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An arrest occurs when a person is physically detained by the police, placed in handcuffs, and booked at a police station. The term arrest search can refer to many things regarding an arrest.

What Is a Search Incident to Arrest?

A search incident to arrest occurs when a police officer conducts a search when a lawful arrest is made of a suspect. Law enforcement does not need a warrant to search a person when it is a lawful arrest. A lawful search incident to arrest is limited to the suspect and his immediate surroundings. This allows police to search for weapons that the person being arrested might use against the officers arresting them or for evidence connected to the crime.

What Is a Search of Arrest Records?

A search of arrest records is also called a criminal records search. The number of arrests and convictions are listed on the document. Arrest records are kept by police in each jurisdiction and part of a public record.

What Information Exists In an Arrest Record?

Information contained in an arrest record includes:

What Is an Arrest Search?

An arrest search can refer to conducting a search of public records to determine whether an individual has an outstanding warrant. An outstanding warrant means the person listed on the warrant is a “fugitive” because they are wanted by the police. A warrant can be issued for any minor or serious criminal charge. An arrest warrant does not expire because the suspect has not been arrested for the crime yet.
Anyone can perform an arrest search by entering a name of a possible suspect on a local police website.

Should I Talk to a Criminal Attorney about an Arrest Search?

Some arrest searches are not illegal. If a police conducted an illegal search, you want to talk to a criminal attorney. Also, it is helpful to talk to an attorney about expunging any arrest records or finding out if there’s a warrant for your arrest.

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Last Modified: 06-15-2015 06:16 PM PDT

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