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Lake County Arrest Records

Lake County arrest records are official documents generated following an individual's apprehension and detention. Arresting agencies are responsible for generating and maintaining these records. However, they may also be featured within Lake County court records since arrests typically precede judicial proceedings.

In Lake County, Indiana, arrest records are made available to interested and eligible members of the public. The purpose of making these documents public is to inform interested parties that the subject of the record has been placed under arrest. Arrest records are generated during the booking process. This process involves taking the personal information about the suspect and the data about the circumstances of an arrest and putting it into a file.

Are Arrest Records Public in Lake County?

Yes, arrest records in Lake County are public per Indiana's Access to Public Records Act (APRA), Indiana Code 5-14-3. This law states that anyone has the right to obtain information about government records, and government officials must provide these records upon request.

However, specific categories of arrest records are exempt from public disclosure, including:

  • Certain information in juvenile arrest records, such as the victim's name and the nature of the crime
  • Criminal investigatory records that are part of an ongoing investigation.
  • Confidential financial information is included in an arrest report.

Exempt records are typically accessible only to specific individuals, such as the subjects of the records, their legal representatives, or authorized persons or agencies with a court order.

Yes, arrest records are public as per Public records act (APRA), Indiana Code 5-14-3. It establishes that anybody has the right to obtain information about government records and that government officials must provide these records to interested persons upon request. In this instance, the government workers are law enforcement officers who maintain and create arrest records in Indiana. The following categories of arrest records are exempt from public disclosure

  • Certain information in Juvenile arrest records including the name of the victim, nature of the crime
  • Criminal investigatory records: arrest records that are part of a criminal investigatory process
  • Confidential financial information that is part of an arrest report

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Public arrest records in Lake County typically contain the following information:

  • Name of the arrestee
  • Physical description (height, weight, age, sex, race, tattoos, scars)
  • Previous arrests and charges (if any)
  • Time of arrest
  • Cause of arrest
  • Location of arrest
  • Warrants for the arrest
  • List of charges
  • Bail amount
  • Arresting agency
  • Arresting officer

Lake County Crime Rate

According to the 2022 data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting System, the Lake County Sheriff's Department made 18,028 arrests for drug-related crimes, accounting for over 32% of all arrests. Drug-related crimes were the most common in the county. Additionally, 12,980 arrests were made for driving under the influence, making up 23% of all arrests. Simple assaults resulted in approximately 14,236 arrests.

Sexually motivated offenses, such as rape and prostitution, accounted for less than 3% of all arrests, with only five arrests for gambling.

Find Lake County Arrest Records

To find Lake County arrest records, inquirers may query law enforcement offices. The Lake County Sheriff's Department maintains arrest records in both manual and computerized formats. Requesters may visit the department to request public records or contact the records unit by mail.

Each city in Lake County also provides access to arrest records for arrests made within their jurisdiction. For example, the town of Crown Point allows requests for arrest records through the county police department.

To search for specific arrest records, the requester will typically need to provide the following information:

  • Name of the person arrested
  • Date and time of the arrest
  • Charges on the arrest warrant
  • Name of the arresting officer
  • Valid government ID and personal information of the requester

The Indiana State Police maintains a central repository of criminal records. Interested members of the public may obtain records by performing a limited history criminal search using the arrested person's name. Users must first register on the website to perform a search. Note that this database includes records only for minor misdemeanors and Class A felonies.

Additionally, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provides arrest records as part of a person's criminal history record, also known as a rap sheet. These records are available only to the subjects of the record. To request these records, you must submit identification documentation and pay an $18 processing fee with a credit card, money order, or cashier's check payable to the U.S. Treasury.

Free Arrest Record Search in Lake County

Police agencies in Lake County enable free arrest records search as part of a public records request. While searching for the records is free, departments may charge minor fees for copies of the arrest records.

Several third-party websites offer free searches for arrest records. Some websites charge a nominal one-time fee to search for arrests, while others offer arrest search capabilities as part of a criminal record check package that includes an individual's entire criminal history. The charge for this service can vary from $10 to $50, depending on the volume and quality of the information provided.

Reports on arrest records may also provide information on traffic infractions and arrests. In addition to searching county, state, and federal data systems, these third-party websites include keyword searches for the names of the individuals included in the record, the date of the arrest, and other details that can help focus the search for better results.

Lake County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

An arrest record is a document that includes details regarding an arrest. An individual is placed under arrest when they are taken into police custody for a criminal offense. An investigation may be conducted before or after the alleged offense. An arrest record includes information about the date, time, charges, and disposition of the arrest, but it does not necessarily indicate a criminal conviction.

