WV – Search West Virginia Arrest Records

In the state of West Virginia, obtaining access to arrest records can be a crucial step for various reasons, such as background checks, legal proceedings, or personal research. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the different avenues available for accessing arrest records in West Virginia, along with some essential considerations.

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Free West Virginia Criminal Records

Public Access to Criminal and Arrest Records Available in West Virginia

In West Virginia, the public enjoys the right to access various public records, which encompass both arrest and criminal records. This accessibility is granted under the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code 29B) and the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).1, 2

These legislations permit public access to most government records, unless specific legal provisions designate them as confidential or withhold them.

While residents of West Virginia can access both arrest and criminal records to ascertain the nature of someone’s arrest or review an individual’s criminal history, the procedures for obtaining each record type differ. This variance arises from distinct custodians or repositories responsible for maintaining these records.

It is important to note that certain restrictions apply to these records. For instance, juvenile records are automatically sealed or kept confidential, shielding them from public access. Additionally, certain adult records, such as expunged records (completely erased), may be partially or fully withheld.

Distinguishing Between Criminal Records and Arrest Records in West Virginia

In West Virginia, there exists a notable contrast between arrest records and criminal records. Although an arrest record and a criminal record may contain overlapping information, the depth of information they provide differs significantly.

Arrest records primarily focus on a single incident and furnish essential details pertaining to a specific arrest. These records are valuable for individuals seeking information about charges associated with a particular confinement. The typical components of an arrest record encompass:

  • Age
  • Arresting Agency
  • Arrest Location & Time
  • Current Holding Facility (if applicable)
  • Date of Birth
  • Details of the Arrest
  • Full Name
  • Physical and Demographic Descriptors

On the other hand, criminal records offer a comprehensive overview of an individual’s entire criminal history. They encompass not only arrest information but also details about past arrests, convictions, and a more comprehensive array of data. A criminal record in West Virginia typically includes:

  • Age
  • Arrest(s)
  • Conviction(s)
  • Current Facility (if applicable)
  • Date of Birth
  • Fingerprints
  • Full Name
  • Known Aliases
  • Mugshot
  • Pending Charges
  • Physical and Demographic Descriptors
  • Prior Criminal Convictions and Case Details
  • Warrants

This distinction is crucial for individuals seeking specific information about a particular arrest and those interested in a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s criminal history.

Discovering Virginia Arrest Records, Determining Incarceration Reasons, and Accessing Mugshots at No Cost

Individuals seeking Virginia arrest records and information about individuals currently in jail have several options at their disposal, depending on the responsible law enforcement agency. The following instructions offer straightforward steps for acquiring Virginia arrest records or details about incarcerated individuals from different law enforcement agencies.

It is also advantageous if the searcher possesses the accurate spelling of the subject’s first and last name and a general understanding of the arrest’s location and date.

Searching Recent Arrests in West Virginia’s County Sheriffs’ Offices

Individuals concerned about the incarceration status of their friends or family members in West Virginia have the right to inquire about and review their arrest records. However, it’s important to note that West Virginia’s correctional system differs from many other states, as it does not have county or city jails.

Instead, all regional jails in West Virginia fall under the oversight of the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR).

While the public cannot access juvenile records of inmates held in DCR Juvenile Facilities and Reporting Centers, DCR Adult Facilities house adult offenders, and their public information is available for viewing online by the general public.

Find Virginia Arrest Records

To access these arrest reports, searchers have the following options:

  • Utilize the DCR Regional Jail Inmate Search tool by entering the individual’s full or partial last name (and optionally, the first name).

  • Click the “Search” button and review the provided search results. If available, a mugshot will also be displayed to assist searchers in confirming the subject’s identity.

  • Click on “More Info” for any individual to access a comprehensive arrest record, including case number(s), issuing agency, bail information, and demographic details about the subject.

West Virginia’s County Sheriffs Offices

Many West Virginia arrest records are accessible through the DCR. However, if a local police department conducted the arrest, the DCR will not possess this information. In such cases, individuals seeking inmate or arrest records will need to reach out to the specific police department responsible for the arrest.

Given that most local departments do not provide online search capabilities or maintain booking logs of daily arrests, interested parties will likely have to make contact via phone or in-person visits.

To ascertain whether someone was arrested by a local police department or to obtain arrest records, individuals can locate the department’s contact information by conducting a web search for “[city] police department” using any search engine.

The subsequent step involves examining the search results to identify the official police department website. Subsequently, individuals should contact or visit the department’s office using the provided phone number or address to inquire about recent arrests.

