What is an Arrest Record?
The North Carolina code defines criminal history as, “a county, State, or federal conviction of a felony by a court of competent jurisdiction or pending felony indictment of a crime for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, a crime against a child, including child pornography, or for a crime involving violence, ncluding rape, sexual assault, or homicide, other than physical assault or battery; a county, State, or federal conviction of a felony by a court of competent jurisdiction or a pending felony indictment for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense, if the offense was committed within the past five years; or similar crimes under federal law or under the laws of other states.” (info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dss/csm-05/man/FSCW_AL_1007.htm) This is the definition for the purposes of background checks. An arrest record is simply a set of information about any arrests of a person in a specific North Carolina jurisdiction. However, if none of those arrests led to conviction or a pending felony indictment for any of the listed crimes, the arrests will not show up on a North Carolina criminal background check.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
A North Carolina arrest warrant is a legal document, signed by a court magistrate, that directs law enforcement officers to arrest the individual named in the warrant in relation to a specific crime he or she has allegedly committed. Allegedly means that the person may or may not have committed the crime they are accused of. They have to be arrested so that they can stand trial and be convicted or acquitted of the crime. A warrant means that the magistrate believed there was probable cause that the person committed the crime. For this to happen, there has to be a police report, a deposition describing the circumstances of the crime, and an affidavit, which means the deposition was sworn under oath. A specific type of a warrant, a bench warrant, can also be issued when a person misses a court date or is otherwise in contempt of court. It is assumed in this case that the person is avoiding sentencing, so the state must take them into custody to make sure they stand trial.
A warrant is considered active in North Carolina until it is served to the person named in the warrant and the person is arrested. If the person never gets arrested, the warrant will remain active until that person dies. An NC warrant becomes outstanding after some time has passed and the person has not been apprehended by the police. This might happen because the police did not have the time and resources to execute the warrant, or because the person deliberately evaded arrest. There are a number of reasons why a warrant could be outstanding in North Carolina.
How to Search For an Inmate in the North Carolina Prison System
The North Carolina Department of Corrections has created an Offender Search Portal for the convenience of the public. Through this portal, the public can access information about active inmate, offenders on probation or parole, as well as inactive offenders. You can access the offender search portal at this website: webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/opi/offendersearch.do?method=view. You can also view information about absconders, escapes and captures, and inmate releases. There are a variety of parameters available to help you search. You can search by name, sex, race, ethnic group, and age range. You can even check a box for “name sounds like” if you are unsure of the spelling. The search tool will provide information about past and current convictions, the crimes committed, the county of sentencing, and the current location of the inmate.
The inmate search portal will only provide information about individuals who have been incarcerated at the state level. It will not provide information about inmates in NC county jails. To find that information, you must search by county. A statewide database of inmates in county jails is not available in North Carolina. You can start by finding the county sheriff’s website, which may or may not have inmate information on it. Some counties make this information available to the public, and others do not. If you cannot find the information online, you can contact the records department of the county sheriff’s office. They keep track of all of the inmates in their jails and can give you information about specific people you are searching for. If you are a victim of a crime in North Carolina, you can get updates about criminals’ release dates and other information.
Who Can Search For Arrest Records and Warrants in North Carolina?
Anyone can request information about arrest records in North Carolina. After a person has been convicted, much of the information becomes public. However, the public is not entitled to information that is confidential, between a lawyer and a client. It is especially easy to search for information about individuals who have served time in state prisons. A great deal of information related to their conviction and sentencing is available online. Warrants become a matter of public record after they have been served, although some law enforcement agencies give the public access to warrant information upon request.
How to Request Records Under the North Carolina Public Records Act
The North Carolina Public Records Law does not provide specific procedures for requesting records under the law. However, public employees are not obligated to give out information verbally, so it is best not to rely on verbal requests for information either. It’s a good idea to write down which records you would like to view. North Carolina is one of the 17 states that does not provide a timeline for when the government agencies must make the records available; the law says they must show the requested records to the public in a reasonable amount of time. In light of this detail, it is a good idea to make it as easy as possible for public employees to fulfill your request to insure cooperation in a timely manner. You can find more information about the North Carolina Public Record Law at this website: nccourts.org/Citizens/JData/RRequest/LawFAQs.asp.
How Long Does An Arrest Record or Warrant Stay On File In North Carolina?
NC arrest records are publicly available indefinitely. It is very easy to access them online. North Carolina warrants stay on file until the person is arrested or deceased.