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Texas Arrest Records

Arrest records In Texas are official papers detailing information on a person arrested after being charged with a crime. 

Agents of the law in Texas can arrest anyone they think has violated the state's penal code. In this state, these records are made even for minor offenses like a breach of the peace.

But unlike Texas Criminal Records, arrest records do not show that someone did something unlawful in the state. Thus, not everyone with an arrest record also has a criminal record.

Included in a Texas Arrest Record are the following details:

  • Specifics of the accused crime
  • The arrestee's personal information, including their complete name, sex, date of birth, and ethnicity or nationality
  • The arrest's location and time
  • Holding facility address
  • The name of the warrant-issuing officer or arresting officer 

Does the public have access to arrest records In Texas? Texas Arrest Records are considered general information under the Texas Public Information Act. This law allows Texas residents, citizens, and interested individuals to obtain information from these records.

However, some records may not be accessible because they contain sensitive information or are confidential under the state expungement or sealing statute.

What Laws Govern Arrests in Texas?

A Texas police officer or peace officer may arrest without a warrant if someone commits a crime in their presence, mainly if the act is classified as a felony or a violation of public peace.

Under Texas law, a peace officer is any individual elected, engaged, or appointed as a peace officer according to Article 2.12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and other legislation.

If that is not the case, law enforcement agents need arrest warrants to arrest or hold anyone accused of breaching state laws.

Arresting someone without a warrant might be a violation of their rights. Also, a judge or magistrate is the only one authorized to issue an arrest warrant in Texas.

Before the court issues an arrest warrant, the seeking officer must submit a statement supported by an affidavit. This statement must establish the warrant's justification and show probable cause.

Probable cause in Texas is a reasonable ground to believe that a person is committing a crime or that a location includes particular objects associated with a crime.

If the court decides probable cause after reviewing the statement, affidavit, and any other evidence, the court may issue an arrest warrant.

Note, though, that when a private individual witnesses someone committing a crime or knows someone has committed it, they may also make an arrest. They have the right to use excessive force while apprehending and transporting suspects to law enforcement.

What Is the Arrest Booking Process in Texas?

After being given their Miranda rights and handcuffed, those arrested in Texas are transported to the nearest county jail or detention facility for booking and put in a holding cell until their court date.

The Texas booking process is lengthy and comprises several components that might take up to 12 hours.

Once arrested, the police will record the suspect's name, residence, mobile number, and date of birth. Then, the cops will do a comprehensive background check to identify any existing arrest warrants and take the suspect's fingerprints and mugshots.

After that, the police will search the suspect for illegal substances, weapons, and other contraband. They may also be subject to a health examination or a complete body search. Sometimes, the suspect may be required to offer a cheek swab for a DNA sample.

Lastly, law enforcement will seize and hold the suspect's private possessions and inventory.

The person will remain in a holding cell until posting bail or being taken before the court.

What Are Texas Mugshot Records?

Texas Mugshot Records are booking photos of the arrested person. There is no set rule for mugshots in Texas. Some are shot on gray-lined backdrops with a ruler to illustrate height, while others are against plain-colored walls.

Most of the time, the picture shows the side and front view of the arrested person. With that, law enforcement can identify suspects and offenders with certainty.

How to Find Mugshot Records in Texas

Although the Criminal History Conviction Name Search of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the inmate search engine of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) give comprehensive results, it usually does not contain mugshots of the offenders.

So, it is best to search through the online prisoner list of a county sheriff to find mugshots in Texas. Most of the time, a sheriff's or police department's website may include this list, like the Milam County Sheriff's Office and the Austin Police Department.

But note that some sheriffs may only post an inmate list online and keep their mugshot database separate. One example is the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.

Another option to look for Texas mugshots is through the DPS public sex offender registry. You can also visit your local sex offender registry.

Additionally, you can ask law enforcement for mugshots through written request.

When you request this record through a letter, you must include essential information like the arrestee's name and birth date. And when you opt for a mail-in request, aside from your name, have your mailing address.

How Long Does an Arrest Record Stay in Texas?

