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Connecticut Arrest Records

Connecticut arrest records contain information regarding law enforcement taking an individual into custody. Usually, arrests in Connecticut happen in one of two forms: warrant or warrantless arrest. In the former, law enforcement obtains a warrant from a court of competent jurisdiction to take an individual into custody. On the other hand, a warrantless arrest is one carried out without a warrant. Here, an officer takes an individual into custody based on reasonable grounds to conclude a person has committed a crime or is committing one.  

Still, getting arrested is not a conclusive determination of guilt. An arrested person is presumed innocent until they have been tried in court. Before their day in court, an arrested individual must first be booked through the criminal justice system. Hence, a typical arrest record will contain a description of the subject, the basis of the arrest, as well as the formal charges filed against them, the initial plea, and bail details. 

Connecticut classifies crimes for which a person can be arrested into three broad categories: crimes against persons, crimes against property, and crimes against society. In 2022, law enforcement in the state made 74,061 arrests for these offenses, per aggregate data obtained from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The main reasons for arrest were simple assault (33%, 24,111), disorderly conduct (20%, 15,072 arrests), larceny-theft (12%, 8,901), and driving under the influence (8.5%, 6,380). Generally, the arrest rate in Connecticut increased by 4% from 2021. Arrests for simple assault and larceny theft increased by 12% and 43%, respectively, while arrests for disorderly conduct and DUI increased by 0.2% and 27%, respectively. 

Are Arrest Records Public in Connecticut?

Yes. Arrest records are public in Connecticut per Section 1-215 of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Generally, unless otherwise restricted by law or court order, adult arrest records are available to interested persons. Hence, anyone may obtain a copy from the record custodian in charge of the record.

Despite the provision making arrest records public information, Section 1-210 of the Connecticut FOIA exempts certain arrest records from public access. Generally, these sequestered records are those concerning a juvenile or records containing information that could jeopardize the safety or privacy of an individual (Section 1-210-b3). Likewise, investigatory files are not available to the public if they contain information about a minor or a witness, or if releasing them will compromise an active investigation or criminal justice proceedings. In cases where the custodian is compelled to release such a record, an administrative staff will review the documents and redact sensitive details. 

What is Included in Connecticut Arrest Records?

Per Sec. 1-215 of the Connecticut FOIA, the following information must be in an arrest record:

  • The subject’s name and aliases 
  • Address and location of residence
  • Physical description (race, hair color, weight, height) 
  • Photograph
  • The date, time, and place of the arrest 
  • The offense for which the person was arrested
  • Arrest type (warrant or warrantless) 
  • For warranted arrests: the arrest warrant application, including any affidavit in support of such warrant
  • For warrantless arrests: the arrest, incident, or police report
  • The name of the investigating or arresting law enforcement agency
  • Arresting officer’s name
  • Case number
  • The suspect’s incarceration or custody status 
  • Booking details, including the time and date when the individual was received into, discharged from, or transferred from the arresting agency's custody. 

Meanwhile, Sec. 1-215b describes information that may not be included in a Connecticut arrest record. Generally, these include the identity of witnesses, victims, and juveniles. Furthermore, any information that a law enforcement agency deems to compromise the integrity of an investigation or trial will not be available for public perusal. 

Find Public Arrest Records in Connecticut

Persons who wish to find an arrest record in Connecticut must identify and contact the record custodian. Then, they must submit a request via the channels outlined by the record custodian. Most custodians of arrest records provide in-person, mail, and online options for obtaining arrest records. The online option is the fastest of these options, but it may not necessarily be the most robust, especially for persons who seek details about an arrest, such as the accompanying warrant or police report. 

That said, the process described below applies when obtaining public arrest records in Connecticut.  

  • Determine the record custodian
  • Contact the record custodian
  • Submit a record request
  • Pay the applicable fees.  

Determine the record custodian: Generally, the record custodian for publicly available arrest records in Connecticut is the law enforcement agency that took the individual into custody. Usually, this is the local police department. However, it is also possible to obtain complementary information from the jail or prison where the suspect was processed or booked into the criminal justice system. This typically applies when the arresting agency is the state police department or a federal law enforcement agency. 

Contact the record custodian: Upon identifying the record custodian, the requestor must contact the agency to inquire about its public records request procedure. Generally, this information is available on the police department's official website. Contacting the agency is not necessary if the information sought is available online but may be considered if requesting an arrest record by mail or if a requestor wishes to schedule a physical visit.

Submit the record request: As earlier mentioned, requestors have three options when finding Connecticut arrest records. Online searches are the fastest, most convenient, and usually free. For mail-in requests, the requestor must write a letter to the record custodian and provide sufficient details to facilitate a record search. It is advisable to contact an agency before sending a mail request, especially if instructions are not published on their website. Generally, mail-in requests must include the letter, a money order or check for applicable fees, and a self-addressed envelope—all enclosed in a separate envelope and mailed to the record custodian’s address. 

Meanwhile, for in-person record searches, the requestor must schedule an appointment with the record custodian. Some law enforcement agencies all walk-ins without a prior appointment, but it is prudent to call ahead and schedule a meeting. Once at the office, the requestor must provide enough details to facilitate a search for the arrest record and pay the applicable administrative fees. Usually, agencies charge a nominal copying fee if a requestor wants physical copies. A requestor may also be billed for administrative time if finding the arrest record takes more than the average time.  

Obtaining Restricted Arrest Records in Connecticut

Restricted arrest records contain information that may compromise the identity of protected persons (victims and witnesses). Records that may impair a law enforcement investigation or judicial proceeding are also regarded as restricted records. Per the Connecticut FOIA, these records must be protected, i.e., sequestered from unnecessary, unauthorized access. This restriction applies to the general public as well as government officials whose roles do not require them to access the record. 