How to Get in Touch with an Inmate in a West Virginia Jail and Secure Their Release through Bail?

If you need to contact an inmate incarcerated in a West Virginia regional jail, it’s important to note that each facility may have varying options and guidelines for communication. These differences can extend to visitation schedules, phone call policies, and in-person visitation rules. To get specific information about visiting an inmate, it’s advisable to contact the regional jail directly.

For instance, let’s take a look at the North Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility and the Eastern Regional Jail and Correctional Facility. Both of these facilities allow a single 30-minute visitation per month, which can involve either one adult and two minors or two adults. However, the days, times, and procedures for scheduling visits differ between these two facilities. Therefore, it is always recommended to obtain the most up-to-date visitation details and guidance from the relevant jail.

Now, let’s delve into the process of posting bail for an inmate’s release. Bail represents the amount of money that a defendant must pay, or have paid on their behalf, in order to be released from custody until their trial. If you wish to bail out an inmate, you should first contact the jail to confirm the specific bail amount set for the individual in question.

Bail can be paid in full, often referred to as “cash bail.” Alternatively, if you are unable to cover the full bail amount, you can opt for a partial payment. In such cases, you can make a partial payment to a certified bail bondsman, who will assist in covering the remaining balance.

In accordance with West Virginia state law, every bail bondsman is required to charge a fee equal to at least 10% of the total bail amount. These fees paid to the bail bondsman can be settled in two ways: You can either pay the full fee upfront, or you can make an initial payment of 3% of the bond amount, with the remainder paid within a one-year period, following stipulations set by the bondsman.

Once the bail has been paid to the respective jail, the defendant should be released within a few hours.

Accessing West Virginia Criminal Records via County & State Agencies

West Virginia criminal records are typically maintained by county courts and various state agencies. This guide will provide detailed instructions on accessing these records, often referred to as “rap sheets,” through the respective custodians.

In addition to identifying the locations of public records repositories in West Virginia, readers will also gain insight into the procedure for obtaining these records, associated fees, and whether the records are available for online viewing or must be obtained in person.

Perform a Virginia County Criminal Record Search via the Clerks of Court

In the state of Virginia, criminal records are obtainable through the county’s clerks of court. These clerks are responsible for maintaining records and providing support for various non-judicial court functions.

Individuals seeking information regarding criminal records can reach out to the clerk of court in the relevant county. They can assist in verifying the existence of a criminal record and provide copies of these records, typically for a small fee.

Below, you will find pertinent court information for Pleasants County, including precise court addresses and contact details.

West Virginia Criminal Records Through County & State Agencies

Accessing Criminal Records in West Virginia through the State Police (WVSP)

In West Virginia, residents have the option to access their own criminal records via the West Virginia State Police (WVSP). While in-person criminal history record checks are no longer offered by the WVSP, individuals are encouraged to utilize the IdentoGO service for fingerprinting and record retrieval.

Criminal history reports may also be disclosed to employers or other authorized parties, but only with written consent from the individual undergoing fingerprinting. Additionally, the requesting agency or entity must be specified on the registration form.

To obtain criminal records through the WVSP, follow these steps:

  • Register for a Personal Criminal Record Check Fingerprinting Appointment, Employer Record Check Fingerprinting Appointment, or Employer Record Check with Provider Number Fingerprinting Appointment. Set an appointment date and time via IDEMIA’s online portal by providing personal details such as name, date of birth, and contact information. Pre-registration is mandatory, as walk-ins are generally not accepted at IdentoGO locations. If applicable, enter the business or company code for fingerprinting submissions on the form.

  • Review the list of Accepted Documents for Fingerprinting to determine which document to bring to the fingerprinting appointment. Acceptable documents include, but are not limited to, a driver’s license, passport, government-issued ID, state ID, or military ID.

  • On the scheduled date and time, visit any West Virginia IdentoGO Fingerprinting Location in person. Bring one valid form of identification from Step 2, along with a payment of $44.50, which can be made by check or money order. Official fingerprints will be taken on a designated fingerprinting card.

  • The fingerprinting site will then forward the fingerprint cards to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

  • Once the criminal history record check is complete, the criminal records will either be sent to the requested agency (if applicable) or emailed to the subject of the search, in accordance with the delivery preferences specified on the registration form.

For any inquiries regarding the process of obtaining West Virginia criminal records through the WVSP, please contact the Criminal Identification Bureau (CIB) at 304-746-2450.

