Washington Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Arrest Records in Washington

Washington offers criminal history reports, including arrest records to the general public as part of the Freedom of Information Act. The state keeps a central repository of all criminal records. All record requests are fingerprint-based. Any private citizen can get a copy online, through the mail or in person. The reports offered to the general public will be less expensive than what is shared among other law enforcement agencies. When requesting a copy, someone will have to fill out a form and pay a fee.

Are Arrest Records Public Records in Washington?

Yes, the general public is allowed to access to arrest records. However, not all information will be available on a public access record. The public records law offers a censored version for private citizens and a complete version for other government agencies. A central database is kept of all criminal data for easy access. When making a request, the user needs to have someone’s fingerprints and a consent form. They will also have to fill out paperwork and pay a fee.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

White56%
Black or African American28%
Unknown10%
Asian3%
American Indian or Alaska Native2%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

White71%
Black or African American14%
Unknown8%
Asian5%
American Indian or Alaska Native2%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information You Can Find in a state Criminal Report?

What Information You Can Find in Washington Arrest Report?

Washington arrest records will show a lot of criminal history information like arrests, convictions, charges, sentencing, disposition, bail, bond, fees, and other fines paid. Also included will be the date and place of arrest, the officer’s name and badge number, arresting agency, booking details and any vehicles involved. Additionally, general information like name, phone, address, gender, race, height, weight, other physical description, mug shots and fingerprints will be on there too.

Washington State Police Reports and Mugshots

Are Police Reports Public Record in Washington?

Yes. Police reports in Washington are public records according to the  Public Records Act (See Revised Code of Washington,  RCW 42.56 ). Big cities like Seattle have set up portals for the public to view all copies of Washington police reports (called a general offense report). These reports are available within 8 hours after the event and three days after serious crimes like homicide, burglary, and aggravated assault.

Some information will be redacted (blacked out) to protect innocent citizens and personal, private information. To use the system, you must create an account on the portal.

The types of information contained within a Washington police report are:

  • 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.
  • Information about the officer(s) involved.

Washington Mugshots

Washington mugshots are also public records and seen online in county jail rosters, news and media outlets, public records websites, and other places. There is no typical mugshot style for Washington. Many of the suspects are photographed in plain clothes, some in jail attire, and all of them are pictured in front of a light or dark gray background. Most suspects in mugshots are frowning or look quite unhappy. Occasionally one will smile or make a silly face.

Police started using mugshots in the 1800s when a French policeman, Alphonse Bertillon, made it part of his standard practice. He played around with lighting, poses, and backgrounds until he devised the perfect combination, which is widely used around the world today.

Washington Arrest Booking Process

The Washington booking process is laid out very cleanly. After someone is arrested, they are taken to the local county jail where they are booked and processed into the system. That process usually takes four to six hours and consists of:

  • If someone is under the influence, they will have their blood drawn or be asked to submit to a breath or urine test.
  • A medical professional will give them a complete exam and ask questions about medications.
  • A police officer will take down basic information such as name, address, phone and date of birth.
  • Inmates will be searched and contraband along with personal items stored for them.
  • Law officers will fingerprint and photograph all suspects.
  • Charges against them are entered into the system.
  • Bail may or may not be set.

Usually, Washington offenders will stay in jail until they can pay bail, or they see the judge.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has decreased over the past decade in Washington, going from 16,898 crimes in 2006 to 16,640 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.

Washington Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Laws

Washington Arrest Laws

A Washington police officer can arrest someone with a warrant. They may also arrest them without a warrant when they believe someone committed a gross misdemeanor causing someone else harm. They can even arrest someone they have reasonable cause to believe has committed a felony in or not in their presence. Washington police can also arrest someone for violating parole, probation or a restraining order. If an officer suspects someone of committing child or domestic abuse, they can arrest them in that case also.

Who has a Power of Arrest in Washington?

Any local police officer can arrest someone per the laws regarding arrests in the state. Federal and state law enforcement agents also have the power to arrest someone in the state. Any private citizen may also arrest someone when they witness a crime being committed or know that someone committed a crime. Officers from other states can also arrest someone when in fresh pursuit of a suspect across state lines.

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

Some Washington arrests will stay on a record forever. However, offenders are allowed to petition the court to have some misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor arrests expunged. They must wait three years after completion of their sentencing, however, before requesting they be removed. The decision is entirely up to the judge, and many are not compliant. Offenders also cannot have any additional charges or convictions. They must also comply with a list of requirements as well.

Can you Expunge your Records?

Yes. It is allowed expungement for some minor misdemeanor crimes. The decision to expunge or not is up to the individual judge. Offenders must apply in the court where they were originally sentenced. There is a lot of paperwork and fees involved in the expungement process. They also must wait a period of three years following completion of their sentence before even petitioning the court. Cases, where charges were already downgraded, are much harder to get expunged. An example would be a DUI.

The Arrest Rate in Washington

Arrest Rate in Washington

For 2017,147,488 arrests were recorded for the year. Of that total, 27,946 were for assault, 13,447 were for drug violations, 24,795 were for theft, 1,570 for weapons violations, 4,344 were for robbery and 59,220 were for various Group B violations.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

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

Offender Age

0-90.2%
10-1917.7%
20-2930.4%
30-3921.7%
40-499.5%
50-596.8%
60-691.6%
70-790.4%
80-890.1%
90-990.1%
Unknown11.5%
Offenders w/ reported age22,636

Victim Age

0-93.3%
10-1917.2%
20-2927.9%
30-3922.2%
40-4913.8%
50-5910.0%
60-694.1%
70-791.0%
80-890.3%
90-990.1%
Victims w/ reported age21,442

Crime Victim Demographics

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

Location Type

Residence Home8,807
Highway/Alley/Street/Sidewalk5,345
Parking Garage/Lot1,626
Unknown911
Grocery Store728
Convenience Store701
Department/Discount Store659
Specialty Store453
Drug Store/Doctors Office/Hospital444
Hotel/Motel443

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Stranger7,961
Relationship Unknown5,719
Acquaintance3,319
Boyfriend/Girlfriend2,618
Otherwise Known2,224
Friend724
Spouse620
Child556
Parent433
Sibling374

Washington Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in Washington was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 58,249, the same popularity of the arrest type was seen in Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona. The least popularity had Embezzlement arrests - with only 54 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime8908,4729,362
Property Crime2,69227,05529,747
Murder & Non-negligent Manslaughter17158175
Rape77515592
Robbery3341,8872,221

Washington State Patrol

Is your State Safer than Washington?

Select your state and find out:

Washington
Crime rate - 4,199
The crime rate in the last 5 years - up by 12%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

A list of 5 counties in Washington that have the highest arrest rate in 2017

Washington Arrest Records Search