Is it possible to access arrests records and information on arrest warrants from DE?
People have myriad reasons to launch a warrant search and to look for details on recent arrests in Delaware. It goes without saying that not everybody is interested in finding arrest warrants in their own name.
In fact, in the majority of cases, the warrant inquiry involves third-parties. Now, you may have personal or professional reasons to look for these detention orders and initiate an arrest inquiry but chances are that you will approach the police for the information you need.
Of course, there are those who try to find this data by scouring court records. The important question is- Will these efforts yield the results that will serve your purpose? Continue reading to find the answer to this and other questions and to know about the various approaches to access criminal records.
DE arrest records
What are arrest records from Delaware?
Typically, arrests records are different from criminal history reports. Because the former is part of the latter, arrest records are definitely not as extensive as the results of a criminal records check. In fact, as the name suggests, arrests records are simply details pertaining to the custodial detention of a person.
These are often limited to data about arrests and detention before trial. So, you are likely to find details such as the full name of the arrestee, his/her address, DOB, date of arrest, name of the officer who made the arrest, arresting agency, charges filed after arrests, location where the arrestee is being held in detention and bail related data.
In contrasts, criminal records go way further, covering the entire life cycle of the criminal matter. So, you are likely to not just find information on what led to the arrests but also on what happened afterwards. In fact, these details are not just limited to a specific criminal matter but to all criminal complaints against the subject. Typically, criminal records will contain information on:
- The issue of DE active warrants
- Case dispositions
- Pending charges
- Dismissals and acquittals
- Correctional data including parole/probation details
In addition to this, you will also get identifier data such as the full name of the subject, his/her address and date of birth.
Is an arrest report the same as an arrest log for DE?
Although both provide information on arrests in Delaware, they differ in terms of the volume of data and the subjects covered. An arrest report is subject-specific. What this means is that when you file an arrest inquiry on a specific subject, you will be given a report that contains details on all instances in which this individual was taken into custody by the police.
As opposed to this, an arrest list or log is more a police report for the geographical jurisdiction handled by a specific law enforcement agency. So, the arrest log will contain information on all arrests made by the officers of that agency over a specific period of time.
The bad news is that in Delaware, this information is not available to the public. This means let alone the police blotter, you have no scope of even accessing details on arrests in the last 24 hours.
Which state agency is responsible for maintaining arrests records and criminal records in DE?
The Delaware State Bureau of Identification (SBI) is the agency that acts as the keeper of all crime and criminal related information. As such, this is the agency that entertains requests for criminal history information.
The department is responsible for gathering details that pertain to criminal cases. This information is stored in a central repository hosted on behalf of the DE State Police (DSP). Since its inception in 1923, numerous divisions have been added to enhance the functioning of the State Police.
The Delaware Bureau of Investigations is one such branch that helps in the maintenance and distribution of criminal data. Apart from the recording crime related data and controlling its disclosure, the agency performs a multitude of other functions such as:
- Offering certified background reports to the public.
- Maintaining the sex offender registry of the state.
- Examining fingerprints taken after arrests.
- Exercising control over the quality of crime reports.
- Approving the purchase of firearms.
- Examining the fingerprints linked with criminal investigations.
Who has information on recent arrests in DE?
In a chronological order of how things proceed before, during and after arrest, here is a look at all the agencies that end up being involved in the process, and hence in possession of details pertaining to arrests.
The police: The local law enforcement agency makes arrests in two ways. If a person is caught while committing a crime or while fleeing the scene of the crime or immediately after committing the criminal act, he/she is arrested on the spot, without a warrant.
However, if a person’s involvement in a criminal act is suspected but he could not be picked up from the scene of the crime, the police seek an arrest warrant from the court. Once this order is granted, the local law enforcement agency is in charge of making arrests. So, one way or another, the local police are involved in all instances of arrests. Hence, that is the first agency that creates reports of arrests.
The Department of Corrections: Unlike in other states, in DE once an arrest is made, the detainee is shifted to a facility, which ultimately comes under the control of the DOC. So, this will typically be the second agency to maintain information on arrests.
The judiciary: Within a day or two of arrest, the suspect will have to be presented in court. So, the judiciary is the third agency to get involved in the criminal process and to keep records of arrests.
The SBI: Finally, as explained above, all this information reaches the SBI, where it is assimilated into files accessible through the name and other identifier details of subjects as well as their fingerprints.
But, here is the catch- Don’t expect any of these agencies to help you with your arrest inquiry. The reason for their guarded approach is explained below.
Are criminal records public in Delaware?
No they are not! Delaware is a closed-records state. This means that apart from the owner of the arrest records, only law enforcement agencies and legislatively approved employers are allowed to request third-party background information.
