TX – Search Texas Arrest Records

Arrest records in Texas play a crucial role in the criminal justice system, as they document instances when individuals are taken into custody for alleged offenses. However, it’s important to note that an arrest record is not equivalent to a criminal record, as it does not indicate guilt or conviction. This article provides valuable information on how to access arrest records in Texas, whether through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), county sheriff’s offices, or city police departments.

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Free Texas State Records

Accessing Public Information in Texas

In Texas, public access to government records is governed by the Texas Government Code Chapter 552, commonly referred to as the Public Information Act. This legislation ensures that the public has the right to access government records without the need to provide a specific reason for the request. Essentially, unless prohibited by law, all government information is considered open to the public.

Here are the key rights granted to requestors in the state of Texas:

  • Prompt Access: Requestors are entitled to timely access to non-confidential information.
  • Fair Treatment: The right to receive fair and equitable treatment when requesting information.
  • No Exceptions: Access to information is generally provided without any exceptions, barring legal restrictions.
  • Itemized Charge Statement: Requestors have the option to receive a written statement detailing the charges associated with accessing the requested information.
  • Copy of Communication: The right to obtain a copy of the communication containing the requested information.

When searching for public state records in Texas, it is advisable to narrow down the specific category of records you are seeking, such as criminal records, court documents, vital records, inmate reports, or employment verification. To efficiently find information about another individual, consider utilizing the appropriate government agency, jurisdiction, specific court, or relevant correctional facility.

Searchers can typically access the required information from various government resources at the local, state, and federal levels, using designated search tools. However, in certain instances, using third-party services may prove to be more efficient and less stressful, as they can provide access to public records from across the entire nation and search multiple regions or agencies simultaneously.

Summary of Texas Criminal Records

Texas maintains comprehensive criminal records that provide information about individuals’ past criminal activities within the state. These records encompass a range of details, including arrests, indictments, charges, post-conviction status, and expunged convictions.

These criminal history reports, often informally referred to as rap sheets, contain specific information about the subject, such as:

  • Full name and any known aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality and ethnicity
  • Mugshot
  • Physical description
  • Fingerprints
  • Arrest details
  • Specifics of criminal offenses

Accessing Criminal Records in Texas

Criminal records in Texas are categorized as state records and are generally accessible to the public, unless deemed confidential.

Any individual in Texas can obtain these open records through the online resources provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety or by perusing public court case documents.

How to Check Someone’s Criminal History in Texas

To find out if someone has a criminal history in Texas, you can utilize the services provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety website. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Visit the DPS Website.
  • Navigate to ‘Crime Records.’
  • Select ‘Criminal History Name Search.’
  • Click on ‘New User Sign Up’ to create a free account.
  • After creating an account, click on ‘Search Database.’
  • Enter your User ID and Password.
  • Input the relevant search criteria and initiate the search.

Criminal History in Texas

Alternatively, you can access specific criminal history information through the Crime Records Division by following these steps:

  • Visit the DPS Website.
  • Choose either ‘Criminal History Conviction Search’ or ‘Sex Offender Registry’ to find the desired information.
    • For the criminal history conviction search, you may need to purchase credits for each search, but it allows browsing by name.
    • The sex offender public website is freely accessible and searchable by offender name, address, or institute of higher education.

If you encounter difficulties finding the required information on the DPS website, consider these options:

  • Access local court records.
  • Perform a background check through the DPS website mentioned above.

Please note that for a fingerprint-based search, you’ll need to obtain consent and fingerprints from the individual in question. Typically, this type of criminal history check is reserved for authorized employers, licensing agencies, and other pre-approved entities. Additionally, individuals seeking criminal history reports can enlist the assistance of third-party services to check the records of private tutors, house cleaners, landscapers, and others who may have access to their homes.

Juvenile Criminal History Records in Texas

A Texan’s juvenile criminal history records encompass information related to their legal history, including arrests, convictions, charges, and sentencing, when they are below the age of 17 in the state of Texas.

Juvenile court records in Texas are not available to the public and are legally confidential, not open for public scrutiny. Access to these records is limited to specific agencies and entities authorized by law, such as The Texas Department of Public Safety, Juvenile Justice Information System, the Department of Family and Protective Services, the military, and various criminal justice agencies.

If a juvenile record is sealed, it becomes inaccessible to anyone except when an individual has obtained a court order granting them the right to view that specific record.