How to Obtain Criminal Records in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, you have two options for obtaining criminal records: at the state or local level. To access records locally, you can make a request through the clerk of court at the county courthouse where the relevant case was tried.

For instance, if you are interested in obtaining criminal records in Morgan County, you should contact the Morgan County Clerk of Court at 304-258-8540 or visit the Morgan County Courthouse during their operating hours at 77 Fairfax Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.

Another avenue for obtaining criminal history reports is through the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) department, which partners with IdentoGO. To obtain a copy of your criminal record through this method, follow these steps:

  • Complete an IdentoGO Electronic Pre-registration Form.
  • Bring one of the Accepted Documents for Fingerprinting along with the fingerprinting payment to any IdentoGO Fingerprinting Location in West Virginia.

How to Locate Probationers & Parolees in West Virginia (WV)?

Individuals seeking information about probation or parole status can benefit from understanding that probation typically involves conditional release from jail, while parole is similar but often pertains to release from prison.

The West Virginia Parole Board is responsible for overseeing conditional releases for adult offenders and facilitating their reintegration into society. While the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) manages both regional jails and state prisons, the Parole Board operates independently from the DCR.

The following graphic illustrates the total count of probationers and parolees in West Virginia and compares it to other states in the United States. It also provides data on the ethnicities of individuals under community supervision in West Virginia, including those on probation and parole.

Probationers & Parolees in West Virginia (WV)

Regrettably, there is currently no online probation search tool available. However, individuals seeking probation or parole information can contact either the West Virginia Judiciary’s Division of Probation Services or the DCR’s Parole Offices for additional assistance (references 18 and 19).

Please note that the information available will be limited to West Virginia records only. For example, details regarding an individual on probation in Delaware will not be accessible through West Virginia’s records.

Alternatively, you can utilize the BOP inmate locator provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) as another resource to access historical parole information at the federal level (references 20 and 21).

Parolees in West Virginia (WV)

Nevertheless, it’s important for searchers to keep in mind that the appearance of an individual in the search results doesn’t automatically indicate their current probation or parole status. It simply suggests that they may have had such a status at some point in the past.

Guide to Expunging a Criminal Record in West Virginia

In the state of West Virginia, it is possible to remove certain charges and convictions from an individual’s criminal record through a process known as “expungement.” Expungement can be highly beneficial for individuals seeking to overcome obstacles related to housing and employment.

However, it’s important to note that not all misdemeanors and felonies are eligible for expungement. The West Virginia Expungement Instructions (SCA-C900) outline which convictions can be expunged and which cannot. Convictions that generally cannot be expunged include those related to abuse, crimes against animals, sex crimes, and all felony offenses involving minors.

To permanently remove a violation from a criminal record, individuals must complete one of the following forms for each charge:

  • Petition for Expungement of Misdemeanor Violations (SCA-C906): If approved, this allows for the dismissal and complete erasure of the specified misdemeanor from the individual’s criminal history record.

  • Petition for Expungement of Felony Violations (SCA-C907): If granted, this form leads to the permanent removal of the relevant felony charge from the individual’s criminal record.

  • Motion for Criminal Record Expungement (Acquittal or Dismissal) (SCA-C903): In cases where an acquittal or dismissal of the charge has already been granted, individuals can use this form to request the complete expungement of the incident from their record.

Expunge a Criminal Record in the State of West Virginia

Once the appropriate petition form has been completed, applicants should contact the relevant Circuit Clerk in the county with jurisdiction over the case to inquire about any additional documentation or forms of identification required.

In most cases, courts will request an official criminal record check through the WVSP (West Virginia State Police) when evaluating a petition for expungement.

Following this, petitioners are required to submit the Petition for Expungement, along with any other necessary paperwork and a filing fee of $200.00, payable to the Circuit Clerk of Court. Copies of the Petition and all related documents must also be provided to the following:

  • Chief of Police or the head of the arresting agency.
  • Prosecuting Attorney in the county where the conviction took place.
  • Warden or head of any holding facility or institution.
  • WVSP Superintendent.

If the expungement request is approved, an additional fee of $100.00 must be paid to the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) Records Division of the Criminal Identification Bureau (CIB) to cover processing, bringing the total cost of expungement to $300.00.

Juvenile records are to be kept confidential, even from state or federal agencies, unless they are subject to review under a federal subpoena.

Furthermore, juvenile criminal records must, by law, be made fully confidential or destroyed either:

  • On the juvenile’s 19th birthday, or b) One year after the termination of juvenile jurisdiction, whichever occurs later.