The agencies that are given the statutory authority to view criminal background reports have been discussed in Delaware Code 1141. Pursuant to this law, crime history information, when released to non-criminal justice agencies is only disclosed in the interest of the safety and wellbeing of the vulnerable sections of the society that may be availing the services of such firms.
Hence, employers who are allowed to seek arrest records in DE typically include schools, mental health care centers, medical establishments, day and child care centers, senior care facilities, disabled care centers, nursing homes and hospices.
Warrant searches can be requested by these firms in the name of anybody who is seeking employment with them as well as on current employees. Furthermore, it is also the norm to access the crime history data of any person who has been referred to one of the establishments above by a temporary agency.
In fact, no nursing home or any commercial entity that contracts to operate such a healthcare facility can employ any person without first obtaining his arrest records from the State Bureau of Identification. Moreover, such establishments are also required by law to conduct an inquiry on arrest warrants at the federal level through the DHSS.
How do I find information on arrests in DE?
The unified correctional system within the state of Delaware that includes municipal, county and state level incarceration facilities, rehabilitation centers and a probationary system is managed by the Department of Corrections. After sentencing, the processing of the offender is handed over to the DOC.
The completion of the sentence, the facility in which the offender is housed, the security level at which he is placed and his eventual release on a conditional arrangement are all the responsibilities of the DOC. So, the agency can be contacted for all information relating to prisoners.
Is there any way to get an arrest report in DE?
The search for inmate records will need to be initiated by using the name, the date of birth or the DOC number; for under trials, you will need the case number to find the specifics about the location of the defendant. Through the inquiry, you can find out about the current status of an offender in the correctional system, the facility at which he is being held and the mailing address of the prison.
You will also be given information on the charges for which the inmate was convicted and potential release or parole dates. To access this information by approaching the DOC, you will have to visit the agency in person at Delaware Department of Corrections, Central Administration Building, 245 McKee Road, Dover, DE 19904.
You can also write to the DOC at this address; for further information call them on 302-739-5601 or visit their website at http://doc.delaware.gov/. Currently, the online facility to look for prisoner records is only being offered by the VINE service. To access their link for Delaware go to https://www.vinelink.com/vinelink/siteInfoAction.do?siteId=8000.
How do I get a criminal record check in Delaware?
Whether you are requesting a personal background check or want to find the arrest records in the name of a third party as an employer that is legally permitted to conduct a warrant check, you will need to connect with the SBI for the inquiry. The agency accepts request for such inquiries in three locations:
Kent County: Working out of 655 South Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901, this is the only center where you can walk in on all weekdays without an appointment for placing the warrant search request.
Sussex County: This agency is located at 23652 Shortly Rd, Georgetown, DE 19947, and they can only be approached by appointment. They only accept requests for warrant inquiries on Wednesdays from 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm. You can call them on 302-739-2528
New Castle County: Troop 2 works out of Route 40, West of Fox Run Shopping Center, between Rt. 896 and Rt. 72, Bear. You can call them on 302-739-2528 or 1-800-464-4357 to get an appointment. On Tuesday, they work from 11:30 am to 6:15 pm while on the other weekdays, you can visit between 8:30 am and 3:15 pm.
You will need to take along the fingerprint cards, a photo ID of the applicant and a signed release form from the subject for third-party inquiries. You will be charged $52.50 for Delaware arrest records and $69 for a cumulative federal and state background report. The payment can be made by using cash, credit or debit cards, company checks or money orders.
Warrants from DE
What are Delaware arrest warrants?
Active warrants from Delaware are a judicial tool used by the civil and criminal tribunals in the area to bring a particular individual before the sitting judge for further processing. The person in question could be an accused in a criminal or civil matter.
When issued in civil matters, warrants are usually linked to the disobedience of a court order; for instance, not showing up in court as ordered or not paying compensation as ruled by the courts.
It is also commonplace for arrest warrants to be issued against those who have skipped town after being released on bond and those who have several unpaid traffic tickets or civic ordinance violation fines to their name.
These directives will also be used in rapid succession after a summons, if the summon fails to get the defendant/litigant to the court. However, DE arrest warrants that are issued in criminal matters, both misdemeanors and felonies are strictly based on probable cause.
Are there different types of arrest warrants?
Technically, yes! But in layman terms, they are all simply orders of arrest issued by a court. However, when you are doing a warrant lookup in DE, you are likely to come across three distinct terms that can prove confusing. So, here is what they mean:
Active warrants: This is simply another term used for warrants. Typically, it conveys that a warrant has been issued recently.