The DPS asserts that information about a criminal arrest stays on a person's record forever. However, this may vary depending on the rules of different agencies in Texas.

Texas has set up retention schedules for how long each government agency in the state needs to keep administrative records. But there are no rules about how long arrest records stay on file in Texas.

Thus, each law enforcement agency established rules about how long a record stays in its database. There may have agencies that remove the record after the expiration of the retention date. But most agencies in Texas have regulations that don't require records to be discarded after the retention date.

Instead, they transfer these records from other agencies. Some are in the state archives, while others stay in central record stores like DPS databases.

Aside from the agency's policies that keep the record, the length of time an arrest record stays on file in Texas also depends on the alleged crime. It is whether the individual arrested was found guilty and if law enforcement still uses the arrest record for jail time or other penalties.

On the other hand, in Texas, removing arrest records in certain circumstances could be feasible through the state expunction. This process destroys a person's criminal history from all public, government, and private databases.

How To Expunge an Arrest Record in Texas?

Expungements or expunctions in Texas are for those wrongfully arrested and charged with a crime.

A state expunction petition will remove an offense from a person's criminal record, require state agencies and private enterprises to delete arrest references from their electronic files and destroy all arrest-related information.

Generally, to qualify for expunction in Texas, you must have a dropped case or be found "Not Guilty." You can file for expunction immediately after the conclusion of a case or even months or years afterward.

When you file a petition to remove your record, you must go to court at a hearing, usually held a month after you filed the petition. At the hearing, it might take up to six months for the court to decide whether to remove the record. If the court grants it, it usually takes local, state, and federal agencies up to 180 days to clear the records.

Texas Crimes That Cannot Be Expunged

If you commit the following crimes, regardless of your present circumstances, you are not entitled to have your criminal or arrest record expunged in Texas:

  • Capital murder
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Indecency with a child
  • Use of a child in a crime
  • Injury to a child, disabled, or elderly individual
  • Some drug offenses
  • Criminal solicitation

Expunction of Texas Arrest Records is a statutory right, not a constitutional one. To be eligible, you must meet all of the requirements outlined in Article 55.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. If you did not qualify for state expunction, a petition for nondisclosure might be a viable alternative.

How To Search Texas Arrest Records?

Most requesters of Texas Arrest Records are the arrested people themselves. But if you want to search arrest records of other people, you can ask the DPS and the courts.

All arrests from the state police departments and sheriff's offices must be reported to the DPS within seven days in Texas. Each report must include demographic information, fingerprints from a live scan, and any other information about the arrest that the booking agency collects.

The DPS collected and put these reports into its Criminal History Conviction Name Search. The DPS will let you look at Texas Arrest Records online in this database. Here, you can find arrest records of people arrested for breaking state criminal laws that are Class B misdemeanors or higher.

To use the Criminal History Conviction Name Search and get information from an arrest record in Texas, you must create an account and purchase search credits.

Search credits permit you to look up one person or record. The system uses more credits if the same or different search information is used for a second time. In the same way, it uses more credits if you look at more than one record in the search results list. Note that the system will still charge search credits even when it doesn't find a match.

A search is more likely to be successful if you have the subject's complete name (first, maiden, middle, and last names) and date of birth.

Alternatively, you can get arrest records from the courts by sending requests to the clerk who issued an arrest warrant or to the court that filed the case if the arrest leads to charges or a conviction.


Counties in Texas

Jails and Prisons in Texas

Harris County TX - The 711 Jail711 North San Jacinto Street, Houston, TX
Harris County TX - The 1307 Jail1307 Baker Street, Houston, TX
Joe Kegans State Jail707 Top Street, Houston, TX
Harris County TX - The 1200 Jail1200 Baker Street, Houston, TX
Pam Lychner State Jail2350 Atascocita Road, Humble, TX
Harris County TX Juvenile Detention Center1200 Congress Street, Houston, TX
Houston Processing Center15850 Export Plaza Drive, Houston, TX
Harris County TX - The 701 Jail701 North San Jacinto Street, Houston, TX
Leidel Residential Reentry Center1819 Commerce Street, Houston, TX