Finding West Virginia Prisoners: State and Federal Inmate Search

While West Virginia doesn’t maintain an online registry for misdemeanors or felonies, you can easily locate information about inmates and their charges or convictions using various online search platforms.

The West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR), responsible for managing regional jails and state prisons, offers two online directories—one for regional jails and another for state prisoners under their authority. To locate inmates in state correctional facilities, you can use the DCR Prisoner Search by entering either their first and last name or their Offender Identification (OID) Number.

WV State Prisoner or Federal Prisoner

Once the search criteria have been entered, and the “Search” button is activated, viewers will be presented with a consolidated list of pertinent search results that correspond to or resemble the name or identification (I.D.) entered. By selecting “More Info” adjacent to any offender, users will have the opportunity to review the following inmate details:

  • Court Order Date & Number
  • Current Location
  • Date of Birth
  • Full Name
  • Height
  • Intake Date
  • Next Scheduled Parole Hearing (If Applicable)
  • Offender I.D. (OID) Number
  • Offense(s)
  • Projected Release Date
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Sentencing County
  • Sex
  • Weight

WV State Prisoner

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is responsible for supervising and administering all federal prisons. Therefore, anyone looking for information about federal detainees held in West Virginia can easily access this information through the BOP inmate locator. This free search tool allows users to search for individuals by their name or BOP number, if known.

Find West Virginia Prisoners

How to Access Arrest Warrant Information in West Virginia: Conducting a WV Warrant Search?

In West Virginia, individuals can easily locate arrest warrants by following specific methods and knowing where to look. Rather than wondering about the existence of a warrant for someone’s arrest, West Virginia residents can search for warrants, whether for themselves or others, using any of the following options.

  • Local County Sheriff’s Department Website: You can visit the website of your local county sheriff’s department to check if they maintain an online warrant list or database. For instance, Kanawha County Warrants are accessible to the public. However, some counties may not offer this online search feature. In such cases, you may need to contact or visit the sheriff’s office directly.

  • County or Circuit Courthouses or Clerks of Court: Courthouses or clerks of court in your county or circuit can also provide information about warrants. They may assist you in finding the relevant information.

  • Third-Party Services: There are third-party services that specialize in accessing warrant information. These services can help you find the information you need.

Please note that federal warrants, issued by the U.S. Marshals, are stored in their WIN system. Unfortunately, this system is not accessible to the general public.

Overview of West Virginia (WV) Background Checks

Background checks serve various purposes, encompassing personal and professional domains. Common applications include employment verification, security clearance, firearm purchases, and housing assessments.

For personal background checks, consent from the subject is not required, and notification is unnecessary. However, professional background checks mandate prior consent.

Personal background checks, while subject to fewer state and federal regulations, must refrain from using acquired information for malicious purposes, such as harassment or stalking.

In contrast, professional background checks must adhere to relevant privacy and consumer information laws.

Background checks in West Virginia primarily fall into two categories: “Level 1” and “Level 2.”

A Level 1 background check involves a name-based search, revealing the subject’s criminal and employment history within a local scope (e.g., county or state). Public individuals can access information from local courts, police departments, or sheriff’s offices for personal background checks since West Virginia lacks government agencies offering name-based background checks.

Third-party people finder services and websites can be valuable resources for efficiently searching various record repositories and databases.

Level 2 background checks require submitting the subject’s fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), resulting in more precise national-scale background information. These checks provide comprehensive details, including personal and criminal history, marital status, previous addresses, professional certifications, charges, detentions, convictions, employment history, education, and credit history.

Level 2 background checks are typically essential for roles involving interactions with children, the elderly, and are often a requirement in the healthcare sector.

The West Virginia State Police (WVSP) collaborates with IdentoGO to offer convenient fingerprinting services for Level 2 background checks.

Individuals undergoing background checks for prospective employers, licensing agencies, or other entities requiring fingerprint-based assessments can pre-register for an Employer Record Check Fingerprinting Appointment or an Employer Record Check with Provider Number, depending on their situation.

The subject of the background check must bring $44.50 in the form of a check or money order to any IdentoGO Fingerprinting Location, along with one valid form of identification from IdentoGO’s Accepted Documents for Fingerprinting list.

Once the official fingerprinting card captures a full set of fingerprints, it is sent from the IdentoGO site to the FBI for background check processing. Upon completion, the results are forwarded directly to the requesting employer or agency, as specified in the pre-registration form.

Regardless of whether it is a personal or professional background check, strict adherence to state and federal laws is paramount. Both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations protect consumers and their data, ensuring accuracy in reporting.