Outstanding warrants: Another term that can be used in lieu of arrest warrants, this one is used to indicate that the warrant was issued a while back. So, you will hear the term being used for all warrants that were issued one or more years ago.
Bench warrants: Think of these as arrest orders directly issued by the court because a person did not make a court ordered appearance or disobeyed a judicial entity in some way.
How are warrants issued in Delaware?
Rule 3 of the Delaware Code clarifies that criminal charges can be sought against a suspect through an indictment, by way of a complaint or the filing of an information or even by making arrests without an outstanding warrant where applicable.
When detention are made without arrest warrants, these have to be done while staying within a stringently enforced legal paradigm. This only allows for such arrests to be made when a police officer bears witness to a misdemeanor or when the crime in question is a felony and law enforcement has clear probable cause.
Given the restrictions imposed on such arrests and in light of the numerous liberties conferred upon peace officers, who are acting under active warrants, it simply makes more sense to seek these decrees from the court. Once an arrest warrant is issued in Delaware, the directive is infallible in terms of its reach, both in terms of geography as well as the time of execution.
An active warrant will only be issued when the police can convince a magistrate that they have significant reasons to blame the individual in whose name the detention is being sought of the criminal transgression at the center of the matter.
This is done by submitting a complaint or an information in court. The complaint is filed in the name of the victim by the state prosecution or the police. As far as information is concerned, this is the process by which the sheriff’s office apprises the tribunal of a criminal occurrence in the area.
Where do I go to find court records in Delaware?
You can find the means online to access court records from agencies across various judicial levels; from the Supreme Court to the Justice of Peace tribunals and from the Chancery and Superior Courts to tribunals that handle family matters and also Courts of Common Pleas. Most judicial agencies will offer an application that can be downloaded, filled and submitted to the appropriate tribunal to launch a case search.
Remember to offer as much information about the subject as possible; this will bring back more pertinent results. However, it should also be noted that not all judicial records are open for public access and you will need to pay the applicable charges before you can view the results of your inquiry. For further information on using the investigative facilities offered by the various tribunals visit http://courts.delaware.gov/How%20To/Record%20Access/.
Choose the court from the six types given and you will be redirected to a pdf file that will offer information on retrieving records, the guidelines to be followed and the application for accessing the court dockets database held by that specific judicial entity. This information can also be sought from the:
Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street, 11th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
Where can I find the warrant list for DE?
In 2005, a list of all 70,000 outstanding warrants from DE was compiled and made available online. Since then, several additions have been made to this warrant database. Yet, it would be a mistake to rely on it completely because the updates are slow in the coming and sometimes don’t make it to the repository at all.
So, many of active warrants in the list have actually been served but still show up in the search results. To initiate the warrant lookup for DE, go to https://pubsrv.deljis.delaware.gov/WantedPublic/Default.aspx.
The tool offers a simple name-based warrants search facility. While the first name is optional, you will have to provide the last name of the subject. The information offered in response to the warrant check includes:
- Full name and DOB of the subject.
- Name of the court handling the matter.
- Warrant number.
- DUC number.
- A comment section that offers details on the reason for the issue of the warrant.
Will a DE warrant check get information on both misdemeanor and felony warrants?
In terms of how they are used, a warrant issued in a felony matter is no different from one that is issued in a misdemeanor. That said, there can be a difference in the scope of their execution, geographically. Typically, all felony arrest warrants have nation-wide applicability. This means you can be arrested in any state and in all likelihood will be extradited to Delaware to stand trial.
Misdemeanor warrants will also result in arrests; however, whether you are deported to DE or not will be at the discretion of the Office of the Attorney General. Generally, in case of Class C and D misdemeanors, the authorities seldom waste their time and money on extradition.
But, this simply means that you will be languishing in the jail of another state for that much longer till the local law enforcement agency does not hear from the DE authorities.
How do you see if you have a warrant in Delaware?
The safest approach has been discussed above. Because it is an online search, there are nearly no chances of the warrant inquiry being traced back to you. If you are looking for information on suspects implicated in serious criminal matter, you could also check the most wanted list for DE. This is available at https://www.ice.gov/most-wanted#tab0.
The direct approach would be to head over to the local police department or to the courthouse. But be warned that both of these will get you arrested. A warrant authorizes the police to take you into custody immediately. So, unless you have consulted with your lawyer, do not take this approach. That said, if the warrant against you is related to a traffic or civic ordinance violation, you could get off the hook by simply paying the court ordered fines.
In any case, a warrant is not something to be trifled with. The most important thing to know is that active warrants do not expire. So, even if one was issued several years ago, it could come back to bite you. So, it is best to resolve the matter through proper legal methods, instead of running away from it.