On the other hand, a criminal record contains a person's entire history of criminal allegations and convictions. It includes details about arrests, accusations, warrants, altercations in police reports, moving infractions, and other interactions with law enforcement. Every time an individual is found guilty of a crime, the court enters the conviction into their file, which also contains a record of all previous convictions.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In Lake County, arrests for serious criminal offenses remain indefinitely on a person's record. However, Indiana law permits the automatic expungement of certain arrest records and criminal charges. According to the latest amendment to the Indiana expungement statute, "all records related to the criminal charges" will be automatically expunged 60 days after dismissal or acquittal. The legislation also states that criminal charges or arrests that do not result in a conviction and are later dropped or adjudicated can be automatically expunged within the same 60-day timeframe.

Expunge Lake County Arrest Records

Expungement is the process of removing arrest information and other criminal records from the state's criminal databases. In Indiana, expunging arrest records is irreversible because the data is entirely removed from all databases. In contrast, sealing records keep them out of public access, with only law enforcement officers able to access them with a court order. Legally, a person whose records have been expunged must be treated as though they have no arrests or convictions.

A person can file for expungement of all files related to their arrest and court trial, including:

  • Law enforcement records
  • Court records
  • Files from the department of correction

Indiana allows a wide range of arrests and criminal records to be expunged. According to IC 35-38-9-1 of the Indiana General Assembly, an individual is eligible for expungement in the following categories of arrests.

  • Juvenile arrest and charges not leading to conviction: If a juvenile arrest does not result in a conviction, individuals can apply for expungement one year after the arrest.
  • Misdemeanor arrest and convictions: First-time offenders arrested for minor misdemeanors can apply for expungement of their records at least five years after conviction, provided the charges do not involve using a deadly weapon.
  • Misdemeanor arrests for certain minor Class D felonies (e.g., petty theft): These can be expunged at least eight years after conviction.
  • Certain serious felony arrests and convictions: These may be expunged with the prosecutor's consent.

To expunge arrest records in Lake County, individuals must file a petition at the Lake County Circuit or Superior Court with the aid of legal counsel. The petition must include

  • The petitioner's date of birth, Social Security number, and other personal information
  • The date of the arrest, the criminal charges, and the conviction (if applicable);
  • A list of all criminal charges and their outcome, if known.
  • the law enforcement organization that employed the arresting officer, if it is known;
  • any other information that can be used to identify the petitioner, such as the alias or other names they may have used;

After filing the petition, the court will either grant the expungement if all statutory requirements are met or reject the motion if they are not. If approved, the local court sends the verified petition and the order to the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the Indiana State Police Expungement Section for processing. These offices will review and adhere to the expungement order upon receipt.

Lake County Arrest Warrants

A Lake County arrest warrant is a detailed court order, usually issued by a magistrate or judge, that authorizes law enforcement officials to detain and arrest an individual suspected of committing a crime.

Arrest warrants in Indiana are issued only when the requesting law enforcement officer demonstrates probable cause and provides sufficient evidence to support the issuance. The warrant grants the officer the authority to apprehend the suspect using reasonable force if necessary.

A Lake County arrest warrant must contain the following information:

  • The name of the person to be arrested or, if the identity is unknown, a description or alias.
  • The offense for which the warrant is being issued.
  • The county and date of issuance.
  • The signature of the court's clerk or judge, along with their official title;
  • An order for the arrest and prompt appearance before the issuing court.
  • The bail amount, if any.

Lake County Arrest Warrant Search

The Lake County Sheriff Department's Warrant Division maintains an active file on all outstanding warrants, including misdemeanor and felony warrants, on its web portal. Interested parties can conduct an active warrant search on the Lake County Sheriff's Department Warrant Division webpage. Individuals can use the first, last, or both names to perform a search. The user-friendly search tool provides a simple interface for locating warrant information. Alternatively, you can contact the warrants section directly at (219) 755-3057. When calling, be prepared to provide the individual's full name to facilitate the search.

Do Lake County Arrest Warrants Expire?

In Lake County, misdemeanor arrest warrants have a 180-day expiration date from the date they are issued. Arrest warrants for felonies and rearrest warrants for any other offense do not expire. When a misdemeanor warrant expires, the sheriff or officer must return it to the court clerk of the issuing court, along with a note indicating that it has expired. The clerk will notify the county prosecutor of the warrant's expiration, and this information will be recorded.

If the charges that led to the issuance of the arrest warrant are dropped, the warrant becomes void. However, if the charges are still valid, the county prosecutor can request the re-issuance of the warrant. This involves submitting a formal request to the court to issue a new warrant based on the original charges.

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