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District of Columbia Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Arrest Records in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. makes it easy for the general public to get copies of someone’s District Of Columbia arrest records. Requests can be made in person or by mail and there is a cost associated with each record. Arrest records take a little longer than criminal reports. When requesting, users must use the state PD Form 70 to obtain a complete criminal history with arrests, warrants, and other information. In most cases, they will process the request within 24 hours, but it can take up to 10 days.

Are District of Columbia Arrest Records Public?

Yes, the District of Columbia allows the general public to find and review criminal arrest records for a small fee. Requesting arrest records may be done in person, online or by mail. Usually, within 24 hours the order will be processed. Requestors must have a photo ID when ordering. Police also offer accident reports along with criminal backgrounds.

What Information Does Washington D.C. Arrest Records Report Include?

What Information You Can Find in District Of Columbia Arrest Report?

Along with general information like name, address, phone, gender, race, height, weight, mugshots, and fingerprints, arrest history will also be included. Each arrest will include the date of the arrest, time, arresting officer’s name, arresting agency, the charges, and disposition. Additionally, available will be booking details, bail or bond posted associated with the charges and any pleas. Often, attorney names, other accomplices and any vehicles if they were involved will also be included.

D.C. Police Reports and Mugshots

Are Washington D.C. Police Reports Public Record?

Washington D.C. police reports are public records and easily accessible by the general public. Although they are not posted online, anyone can get a copy of a criminal record, incident report, or crash report by visiting the Metropolitan Police Department or filling out a form and requesting by mail. The fee for an accident report is only $3, but for all other types, the cost is $7.

When ordering copies, you will need to provide some basic information such as:

  • Full Name.
  • Date of Accident or Incident.
  • Location of Accident or Incident.
  • Six Digit Report Number (CCN) if you know it.
  • Time of Accident or Incident.

Requests can be mailed to:

Metropolitan Police Department

Public Documents Section

ATTN: Accident/Incident Reports

300 Indiana Avenue NW, Room 3075

Washington, DC 20001

Along with details of the incident, the date of birth and ages of all those involved, you may also see fingerprints and mugshots or other crime scene photos.

Washington D.C. Mugshots

Washington D.C. mugshots are readily available online. In fact, channel 7 WJLA has a news website in the area, and they regularly post recent crimes along with mugshots of the perpetrators. Although some people that were arrested may still be innocent and absolved of their crimes.

Mugshots may also pop up on other websites such as informational portals, government public records databases, and other news sources. Sometimes inmate searches will also show mugshots of the accused.

Mugshots originated in France when policeman Alphonse Bertillon made it standard practice to take a front photo and side photo of each criminal as part of the booking process after an arrest. These police photos are used in many ways, including helping victims and witnesses to identify criminals.

Washington D.C. Arrest Booking Process

Anyone arrested in Washington D.C. will be taken to the local jail or holding center and undergo an extensive booking process. The booking process is to get the individual into the law enforcement system, and it entails a few critical steps.

  • Two of the most important pieces are fingerprints and mugshots.
  • Each suspect will be thoroughly searched and held overnight in a holding cell.
  • They may be questioned by police (for basic information) and possibly more about the crime. They do have the right to remain silent and speak to a lawyer. They also have the right to a phone call.
  • Police perform a thorough background check on everyone arrested. They are looking for prior crimes and outstanding warrants.
  • A judge may impose bail or not depending on the case.

The person will wait in jail until bail is paid, or they have had their initial hearing.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has decreased over the past decade in District Of Columbia, going from 8,408 crimes in 2006 to 6,584 by 12% lower than it was back in 2006. The largest percentage of violent crimes falls into the Aggravated Assault category, with Revised Rape being the least popular crime in the state.

District Of Columbia Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Law

District Of Columbia Arrest Laws

Any District of Columbia law officer may arrest someone without a warrant if he or she has probable cause that someone committed a misdemeanor or felony. They can also arrest someone if they feel they are a danger to themselves or others or might tamper with or destroy evidence. A police officer can even arrest someone suspected of interfamily abuse, tampering with a detection device, unlawfully entering a vehicle, illegally protesting a residence, stalking or a sexual offense. There is a long list of other circumstances where a police officer can arrest someone without a warrant in D.C.

Who has a Power of Arrest?

Only judicial officers can issue warrants in D.C. All state, and local police officers are authorized to make arrests in the District of Columbia. Anyone designated a “special policeman” has the same authority as a law enforcement officer and can execute arrests. Any private citizen can arrest another if they have “probable cause to believe is committing in his presence —

(A) a felony; or

(B) an offense enumerated in section 23-581(a)(2); or in aid of a law enforcement officer or special policeman, or other person authorized by law to make an arrest.”

How Long Will an Arrest Report Stay on District Of Columbia Arrest Records?

Most misdemeanors and felonies will remain on a person’s record for life. However, in Washington D.C. there is the option of applying for sealing or expungement. There is a long list of misdemeanors that are ineligible for expungement and cannot be removed. Offenders must wait two years for an eligible crime and three years for an ineligible offense to be sealed. They must wait at least four years for all other crimes. For arrests where they were never charged or not convicted the process is easier and they can apply right after the court disposition.

Can you Expunge Your Records?

Yes, but it may take time. In many cases, the waiting period is 8 years before filing for an expungement. Washington D.C. has a very long list of crimes that they will not allow to be sealed so those will stay on someone’s record forever. This rule pertains to things like domestic abuse, drug and sex crimes.

The Arrest Rate in District of Columbia

Arrest Rate in District Of Columbia

For the last year tallied (2016), Washington D.C. totaled 44,175 arrests for the year. Of those, 40,892 were adults, and the rest were juveniles. Simple assault and disorderly conduct were the two most common reasons for arrest.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

Most of the violent crime offenders in District Of Columbia were 10-19 .

Offender Age

Offenders w/ reported age941

District Of Columbia Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in District Of Columbia was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 15,777, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona. The least popularity had Forgery and Counterfeiting arrests - with only 3 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime80133213
Property Crime39101140
Aggravated Assault204969

District of Columbia Public Safety

Is your State Safer than District Of Columbia?

Select your state and find out:

District Of Columbia
Crime rate - 5,105
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 12%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in District Of Columbia that have the lowest arrest rate in 2017

CountyCrime Rate
District Of Columbia County5,104.96
District Of Columbia Arrest Records Search
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