Upon reaching the age of 18, juveniles can request to seal their records, provided they do not have any adult felony or misdemeanor charges or convictions pending and are free from any ongoing adult or juvenile charges. Records can only be sealed by the court if the juvenile does not have any sexual offenses on their record.

Texas State Records – How Can I Check for the Existence of a Warrant?

An arrest warrant is an official document authorized by a judge, granting law enforcement the authority to apprehend an individual who is suspected of committing a crime. Conversely, a bench warrant is issued by a judge when a person fails to comply with a court order.

To determine whether they have a warrant in Texas, individuals have several options:

  • Utilize the Criminal History Search feature on the Department of Public Safety (DPS) website.
  • Access local court websites, particularly the Court Activity Reporting and Directory System, to identify the court type, county, address, city, and district, and then contact the court clerk or recorder to inquire about any active or outstanding warrants.

Texas State Records

Discover the local jurisdiction where the person may have a criminal record and visit the respective Sheriff’s office website to verify the presence of a warrant. For instance, the Harris County Texas Sheriff’s Office website offers a warrant search tool that allows the public to review active misdemeanor arrest warrants. This tool can be searched using the subject’s first and last name, System Person Number (SPN), or date of birth. It’s a free resource for anyone seeking this information.

How to Access Free Texas Sexual Predator Information?

Texas maintains a comprehensive database of individuals convicted of sexual offenses. The Texas Sex Offender Registry provides details about these offenders, including their full names, any known aliases, physical descriptions, and addresses. Here’s how to access this information:

  • Visit the Texas Sex Offender Registry website.
  • Click on the ‘Search’ option.
  • You can search by Map Address, Registrant Name, or Institute of Higher Education.

Check for Sexual Predators

Additionally, after completing step #1, users have the following options:

  • Click on ‘National Sex Offender Search’ to utilize a nationwide database for finding individuals convicted of crimes in other states. This tool is accessible to the public for free and allows searches by offender name or within a specified radius of up to 3 miles.

Alternatively, you can proceed with step #1 and then:

    • Click on ‘How to Download Registry.’
    • Select ‘Download Registry’ to log in and obtain a comprehensive list of sex offenders in Texas.

What Are the Procedures for Conducting a No-Cost Background Check on an Individual in Texas?

In Texas, various types of background checks exist, each with distinct implications for the methodology employed, the information obtainable, and the legal requirements that must be observed during the process. Individuals being subjected to background checks in Texas do not require consent for a name-based statewide check. However, obtaining their consent and fingerprinting is mandatory when conducting FBI-verified background checks.”

Performing a Background Check in Texas via the Department of Public Safety

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) administers the Conviction Database, housing comprehensive statewide criminal records. This database functions as a centralized repository for criminal records gathered from public and private channels.

Department of Public Safety

Conducting a criminal background check through DPS usually requires 1-3 business days to process.

Streamlined Federal Background Checks Using FAST Fingerprinting and Department of Public Safety

In various professions like childcare providers, educators, security personnel, contractors, or volunteers, individuals frequently need to undergo a criminal history background check based on their fingerprints. To streamline this procedure and enhance the accessibility of fingerprinting services, the state of Texas has established a network of fingerprinting service centers throughout the state, managed by the Department of Public Safety.

Those seeking to have their fingerprints recorded for federal background checks, either for themselves or on behalf of someone else, can achieve this by visiting one of the FAST submission locations.

Gathering Fingerprints

  • Schedule an appointment for fingerprinting through the IdentoGo website at or by calling 888-467-2080.
  • Choose your preferred delivery method.
  • Provide recipient information, including details like name and USD ID #.
  • Bring the necessary fee payment to your appointment. Be sure to check with the specific location for their fingerprinting fees, as they can vary. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, business check, money order, or coupon code.
  • Bring a valid form of identification with you.
  • Electronically submit your fingerprints to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Keep the receipt provided by IdentoGo for your records.

Alternatively, you can collect fingerprints for a federal check through a fingerprint vendor, such as your local law enforcement agency:

  • Complete an official fingerprint card.
  • Enroll your fingerprints online or over the phone using the number mentioned in Step 1 above.

Submitting Fingerprinting Information

After obtaining fingerprints, individuals can proceed with the following steps:

  • Visit the IdHSC website.
  • Follow the instructions on the webpage to submit fingerprints digitally via the US Post Office, complete the online application, and make electronic payments.