A member of the public who wishes to obtain a restricted arrest record must first obtain authorization from a court of competent jurisdiction. Generally, this involves submitting a petition to the court, usually the Superior Court in the jurisdiction where the arrest happened. It is advisable to contact the Court Clerk’s Office for information on the specific form needed. Attorneys at the law clinics and staff at the public information desk may also have the information needed. Otherwise, the individual should consider professional legal services to increase their odds of success. 

Generally, before granting petitions for access to restricted records, the court will consider several factors. The prime factor considered is whether the requestor’s need to access that record outweighs the reason for restricting access in the first place. The court may also consider the requestor’s intended use of the record. If the petition is successful, the court will issue an order notifying the record custodian of its decision and any terms surrounding access to the record. Likewise, the requestor must attach a copy of the order when applying for the record.  

Note: If the court grants access to a restricted record, one of the terms of access is usually the redaction of sensitive details. In this case, the record custodian will review the document and blot out sensitive content before the requestor accesses it.

How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Connecticut

Interested persons may lookup arrest records online by searching databases maintained by the record custodian. Usually, the record custodian is the local police department in the county where the arrest happened. It may also be the Connecticut Department of Corrections when the arresting agency is a state or federal law enforcement agency.  

To find an arrest record maintained by the police department, visit the agency’s official website and click the link to its jail roster or arrest log. Sometimes, this link is visible in a side menu or on the navigation bar. It may also appear as a shortcut towards the bottom of the page. For example, the Hartford City Police Department maintains a daily arrest log, which is only a list of persons taken into custody on the present day. To access older arrest records, the requestor must contact the police records division. 

Meanwhile, to find records of persons arrested by the state police, visit the offender information portal maintained by the Connecticut Department of Corrections. To find offender records on this portal, the searcher must provide the subject’s last and first name. Alternatively, they may use the subject’s unique identification number if known. Using an inmate ID is more efficient because it narrows down the search better than a name-based search, which may return persons with similar names.  

Besides the aforementioned sources, one may obtain arrest records from third-party aggregate websites. Searching aggregate websites can be helpful when a searcher is unsure of the specific custodian for the arrest record they seek. Note, however, that these service providers are not affiliated with the government. Hence, there is no guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of the records obtained. Nevertheless, third-party aggregate websites are useful for beginning an online search for an arrest record.  

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Connecticut

Arrests are typically permanent records. However, under certain circumstances, one may apply for an erasure (aka expungement) or sealing (i.e., restrict access). Generally, a person can apply for their arrest record to be sealed or expunged if the arrest did not result in a conviction or when the prosecution did not file charges. Persons who receive a pardon also qualify for arrest record erasure. 

Expunge an Arrest Record in Connecticut

The first step to applying for an expungement is obtaining and reviewing your criminal record. Criminal records are more comprehensive than arrest records and detail the chronological history of all arrests and prosecutions. This record is available through the State Police Bureau of Identification. The Connecticut Clean Slate program also has additional information, especially for persons arrested or convicted of cannabis-related offenses. 

Persons who wish to expunge an arrest record must petition the Superior Court in the city or town where the arrest happened. Adult offenders seeking a record erasure must complete a petition for clean slate erasure and submit it at the Court Clerk’s office. Juvenile offenders must complete a different petition form applicable to their case. The forms contain instructions and requirements for applying for an expungement. Generally, the offenses must be eligible for erasure (see list of eligible offenses), the individual must apply after a waiting period, complete a sentence, and have no pending criminal charges. 

Once they meet the requirement, petitioners must complete the form, swear to the contents, and sign it before a Notary Public, Commissioner of the Superior Court, or Court Clerk. Then, they must file the form in the court that adjudicated the case. Petitioners with several arrests in different counties must complete and submit an application to each county. Most courts support e-filing, as well as mail and in-person filing. Often, courts schedule hearings before deciding on the expungement/sealing request.  

If the petition is successful, the court will issue and send a copy of the expungement order to every law enforcement agency listed as custodian of the arrest record. The agency will then process the expungement or sealing. Persons whose expungement request is denied will have the option to appeal the ruling. These individuals must file a notice of appeal within 30 days. 

Note: while it is possible to apply for an expungement as a self-represented petitioner, the process may be challenging to navigate without legal guidance. Consider hiring a criminal law attorney or consulting professionals at a Connecticut legal clinic. 

How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Connecticut?

Police departments typically publish a log of recent arrests on their websites. So, it is possible to find recent arrests online. Nevertheless, persons who need additional details besides what is listed online may also contact or visit the police department. Likewise, the Department of Corrections maintains a record of offenders apprehended, detained, or incarcerated in a state correctional facility. This information is also available online on the Department of Corrections website. 

Are Connecticut Arrest Records Free?

Yes. Connecticut arrest records accessed from the record custodian’s website are free to the public. However, requestors who visit the record custodian’s office in person or send mail requests may incur service fees that cover the cost of processing their request. These fees typically apply when requesting archived records or making copies of voluminous records. 

If there is a fee for obtaining an arrest record, one may get a fee waiver from the record custodian. However, the requestor must demonstrate an inability to pay for the sought record without financial aid. Otherwise, their waiver request may be denied. 

Besides law enforcement databases, one may obtain free arrest records on third-party repositories. However, most independent providers of public records charge a fee for access—usually per search or on a subscription basis.

Connecticut Arrest Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!