arrest records. Hence, inquirers may need to visit their office to find these records. Whatever the case, an arrest record search must be performed with the arrestee's full name, birth date, Social Security Number, and place of birth if needed.
Alternatively, inquirers employ the services of third-party aggregate sites to look up Indiana arrest records for a nominal fee. Due to their centralized system, the record retrieval process is expedited.
How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Indiana
In Indiana, arrest records and criminal histories are maintained in a secure state-operated database until the record-holder is 99 years old. However, these records are only removed if the arrestee does not have another criminal act record against them in the preceding 15 years. Thus, the arrestee must have been crime-free from age 84 until 99 or death.
Expunge an Arrest Record in Indiana
Under certain circumstances, arrestees or convicts may request the restriction or expungement of their arrest records. Expunged or restricted arrest records will not be disclosed during a criminal history check by non-criminal justice organizations or individuals.
Per Indiana Code 35-38-5-5.5, arrest record restriction or expungement may be available to an individual who has been:
- Arrested for an offense that was not charged
- Apprehended for a violation that was later dismissed
- Accused of a crime(s) and later acquitted of all criminal charges
- Convicted of a violation, and the conviction was later vacated.
Indiana Code 35-38-8-1 is equally available to a person who:
- Has been convicted of a class A misdemeanor or class D felony (which did not result in injury to another person)
- Files the petition to restrict disclosure at least eight (8) years after the date the person's sentence was completed and all obligations associated with that sentence have been satisfied; and
- Has had no felony offenses charged since the completion of all of the obligations
- associated with the crime(s) for which Petitioner is seeking restricted disclosure; and
- Is not a sex or violent offender
How To Request Restricted Disclosure Of An Indiana Arrest Record:
- Choose the applicable petition and provide all of the information requested
- A separate petition must be completed for each arrest record for which an individual wants disclosure restricted
- After the petition is complete, it must be filed in the court where the case was originally charged
- If there was an arrest but no criminal charge filed, the completed petition should be taken to the County Clerk's Office to be filed
- The person filing the petition to restrict disclosure must also provide the applicable order and six (6) stamped envelopes addressed to the Petitioner and the agencies or organizations that will be receiving the order from the court
A petition for expungement or seal of an arrest record or criminal history can be filed with a local court (pro se) or by private legal counsel.
The petition must contain:
- The date of the arrest
- The county in which the arrest occurred
- The law enforcement agency or arresting officer
- The court where the criminal charge or juvenile delinquency allegation was filed
- Any other known identifying information, such as the name of the arresting officer, case number or court case number, any aliases or other names used by the Petitioner, the Petitioner's driver's license number; and a list of each criminal charge and its disposition, if applicable, the date of the petitioner's birth; and, the Petitioner's Social Security number.
An individual who files a petition must not pay a filing fee. The court shall serve a copy of the petition on the prosecuting attorney.
Once an expungement/seal is granted, the local court must forward the verified petition and order granting the petition to the Indiana State Police Expungement Section for processing. If all required paperwork is not submitted, the processing of an expungement will be delayed.
Members of the public may contact the ISP Expungement Department via email at Expungement@isp.IN.gov or by telephone at 317-234-4427.
Expungement, however, does not mean that one's record or log is completely erased from the criminal history. In selected cases, criminal justice organizations will continue to have access to these records. In some cases, the arrest records may be sealed from the public and subpoenaed by interested and eligible persons.
How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Indiana?
Anyone seeking to find recent arrests in Indiana may query the arresting officer or agency. In Indiana, this is typically the local police department or county sheriff's office of the judicial district where the arrest occurred.
Are Indiana Arrest Records Free?
In Indiana, county sheriff departments maintain and dispense arrest records to citizens for free. However, requesters may be required to pay a nominal fee to make copies of these records. In selected cases, inquirers may obtain a waiver for the prescribed cost provided they satisfy the state's eligibility requirements.