Alternatively, requestors have the option to directly contact the FBI through the mail by following these steps:

  • Request and complete the Applicant Information Form.
  • Acquire a set of fingerprints using the standard fingerprint card (FD-1164) and visit the nearest US Post Office location.
  • Submit payment by filling out the credit card payment form or sending a money order or certified check.
  • Mail the items mentioned above to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request 1000 Custer Hollow Road Clarksburg, WV 26306

Typically, an employment background check takes approximately 2-5 business days to complete.

Additionally, some counties provide official background checks at the local level, often through the sheriff’s office or clerk of courts. For instance, residents of Tarrant County can request background check reports through the District Clerk of Court. Detailed information, as well as guidance on locating various other types of public records, can be found in our resource on accessing free public records in Tarrant County, Texas.

Explore Texas Judicial Records: A Guide to Understanding Texas Court System

The Texas judicial system comprises various tiers, each responsible for handling specific types of cases across the state:

  • Supreme Court: This court holds the ultimate appellate authority for both civil and juvenile cases.
  • Court of Criminal Appeals: It has the final say in criminal cases.
  • Courts of Appeals: These handle regional cases and intermediate appeals originating from lower courts.
  • District Courts: These courts have original jurisdiction in civil cases exceeding $200, divorce proceedings, juvenile matters, felony criminal cases, and contested elections.
  • County Courts
    • Constitutional County Courts: Handle civil cases ranging from $200 to $20,000, probate matters, misdemeanors with fines exceeding $500, juvenile issues, and appeals from lower courts.
    • Statutory County Courts: Adjudicate civil and criminal cases as prescribed by county court law, with jurisdiction over civil disputes ranging from $200 to $250,000.
  • Statutory Probate Courts: Specialize in probate, mental health, and guardianship cases.
  • Justice Courts: Deal with civil actions exceeding $20,000, small claims, criminal misdemeanors, and magistrate cases.
  • Municipal Courts: Handle criminal misdemeanors without imprisonment, municipal ordinance cases, and civil jurisdiction cases.

How to Locate Court Records for Individuals in Texas?

Court records encompass the documents submitted or digital records filed during legal proceedings. To access anyone’s court records in Texas, follow these steps:

  • Determine the Court: Begin by identifying the specific court where the individual’s case was filed.
  • Gather Necessary Information: Conduct research to collect additional details such as the subject’s name, date of birth, and any relevant descriptors. This information will help streamline your search.
  • Public vs. Confidential Records: Determine whether the desired court records are publicly accessible or subject to legal exemptions. Some cases may require contacting the local court custodian for assistance, while others may be available online through the court’s website.
  • Requesting Court Documents: Individuals have several options for making official requests for court documents. They can opt for online requests, in-person visits, mailing requests, or explore alternative methods.

For instance, if you prefer an online approach to access court case records, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website.
  • Navigate to the ‘Records Management’ section.
  • Click on ‘TRAIL – Texas Government Web Site Archive.’
  • Utilize the ‘Search TRAIL’ box to input relevant information or keywords.
  • Click ‘Submit Search’ to initiate the search process.

Court Records – Texas

How to Access Bankruptcy Filings in Texas?

Bankruptcy records contain detailed financial information concerning individuals who may owe money to creditors. These documents typically include data on bank accounts, properties, businesses, and income.

If you’re looking for bankruptcy records in Texas, there are several methods available:

  • PACER System: You can visit the United States Court’s website and utilize the PACER System to locate federal bankruptcy cases and their associated docket information.
  • Voice Case: Users can access the Multi-Court Voice Case Information System by dialing 866-222-8209 via telephone to find information related to a specific bankruptcy case.
  • Archives: For older cases, individuals can use the National Archives Court Records website to search for historical court cases and bankruptcy filings.
  • Bankruptcy Courts: Texas has various bankruptcy courts, including the Southern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court and the Northern District of Texas Bankruptcy Court. These courts offer copies and public information regarding bankruptcy court documents. You can request these documents through mail, email, fax, in-person at the respective courthouse, or simply view them online.
  • Clerk’s Office: Seekers can obtain bankruptcy information by contacting the court clerk of the relevant court and requesting copies of specific records. Alternatively, interested individuals can access free public terminals in courthouse lobbies to view the desired documents.
  • Records Center: Access to older closed records filed before 2001 can be obtained through the Fort Worth Federal Records Center.

