Massachusetts Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Arrest Records in Massachusetts

MA provides two ways to search for someone’s arrest records. The first is a name-based search using an online system. The other is a fingerprint-based search. The fingerprint records are kept by local law enforcement. Individuals can schedule an appointment to have fingerprints taken. The state, online CORI portal does contain Massachusetts criminal records including arrests, but they do not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Are Massachusetts Arrest Records Public?

Yes. Massachusetts arrest records are public records and available for anyone to get a copy. MA has a complete website where the general public can request copies of someone’s report. They also offer information on how to obtain a copy of an individual’s own records to review them or apply to have them expunged.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

White70%
Black or African American23%
Unknown6%
Asian1%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

White75%
Black or African American15%
Unknown7%
Asian2%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information You Can Find in a state Criminal Report?

What Information You Can Find in Massachusetts Arrest Report?

Massachusetts arrest records are pretty comprehensive, and along with general information like name, address, phone, email, height, weight, gender, race, scars, tattoos, fingerprints and mugshots, they will also contain details of their crimes. Also included will be arrests, date of arrests, the location of arrests, charges, sentencing, dispositions, pleas, fines, bail, bond, and the arresting officer’s information. Typically, they also show what agency arrested them, if they ever spent any time in prison, and if their crime involved vehicles, that information will be on there too.

Massachusetts State Police Reports and Mugshots

Are Police Reports Public Record in Massachusetts?

Yes, police reports are public records in Massachusetts. The Mass.gov website has a special section regarding public records requests. They allow the general public to obtain records by phone, in person, and online. They do mention that any information which is private or sensitive will be redacted from the documents before they provide them to you. They also provide an email address to contact the records request officer directly.

The first four hours required to satisfy a records request are free, but after that, they charge $25/hour. The State Police also urges you to be detailed in your description of the records you need.

The type of information contained in a typical police report is:

  • Name and ages of people involved.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • A detailed description of the event.
  • What actions police took (if an arrest took place).
  • The charges brought against the suspect.
  • Any vehicles involved.
  • Crime photos, mugshots, and fingerprints.

Massachusetts Mugshots

The first mugshots were used in the mid-late 1800s when photography was being perfected. French policeman Alphonse Bertillon made it a regular part of the booking process, and other countries soon adopted this procedure. A mugshot consists of two photos: a front shot and a side shot. The composite is collectively called a mugshot (“mug” being a slang term for your face).

Mugshots in Massachusetts are pretty easy to come by. According to Massachusetts’s freedom of information laws, anyone can obtain a copy of someone’s mugshots, after they are arrested. It includes access to mugshots even if the person is later found not guilty or the charges are dropped. The state of Mass uses these mugshots on a “most wanted” website so the public can help identify and catch the bad guys. News and media outlets obtain mugshots and use them to report on news of crimes in the area.

Massachusetts Arrest Booking Process

In Massachusetts, police must have probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or a warrant to arrest you. Police transport detained persons to the local police station for booking and processing. The booking procedure includes:

  • Police may question you, but you have the right to remain silent.
  • They will ask basic information such as your name, date of birth, and address.
  • You will be thoroughly searched, and any personal items will be inventoried and held for you.
  • You may receive a medical exam.
  • Police will fingerprint you and photograph you (mugshots).
  • You may or may not be given jail clothes and placed in a jail cell.

Depending on the time of the arrest, a judge may set bail immediately or later. You will, within a day or two, attend a hearing to address your fate.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has decreased over the past decade in Massachusetts, going from 24,201 crimes in 2006 to 23,393 by 31% 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.

Massachusetts Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Laws

Massachusetts Arrest Laws

Any law officer employed by MA can arrest someone with a valid arrest warrant. They can also arrest someone who they witness stealing property, regardless of how much the property is worth. They can even arrest someone if they know them to have violated parole, probation or other sentencing limitations. An officer can arrest someone they have probable cause to believe has committed a misdemeanor, assault, and battery or an act of domestic abuse against a family member.

Who has a Power of Arrest?

Any MA law enforcement agent can legally arrest someone in the state. They can also arrest someone outside their jurisdiction if in conjunction with a combined investigation or assisting another law enforcement agency. Along with authorized personnel, any private citizen has the right to arrest someone who they know to have committed or witness committing a felony.

How Long Will an Arrest Report Stay on Massachusetts Public Records?

If someone does not have their records sealed or expunged, they will remain on their criminal history forever. Expungement is reserved for very specific cases such as juvenile crimes. Sealing is an option for convictions and charges that did not result in a conviction. For misdemeanors, the applicant must wait at least three years before they can apply for sealing. For felonies, the waiting period is seven years. Juveniles can request expungement of their records after three years.

Can You Expunge Massachusetts State Records?

Yes and no. MA does allow expungement for juvenile records but very rarely for adult arrests and convictions unless the person can prove they were falsely accused or convicted of the crime. Most people apply for sealing of their records, which effectively hides them from view. After they are sealed anyone requesting a copy of their criminal record will not see those charges or convictions, and they can legally claim they have none.

The Arrest Rate in Massachusetts

Arrest Rate in Massachusetts

For the last year tallied (2014), MA recorded 140,057 arrests for the year. Of that total, 19,467 were property crimes. Another 9,129 were for aggravated assault, 15,648 were for larceny-theft, 3,039 were for burglary, 1,537 were for robbery, and 21,570 were for other assault crimes. A good percentage of them (12,013) were for drug offenses, 9,789 were for DUIs, 7,549 were for drunkenness, and 6,194 were for disorderly conduct.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

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

Offender Age

0-90.2%
10-1915.6%
20-2932.1%
30-3923.3%
40-4913.2%
50-598.7%
60-692.6%
70-790.7%
80-890.2%
90-990.2%
Unknown3.1%
Offenders w/ reported age16,250

Victim Age

0-92.5%
10-1914.8%
20-2929.2%
30-3921.3%
40-4914.3%
50-5910.6%
60-694.8%
70-791.7%
80-890.4%
90-990.4%
Victims w/ reported age18,499

Crime Victim Demographics

Residence Home is the place where the majority of crimes in Massachusetts were committed, in most of the crime cases the offender was a stranger.

Location Type

Residence Home9,023
Highway/Alley/Street/Sidewalk3,770
Unknown1,403
Convenience Store652
Parking Garage/Lot511
Restaurant440
Drug Store/Doctors Office/Hospital376
Government/Public Building347
Commercial/Office Building314
School Elementary/Secondary286

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Stranger4,044
Relationship Unknown3,160
Boyfriend/Girlfriend2,702
Otherwise Known2,185
Acquaintance2,135
Spouse732
Friend596
Parent552
Child491
Neighbor434

Massachusetts Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in Massachusetts was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 38,985, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona. The least popularity had Curfew and Loitering Law Violations arrests - with only 4 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime7939,25710,050
Property Crime1,17913,67114,850
Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter66268
Rape23296319
Robbery1761,2111,387

Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Inspections (OPSI)

Is your State Safer than Massachusetts?

Select your state and find out:

Massachusetts
Crime rate - 1,751
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 31%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

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

CountyCrime Rate
Middlesex County1,203.09
Norfolk County1,278.53
Plymouth County1,448.28
Hampshire County1,477.66
Essex County1,561.67
Massachusetts Arrest Records Search