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Iowa Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Criminal Records in Iowa

IA’s local and state law enforcement agencies are in charge of criminal histories and arrest records. They provide criminal record reports to the general public, which includes all the information allowed by law. Any arrests that are older than 18 months without a disposition will not be on the report. Each record request costs $15, and that fee is non-refundable. Their website uses a simple name search, and then the results can be narrowed down by other criteria available. To search, an individual must have the person’s date of birth to find him or her.

Are Arrest Records public in Iowa?

Yes, although some information will be limited, and in many cases a signed consent form from the subject is required. However, in most cases, an individual can perform a quick and easy name search to find someone and review their arrest records online.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

Black or African American29%
American Indian or Alaska Native2%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

Black or African American18%
American Indian or Alaska Native1%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information Does Iowa Criminal Background Check Include?

What Information You Can Find in Iowa Arrest Report?

An Iowa arrest record will have a lot of information on it. First, it will include general demographic data like name, phone, email, address, height, weight, gender, race, age, date of birth, fingerprints and sometimes even Iowa mugshots. It will also contain details of their arrests like date and time of arrest, the location of the arrest, officer’s name and badge number, arresting agency, the charges, disposition, incarcerations and any information pertaining to vehicles involved.

Iowa State Police Reports and Mugshots

Are Iowa State Police Reports Public Record?

Yes, police reports in Iowa are public records. The Des Moines city website has a section on it where the public can request copies of a police report. When requesting, you can get one in person or through the mail. Either way, you have to fill out a form and pay a fee. The form requires that you fill out some basic information like:

  • Case number if you have it.
  • The date of the incident.
  • The time and type of incident it was (crime).
  • The location of the event.
  • The names of all people involved and if you have it, their dates of birth.

The fee is $5 for each police report, vehicle crash report, trip log, OWI report, Officer’s OWI Certification, and PBT Calibration Log. They also sell audio and video recordings for an additional $15 each (dispatch audio record, body-cam footage, in-car camera recording, and a photo CD).

Iowa Mugshots

The history of mugshots goes all the way back to the 1800s when photography was first invented. Since then, mugshots have become an important part of the arrest and booking process for law enforcement. A French policeman named Alphonse Bertillon first made it standard practice to use mugshots. The term “mugshot” comes from the slang word “mug,” meaning your face. Generally, mugshots consist of two angles (a front-facing shot and a profile shot). They are used by investigators, witnesses, and victims to identify criminals.

Iowa mugshots are readily available online. In fact, many of the local county jails have arrest search areas on their websites where you can view information about people who were recently arrested, their crimes, dates of birth, and a mugshot. Mugshots can also be found on news websites and informational portals that serve up public records.

Iowa Arrest Booking Process

Iowa’s jails are fairly overcrowded, and therefore the booking process is lengthy. A booking department is a busy place with a lot of suspect processing to get through. After someone is arrested in Iowa, even if just for a DUI, they will be taken to the local county jail where they will be booked. The booking process in Iowa consists of:

  • A booking police officer will take down their name, date of birth, address, and other non-case-related details for the paperwork.
  • The suspect may be searched fully, and their personal belongings will be removed and held for them.
  • The police will take mugshots of the person and fingerprint them.
  • A nurse or medical professional may give them an exam.
  • The officer on duty will then place them in a jail cell to wait.

Bail may be set if the courts are open. If not, the suspect will remain in jail until the bail can be set and paid, or their initial hearing takes place.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has increased over the past decade in Iowa, going from 5,946 crimes in 2006 to 7,132 by 1% higher 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.

Iowa Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Laws

Iowa Arrest Laws

IA defines an arrest as “arrest is the taking of a person into custody when and in the manner authorized by law, including restraint of the person or the person’s submission to custody.” Only peace officers can arrest someone pursuant to a warrant. Peace officers can arrest someone when they witness a public offense being committed. If they are aware of a public crime that has been committed and has good reason to believe they know who did it, they can arrest you then too. They can also arrest someone in pursuit of an offense being committed after it has been reported to them through law enforcement channels.

Who has a Power of Arrest in IA?

Only peace officers can arrest someone pursuant to a warrant. In the state of IA, in relation to a crime being witnessed or an ongoing investigation, federal law enforcement agents can arrest someone, peace officers and out-of-state officers in some instances can also arrest. Any private citizen can arrest a person in IA for a public offense that they witness. Also, when a felony has been committed, and they are aware who did it, a private citizen can arrest someone then too.

How Long Will an Arrest Report Stay on your Iowa State Records?

Iowa arrest records will stay on a person’s criminal history forever if they do not petition the court for sealing or expungement. Most juvenile records can be sealed and kept private, but adult convictions will stay on there for life. If the person was arrested but not convicted or found not guilty, they could apply after 180 days to have their records expunged. Additionally, some alcohol-related convictions can be expunged. Unfortunately, all other convictions will remain.

Can you Expunge your Records?

Yes, in some cases people can have their records expunged. Expungement is not easy in IA, and only applies to arrests that were found not guilty or not charged with a crime. Only certain alcohol-rate offenses can be expunged.

The Arrest Rate in Iowa

Arrest Rate in Iowa

For the last year tallied (2016), IA had 99,475 arrests. Of that total, 12,898 of them were crimes against people and 17,578 were property-related crimes. Additionally, 14,311 were crimes against society and the remainder of 54,688 were group B offenses.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

Most of the violent crime offenders in Iowa were 20-29 and the largest percentage of violent crime victims were 20-29.

Offender Age

Offenders w/ reported age7,980

Victim Age

Victims w/ reported age8,841

Crime Victim Demographics

Residence Home is the place where the majority of crimes in Iowa were committed, in most of the crime cases the offender was an acquaintance.

Location Type

Residence Home5,091
Parking Garage/Lot414
Convenience Store298

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Otherwise Known1,011
Relationship Unknown991

Iowa Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in Iowa was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 32,872, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona. The least popularity had Prostitution and Commercialized Vice arrests - with only 47 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime4454,7095,154
Property Crime2,60712,28014,887
Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter35356

Iowa Department of Public Safety

Is your State Safer than Iowa?

Select your state and find out:

Crime rate - 3,344
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 1%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in Iowa that have the lowest arrest rate in 2017

Iowa Arrest Records Search
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