Using the West Virginia Sex Offender Registry to Locate Offenders in Your Vicinity

Individuals who are concerned about the presence of registered sex offenders in their area have access to several online search tools. These resources are free and accessible to the general public.

The West Virginia Sex Offender Registry offers users the capability to search for registered offenders using various criteria such as name, location, email, or social media usernames. Additionally, this website supports advanced search options by city, county, or street name, and it even features a comprehensive mugshot database.

West Virginia Sex Offender Registry

After entering your search criteria, the system will display the results, allowing you to click on any registered sex offender profile to access additional information regarding their demographics and convictions. Each profile for registered sex offenders in West Virginia includes the following details:

  • Age
  • Conviction Date
  • Date of Birth
  • Eye Color
  • Full Name
  • Hair Type/Color
  • Height
  • Mugshot
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Offense(s)
  • Owned/Leased Property
  • Residence(s)
  • School(s)
  • Sex
  • Weight

Find Nearby Offenders in West Virginia

You can also find information about registered sex offenders in West Virginia on a national level using the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). You can search for them by either their name or location, specifying a particular radius.

West Virginia Sex Offender

The NSOPW database is entirely financed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), making it accessible to the public for free searches.

Rights Regarding Criminal Records & Arrest Records in West Virginia

This document outlines the rights and regulations concerning criminal records and arrest records in West Virginia (WV) under state and federal laws. It primarily addresses the use of these records in public records and background checks, particularly for professional purposes such as employment, housing, or licensing.

Consent for Professional Background Checks

    • Anyone conducting a background check or criminal history record check for professional reasons must first inform the subject of the search and obtain their explicit permission.

Personal Record Searches

    • Individuals performing personal criminal record searches or background checks for personal reasons are not required to seek the subject’s consent or provide notification.

West Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code 29B)

    • This set of laws ensures public access to government records at all levels without requiring a specific purpose or intention for the request. Agencies must respond to public records requests within five days.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

    • Similar to state laws, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to government records at the federal level.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

    • FCRA provides guidelines for the use of consumer credit information, ensuring fair, accurate, and efficient reporting of personal information while safeguarding consumer privacy.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The EEOC protects employees from workplace discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, or disability. Individuals who believe they’ve experienced discrimination can file a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC.

West Virginia’s Ban the Box Act (HB 4354-29-6A)

  • This law prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history record, offering individuals previously charged with or convicted of a crime a better chance at employment opportunities.

Criminal Record Expungements

  • All expungements of criminal records in West Virginia must adhere to the specified timelines, eligibility criteria, and laws outlined in West Virginia Code 61-11-26.

To access West Virginia arrest records, you can utilize resources such as the DCR Regional Jail Inmate Search, contact the relevant police department involved in the arrest, or employ third-party services.

For West Virginia criminal records, the most reliable sources are the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) or reaching out to the county clerk of court.


How can I access my own arrest record in West Virginia?

To obtain your own arrest record in West Virginia, you can contact the West Virginia State Police or visit their website. You may need to complete a request form, provide identification, and pay a fee if applicable. It's important to note that your arrest record is generally considered public information, but certain details may be restricted or sealed based on the nature of the offense or legal proceedings.

How can I access someone else's arrest records in West Virginia?

Accessing someone else's arrest records in West Virginia can be more challenging. Generally, these records are confidential, and you may need a valid reason, such as being a legal representative or having the individual's written consent, to obtain them. Accessing someone else's arrest records without proper authorization may be illegal, so it's essential to follow the proper legal channels and consult with an attorney if necessary.

Can employers or landlords access arrest records in West Virginia?

Yes, in many cases, employers and landlords can access arrest records in West Virginia as part of a background check. However, there are limitations and regulations in place to protect individuals' privacy. Employers and landlords typically need written consent from the individual and must adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines when obtaining and using this information.

Are arrest records in West Virginia expunged or sealed?

West Virginia allows for certain arrest records to be expunged or sealed under specific circumstances. Expungement means that the record is erased or destroyed, while sealing means that it's hidden from public view but still exists. Eligibility for expungement or sealing depends on the nature of the offense, the outcome of the case, and the time that has passed since the arrest.

How long does it take to access arrest records in West Virginia?

The time it takes to access arrest records in West Virginia can vary depending on several factors, including the agency holding the records, their workload, and the method of request. Typically, it may take several days to a few weeks to receive a response to your request. It's essential to plan ahead if you need these records for specific purposes, such as employment or housing applications, and follow up with the relevant agency as necessary to expedite the process.