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North Carolina Arrest Records Search

Database Update on September 21, 2023

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North Carolina Arrest Records Search North Carolina Arrest Records Search Guidelines for finding NC arrest records and doing a warrant search in the state & counties. Use an online tool to check a person's criminal background
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A complete Guide for Finding NC Arrest Records

NC Arrest records are vital for any background check you might want to carry out either on yourself or on other people that matter to you. The following guide will clearly illustrate how they can be found in addition to other North Carolina public records, such as warrants and court dockets. The search process is simpler than you think; you just need to know where to look for the appropriate documents.

What are NC arrest records and why are they important?

North Carolina arrest records are issued when a person is apprehended by a police officer. They include details such as the detainee's name and personal details, incarceration date and place, the arresting agency, the offense committed and bond information. Some records also come with a mugshot. Unless expunged, they remain in governmental archives open for public view and therefore can be used to find out if a certain person has ever spent time in prison or jail.

How can you find NC arrest records?

The state's Department of Public Safety maintains a computerized offender search with multiple inquiry options that help you trace active and inactive inmates by name, M.I. or offender number. Searchers can also see absconders and releases in each of the counties.

Focusing your inquiry on a specific county

Most accurate results can be obtained if the inquiry is focused on the specific county where the arrest was made. We suggest referring to the sheriff office for information. Some sheriff websites presents an online jail roster. For example, you can search for Mecklenburg County arrest records online here.

How to Perform an NC warrant search

North Carolina Warrants are issued when the police are interested in apprehending a suspect. Warrants require the signature of a judge to be legally valid.  A judge will authorize an arrest only if he is convinced there is a probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed. The state does not maintain a central wanted people database open to public view, so similar to NC arrest records, the best place to run your inquiry is the county's sheriff office. Some sheriff websites have an online search tool. For instance you can find Forsyth County warrants by viewing this electronic wanted list. If an online option does not exist, you do not have a choice but to arrive at the sheriff office in person and run an offline inquiry.

How to access North Carolina court records

Many people tend to confuse NC arrest records with court record. It should be understood that the former only indicate the instances in which a person has been incarcerated. The latter display a person's prosecution and convictions. In other words, a person may be taken into custody and not reach trial. In that case, he will not have a court record on his name. The State Bureau of Investigation functions as the central database which stores all criminal records issued by the state's courts. However, only law enforcement personnel can access them. What you can do is turn to your county Clerk of Court and ask to view dockets issued by the court, which are considered public records under North Carolina Public Records Law. Bear in mind that you will be asked to file a formal FOIA request. The Attorney General provides a guide that explains this procedure.

How to do a sex offender search

To locate sex offenders in the state, visit NC sex offender registry. There you can run an online inquiry based on the offender's name or address. You can even carry out a geographical search based on latitude / longitude.

Finding all the background information you are looking for in one place  offers you an advanced search tool you can use to get the whole picture about a person's criminal history. Type his or her name and you will receive accurate and updated files containing statewide arrest records, police records, warrants, conviction and court dockets and even civil records. All inquiries are 100% anonymous.