West Virginia Arrest Records Search

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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Look Up Arrest Records in West Virginia

Under WV Code 15-2-24(d), law enforcement agencies will supply upon request, a person’s criminal records and arrest records to any private citizen. The state keeps a central repository of all state criminal records for the state and all forms of law enforcement feed into them with daily records. All arrest record requests are processed via fingerprints. A requestor may need a consent form before obtaining a copy of someone’s arrest records. They can call the state for more information on how to obtain criminal background checks and arrest records.

Are West Virginia Arrest Records Public?

Yes. WV law honors the Freedom of Information Act by allowing the general public access to criminal and arrest records. They provide offender search reports upon request based on fingerprint data. The state does not offer online services, everything has to be done in person, and sometimes people will need a consent form for the subject of their inquiry.

Victims & Offenders by Gender and Race

Offenders by Gender

Victims by Gender

Offenders by Race

White74%
Black or African American18%
Unknown8%
Native Hawaiian0%
Offenders w/ reported race3,562

Victims by Race

White83%
Black or African American11%
Unknown5%
Native Hawaiian0%
Victims w/ reported race3,765

What Information You Can Find in a state Criminal Report?

What Information You Can Find in West Virginia Arrest Report?

West Virginia arrest records are informative. Along with general data like West Virginia mugshots, name, address, phone, gender, race, height, weight, and fingerprints, they also contain someone’s entire arrest history. Each arrest will include the date of the arrest, time, arresting officer’s name, arresting agency, the charges, and disposition. Also included will be booking details, bail or bond posted associated with the charges and any pleas. Sometimes even attorney names, other accomplices and any vehicles involved will also be on there.

West Virginia State Police Reports and Mugshots

Are Police Reports Public Record in West Virginia?

Yes, according to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act §29B–1 et seq., police reports in West Virginia are public records, and you can obtain them very easily. The West Virginia state police have a website where you can use a single form to order either a police report or crash report. If you order a police report, you will need a few details like:

  • Name of person(s) involved.
  • Location of the event.
  • The date and ideally the time of the incident.
  • Type of crime/event.

Reports cost only $20, but if you want to order video or audiotapes, that will cost an additional $50. You can also get crime scene photos for $25 (per set). Some of the information you can find in a police report is:

  • The suspect’s name.
  • The date and time of the incident.
  • Whether or not the person was arrested.
  • Other offender names.
  • A detailed description of what happened.
  • Photographs taken at the scene.
  • Witness testimony.
  • Name, contact info, and badge number of the officer in charge.

West Virginia Mugshots

Mugshots in the U.S. were first used in the late 1800s. French policeman Alphonse Bertillon invented them and perfected the pose, lighting, and background. He decided upon two shots (a side view and a front view) with the suspect holding a placard with their name, booking ID, and other information on it. Modern-day mugshots rarely have these cards anymore.

West Virginia mugshots do not follow any standard style, and the backgrounds can vary from gray, white, and green. The person may be photographed in front of a brick wall or other structure. They are also wearing their street clothes. Mugshots in West Virginia are easily found online in jail lookups in most county websites.

West Virginia Arrest Booking Process

West Virginia police officers have the right to arrest someone whom they witness committing a crime, have probable cause that the person did commit a crime or with an arrest warrant. Upon arrest and being read their Miranda rights, the suspect will be handcuffed and taken to the local county jail for processing.

The booking process may consist of the following:

  • Mugshots.
  • Fingerprinting.
  • A full body search.
  • Possibly a medical exam.
  • All their personal belongings will be confiscated and inventories and held for them until release.
  • Possibly a DNA swab.
  • Police will question the suspect to obtain basic information like their name, address, date of birth, etc.

Bail may or may not be set depending on whether or not the suspect can see the magistrate. If they do, they may be able to secure a bond and get released until their trial. Otherwise, they will remain in custody until their trial.

Violent Crime Rates for the last 10 years

The crime rate has increased over the past decade in West Virginia, going from 2,157 crimes in 2006 to 2,384 by 12% 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.

West Virginia Violent Crime Rate Change

Arrest Laws

West Virginia Arrest Laws

WV police officers can arrest someone with a warrant. They can also arrest someone without a warrant when the officer believes that an offense has been committed and the suspect committed it. Officers can arrest someone when a crime has been committed in their presence. West Virginia police officers can also arrest someone when they know a felony has been committed and they have probable cause to believe that someone has committed it or someone else has given them credible information that the person committed the crime.

Who Has a Power of Arrest?

Any peace officer in this state can arrest someone. This list includes state police, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, any municipal police officer and also campus police officers. Any of these have the authority to arrest someone within the state with a valid arrest warrant or without a warrant in certain circumstances. Any private citizen can also arrest someone in the state when they witness a felony being committed or they are aware that one was committed and who did it.

How Long Will an Arrest Report Stay on West Virginia State Records?

Many arrests will remain on a public record forever in West Virginia. Arrests and charges that were dismissed or the person was found not guilty, can be expunged. Offenders must wait at least 60 days before applying to have their records expunged. If they were convicted, they must wait at least a year before applying to have their records expunged. They must file in the court where they were sentenced. Only certain crimes are eligible, and others will stay on a criminal record forever.

Can you Expunge your Records?

Yes. In West Virginia arrests and some convictions can be expunged after complying with a whole list of requirements. If the person was arrested but never convicted, they could apply 60 days after the incident. If they were convicted of a minor crime, they can apply after a year. Felonies cannot be expunged unless they first get a full and complete pardon from the governor.

The Arrest Rate in West Virginia

Arrest Rate in West Virginia

For the last year reported, 2016, WV reported 15,858 arrests. The most significant number of them (6,311) were for property crimes, another 3,958 were for larceny-theft, 1,957 were for burglary, 1,592 were for violent crime, and 1,372 were for aggravated assault.

State Offender and Victim Age Group Statistics

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

Offender Age

0-90.3%
10-199.9%
20-2929.1%
30-3924.3%
40-4914.5%
50-598.6%
60-692.7%
70-790.7%
80-890.1%
90-990.2%
Unknown9.4%
Offenders w/ reported age5,164

Victim Age

0-98.7%
10-1914.7%
20-2925.4%
30-3921.1%
40-4915.0%
50-598.9%
60-693.7%
70-791.7%
80-890.5%
90-990.2%
Victims w/ reported age5,341

Crime Victim Demographics

In most of the crime cases the offender was an acquaintance.

Victim’s Relationship to the Offender

Acquaintance1,223
Stranger797
Boyfriend/Girlfriend757
Relationship Unknown709
Otherwise Known550
Child470
Spouse337
Other Family Member193
Parent169
Friend150

West Virginia Arrest Records by Type of Crime

The popular arrests for 2017 in West Virginia was for All Other Offenses (except traffic) - 11,734, 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 18 crimes a year.

Arrest TypeUnder 18All agesTotal arrests
Violent Crime571,8321,889
Property Crime1625,0775,239
Rape9103112
Robbery6123129
Aggravated Assault421,5751,617

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety

Is your State Safer than West Virginia?

Select your state and find out:

West Virginia
Crime rate - 4,109
The crime rate in the last 5 years - down by 12%

5 Safest Counties in the Area

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

West Virginia Arrest Records Search