Exploring Texas Inmate Records

Texas inmate records encompass comprehensive data related to arrests, detentions, and incarcerations. This data comprises:

  • Names & Aliases
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Date of Birth
  • Custody Status
  • Location
  • ID Number

In accordance with the Texas Public Information Act, inmate records are accessible to the public through local court custodians, government websites, and third-party search platforms, facilitating efficient searches and providing prompt, trustworthy results.

Discovering Jail Records and Recent Arrests in Texas

If you’re searching for someone’s jail records, trying to locate an individual in jail, or seeking information about recent arrests in specific Texas counties, follow these steps to streamline your record search. Start by identifying the county where the person was convicted of a crime. Having the full name of the arrestee and an approximate arrest date can be helpful in refining your search. In Texas, local police departments typically oversee city jails, while county jails are under the jurisdiction of the local sheriff’s offices.

To access jail records or information about recent arrests, interested individuals can visit the websites of the relevant sheriff’s office or city/county police department. For instance, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office website provides a user-friendly ‘Find Someone in Jail’ tool:

  • Input the Last name, First name, Birth date, SPN, or SSN.
  • Click ‘Submit this Search.’

Alternatively, users can find contact information on the website’s page and directly inquire about the person’s status at the Harris County Jail Facility or the Outsource Jail Facility.

For comprehensive guidance on searching for local jail records and recent arrests, use our resource to learn how to access free public records in Harris County. This resource covers arrests, warrants, probation information, criminal cases, and more.

Recent Arrests in Texas

How to Find TX Mugshots for Free?

To locate TX mugshots quickly and easily, follow these steps:

  • Determine the Arrest Location: Start by identifying the county or city where the person was arrested. This information is crucial for your search.
  • Visit Sheriff’s Office or Police Department Websites: Once you know the arrest location, visit the respective sheriff’s office website or the local police department’s website.
  • Search for Recent Arrests or Mugshots: Look for a section on the website that provides access to recent arrests or mugshots. This is where you’ll find the information you’re looking for.

For example, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office offers an Offense Inquiry tool that allows you to search for specific offenses, incident numbers, SPNs, or case types in their jail. You can determine whether a defendant is currently held in the Harris County jail.

If you’re interested in searching for other types of records within the county, such as marriage records, divorce records, property ownership details, court documents, and more, refer to our comprehensive guide on Harris County public records.

Another option for finding mugshots and arrest information is Andrews County. They provide a county jail records search tool on their Sheriff’s Office page, or you can find contact information to directly email the Andrews County Sheriff for assistance.

How to Locate an Individual in a Texas Prison?

To determine whether someone is incarcerated in a Texas prison, you can utilize the resources provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Here are the steps to follow:

  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ): a. Visit the TDCJ website. b. Select either ‘Find a Facility’ or ‘Inmate Information.’ c. If you choose ‘Inmate Information,’ click on ‘Online Inmate Search.’ d. Enter the required details, which may include the last name, first name, TDCJ Number, SID number, gender, and race.
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP):
    • Access the BOP website.
    • Utilize the BOP inmate locator tool to search for an incarcerated individual currently held in a federal facility.

Someone is in a Texas Prison

These steps will help you locate someone in a Texas prison or a federal facility, depending on your needs.

Texas: Accessing Vital Records

Vital records in Texas, which are official records related to life events and maintained by the government, fall under the category of public information. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that while these records are considered “public,” they can only be accessed or acquired in certified form by specific entities and individuals for death, birth, marriage, or divorce certificates.

Are Texas (TX) Vital Records Accessible to the Public?

Informational copies of Texas vital records simply confirm the occurrence of an event and do not require additional identification for acquisition. Conversely, official copies are exclusively accessible to authorized individuals.

To illustrate the demand for Texas vital records, the chart below displays divorce rates in various Texas counties:

Vital Records Publicly Available

For those seeking official copies of vital records, it is necessary to specify their relationship to the individual named in the application. Searchers must provide essential details such as the registrant’s name, jurisdiction, event date, and case file number when searching for or requesting Texas vital certificates.

Curious about someone’s marital status in Texas? Discover Free Texas Marriage Records!

