Kentucky Arrest Records and Warrant Search

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What is an Arrest Record?

Pursuant to section 17.151 of the Kentucky Revised Statues, crime history information for the state is maintained in a centralized location under the control of Kentucky State Police. All county level justice agencies including sheriff's departments, tribunals and offices of the county clerks are legally obligated to participate in this program.

The Department of Juvenile Justice, the Administrative Office of local judicial entities, the Department of Corrections and the State Health and Family Services Cabinet also have a role to play in the collection of the data for the purpose of including it in this centralized criminal history information system.

A background report sought from the Kentucky State Police will include details on all arrest warrants issued against the applicant in the state along with information on arrest records, convictions, verdicts and incarceration. Not everybody can request data pertaining to criminal history from the KSP. In fact, only institutions that offer care to minors and mentally or physically compromised individuals will be allowed access to such information.

Even then, when requesting a background report, a prospective employer will need a consent form from the subject. In fact, it is the potential employee who signs the request form as the applicant stating the name of the organization where he/she has applied for a job and that information on any criminal involvement in his past be divulged to the agency in question.

When requesting a background check, the applicant has to furnish the following information about himself and the reasons for making such an inquiry.

  • The identity of the employer for whom the report is being requested
  • A waiver that exempts KSP from any legal liability that may rise due to the applicant not securing employment
  • Personal information about the applicant including first, middle and last names, social security number, date of birth, current address, etc
  • Signature of the applicant signifying that he/she is the one requesting the check
  • Signature of a witness

Crime History Information is also maintained by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).While both the KSP and the AOC will accept applications for a background check, the type and extent of information offered varies between agencies. For instance, the KSP follows state rules on the dissemination of crime history data more stringently than the AOC.

So, a KSP background report will only include information on cases that culminated in a guilty verdict. In contrast, the AOC can provide information on all felonies and misdemeanors in the name of the applicant within a 5 years period. In case of both agencies, the request form will have to be handed over to the department by visiting their office in person or it will have to be sent in through mail. At this point, phoned and fax requests are not accepted by either agency.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant is a legal order issued by the sitting magistrate of a tribunal at any level in the Kentucky judicial system that has criminal jurisdiction. Before the issue of an active arrest order, the magistrate is legally obligated to ensure that there is enough evidence in the matter for even a layperson to implicate the accused.

This is known as the establishment of probable cause and the state police play an active role in this process as they submit all case related facts to the bench in the form of an affidavit. Arrest warrants issued in the state of Kentucky will clearly mention the judicial intent of the document, so the order is a clear directive for the police to take the said person into custody.

Also, the order will have a mention of the name of the suspect along with any identifying traits, his/her address and the crime for which he is being held responsible. Unlike other judicial instruments that have time and geographical restrictions placed on them, an active warrant can be executed even a decade after its release and it can be served outside the state or the issuing county.

A warrant is not a legal mandate when it comes to detention. However, because such an order gives police officers additional rights when effecting arrest, the sheriff's office will prefer to seek its release. In accordance with Chapter 440 of the Kentucky Revised Statues, section 230, a warrant authorizes the arresting officer to call upon the aid of any person or peace officer to arrest the accused.

The section also states the condition under which an offender can be taken into custody with a warrant. In order to detain a person without a judicial order, the arresting officer needs reasonable information that the accused is under trial in a state court or is being held responsible for committing a crime that is punishable by death or a term of incarceration that exceeds one year.

However, once this person has been arrested, it is the responsibility of the sheriff's office to present him/her in court with reasonable speed. A complaint will have to be filed with the judiciary at this point setting forth the reasons that merit the detention of the individual.

How to Search For an Inmate in the Kentucky Prison System?

In the state of Kentucky, the Department of Corrections is in charge of running 13 correctional facilities and two private institutions. Together these centers house several hundred inmates which can make the task of finding one offender seem absolutely daunting. However, if a prisoner has been incarcerated for a period of 120 days or more, you are likely to find all information about him through the DOC's Online Offender Lookup System.

Although information in this database is regularly updated, the DOC makes no guarantees that the information found in the repository will be 100% accurate at the time of search.In order to use the tool, you will have to visit the official website of the DOC at http://corrections.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx. Find the "offender search" tab at the bottom of the page.

Clicking on it will take you to the DOC disclaimer about the search results. Read it and go to the link that reads "Kentucky Online Offender Lookup System". The form on this page will request information on the inmate like his/her name and any aliases. If you are looking for a list of all the inmates housed in the Kentucky prison system, leave all the fields blank and simply click on search.

The lesser the information given the more will be the number of inmates included in the search. So, in order to get accurate results, it would be best to provide as much data as you can. Once you have filled the form, click on search to get to the results page. Here, you will see a tabular form which will provide information on the name of the inmate, his PID or DOC number, the facility where this person is being held and the charges brought against him. For more extensive information on a prisoner, click on his/her name.

The response page will include all details pertaining to the offense committed by the individual in question and his prison term. For instance, you will be able to find details on the conviction date and county, the date on which the inmate was incarcerated, parole dates and more. You can also find details on release dates and the incarceration facility where an offender is being imprisoned through the DOC's VINELINE. Just call on 1800-511-1670 to avail this service.

Who Can Search For Arrest Records and Warrants in Kentucky?

Although the Kentucky Revised Statues 61.878 state that public records are to be kept open for examination by members of the community, crime history information is only included in this category in a limited sense. This means that at least as far as the Kentucky State Police goes, it is not possible to get results on third party background searches.

Only law enforcement agencies and institutions that offer care to minors or disabled individuals are allowed to access this information through the State Police; this includes schools and health care centers. On the other hand, the Administrative Office of the Courts of Kentucky takes a more lenient approach towards crime history data dissemination.

Through this agency even individuals and organizations that are not employed in the care of minors can also request data on the criminal involvement of a third person. Although the sunshine laws of the state dictate that all records held in any format should be made available for public scrutiny, this does not apply to crime history details.

Agencies like the KSP and the AOC are restricted from releasing information associated with law enforcement agents, court proceedings except for warrant releases and sentencing, health related data and social security numbers. Pursuant to the Kentucky Open Records Act, state agencies are allowed to charge a fee for providing records. In case of crime history data, the KSP and the AOCF both charge a $20 fee for handing out background search reports.

How to Request Records Under the Kentucky Public Records Act?

Depending on the state agency that you are approaching for your background information request and the extent and type of data you are looking for, you will have to fill a relevant form and get in touch with the right department office.

When going through the Administrative Office of the Courts, you have three options, you can mail in our request, submit it in person at the public service window of the AOC or use the online quick search facility offered by the agency. For the Kentucky State police, you will have to either show up in person with your request form or mail the request in to the department office.

It is imperative to use the right form to ensure that the search is undertaken at the earliest. For individuals who are requesting a background report on themselves, Form RU-005 will have to be used. Form RU-006 is for personnel checks to be initiated on behalf of emergency management service facilities while Form RU-007 is reserved for background checks on individuals who are involved in imparting service to minors.

In order to get crime history information, you will have to furnish the name of the subject along with his/her address, social security number and date of birth. Also, you will have to provide the name of the organization that is requesting the inquiry. To file the form with the AOC, you will have to go to

The Records Unit of the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts

100 Millcreek Park

Frankfort, KY 40601.

Phone no: 502-573-1682

The Kentucky State Police will accept mail and in person requests at their office located in

Kentucky State PoliceCriminal Identification & Records Branch1250 Louisville RdFrankfort, KY 40601

Phone no: 502-227-8713

You will have to pay a $20 fee for initiating the search and the results will usually be offered within an hour unless you use the online service of AOC available at http://kcoj.kycourts.net/PublicMenu/Default.aspx?header=AOC+FastCheck. You will have to register with their site in order to access their database. For mail inquiries, the wait period is 3 to 7 days.The State Police also accepts finger print search requests which are run through the FBI database; such reports are charged at $24 and it can take 2 to 6 weeks to get the reports.

How Long Does An Arrest Record or Warrant Stay On File In Kentucky?

Arrest Records and information on warrants released in criminal cases are held in the State Police database till such time that the death of the inmate is reported. In contrast, at this point, the AOC has information on felonies committed in the last 25 years and misdemeanors and traffic violations that occurred in the previous five years. Because arrest warrants come with perpetual validity, they are held back in the police database till the accused is taken into custody.

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