In Texas, marriage records are classified as public information, accessible to anyone. Nevertheless, individuals named on the marriage certificates have the option to request their confidentiality or sealing.

Unless a marriage certificate has been made confidential, individuals seeking copies can acquire them from the county clerk’s office in the county where the marriage ceremony was held.

Explore Free Divorce Records in Texas

In the state of Texas, divorce records are classified as public information, although some details like financial information and child support agreements may be excluded. Nonetheless, individuals can obtain divorce records through the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) website.

To access marriage or divorce records, follow these steps:

  • Visit the DSHS website.
  • Navigate to the ‘Services’ section.
  • Select ‘Marriage & Divorce Records.’
  • Click on ‘Order Online 24/7.’

Alternatively, you can download the application form, complete it, and send it to the following address:

Department of State Health Services DSHS – VSS PO Box 12040 Austin, Texas 78711 – 2040

Divorce Records in Texas

Alternatively, you can opt to download the app or physically visit one of our vital records office locations.

How to Obtain Birth and Death Certificates in Texas?

Obtaining birth and death certificates in Texas involves specific criteria and procedures:

Birth Certificates:

  • Birth records that are 75 years or older and not sealed by the court are accessible.
  • To request a replacement birth certificate, you must qualify as one of the following:
    • Registrant
    • Parent or Guardian
    • Offspring of the Registrant
    • Siblings
    • Grandparents
    • Spouse
    • Person Granted Access by Court Order
  • To obtain birth records by mail, follow these steps:
    • Download and complete the birth certificate application.
    • Make a photocopy of an acceptable form of identification.
    • Send the application, the copy of ID, and the appropriate fee payment to this address: DSHS Vital Statistics PO Box 12040 Austin, TX 78711
    • Alternatively, you can apply online via

Death Certificates:

  • A death certificate provides official information about a person’s death, including time, location, and date.
  • Access to death certificates that are 25 years or older is unrestricted.
  • For death certificates less than 25 years old, you must be an immediate family member of the deceased or have court-ordered approval to access the record.
  • To request a recent death certificate, do the following:
    • Download the death certificate application.
    • Send the completed form, required fees, and a copy of a valid government ID to the address mentioned above.

In Texas, you can also access various types of records using local, state, and federal resources:

  • Criminal records: Hosted by the Department of Public Safety.
  • Sex offender information: Available for free on the Texas Public Sex Offender Website.
  • Prisoner details: Most reliably found through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmate information center.
  • Arrest reports: Hosted by the sheriff’s office in each county.


How Can I Access My Own Arrest Records in Texas?

Accessing your own arrest records in Texas typically involves submitting a request to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). You can obtain a copy of your own arrest records by filling out the appropriate form and paying a fee. The DPS processes these requests and provides the requested information. Keep in mind that arrest records are generally considered public records, but some details may be restricted or sealed, depending on the circumstances of the arrest.

Can I Access Someone Else's Arrest Records in Texas?

Accessing someone else's arrest records in Texas can be more complex. Generally, these records are considered public, but there are restrictions to protect individuals' privacy. To access someone else's arrest records, you may need to demonstrate a legitimate reason, such as for employment or legal purposes. In some cases, you may be required to obtain a court order or written consent from the individual whose records you are seeking.

Are Arrest Records in Texas Automatically Sealed or Expunged?

Arrest records in Texas are not automatically sealed or expunged. To have your arrest record sealed or expunged, you must meet specific eligibility criteria, such as having charges dismissed or being acquitted. Additionally, you need to file a petition with the court and follow a legal process to request the sealing or expungement of your records. It's essential to consult with an attorney to navigate this process effectively.

How Long Does It Take to Access Arrest Records in Texas?

The processing time to access arrest records in Texas can vary. It depends on factors such as the volume of requests, the agency handling the request, and whether you are requesting your own records or someone else's. Typically, it may take several weeks to receive a response. It's advisable to check with the specific agency or department responsible for processing your request for a more accurate estimate.

Can I Access Juvenile Arrest Records in Texas?

Accessing juvenile arrest records in Texas is more restricted than adult records. While juvenile records are generally confidential, they may be accessible in certain situations, such as when applying for certain jobs or licenses. Access to juvenile records often requires a court order or permission from a judge. It's crucial to understand the specific rules and regulations governing access to juvenile arrest records in Texas before attempting to obtain them.