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Database Update on June 25, 2024

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California Criminal Records Search

California warrants authorize the police to incarcerate a suspect for a crime they suspect that he or she has committed. Arrest warrants do not expire. If not served, they become outstanding and they can still function as a valid arrest order. It should be emphasized that the police cannot issue a warrant on their own. A judge has to sign it, and he will agree to do so based on a probable cause that justifies apprehending a person. It is the responsibility of the police to indicate that such a cause does exist.

Performing a California Warrant Search

Unfortunately, the state does not have a comprehensive online database that reveals the names of wanted persons. Therefore, you will have to visit the sheriff office in the county where the suspect committed the crime. The sheriff's criminal archives contain information on the county's fugitives and wanted persons. In most cases the sheriff will be more than willing to help people conduct a criminal background check hoping to acquire information on suspects (especially their whereabouts).

Larger counties offer online databases you can use in your inquiry. For example, you may choose to initiate an Orange County warrant search by utilizing the sheriif name-based inquiry tool which can be accessed here. You can also conduct a Marin County warrant search using the name-based inquiry tool found on the local sheriff's website (it can be accessed at In addition, some sheriffs' websites display the county's most wanted list.

How Can You Perform a Criminal Records Check in California?

California Public Records Act from 1968 gives the public access to governmental records. Nevertheless, tracing down criminal records can turn out to be quite difficult and cumbersome. The best place to find California arrest records is the state's Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Attorney General. However, access to these records is restricted only to official law enforcement agencies. You can only ask for information on your personal criminal history and not on another person's history. To acquire information on yourself, you will be required to pay a fee of $25 and submit the DOJ a sample of your fingerprints. For your request to be processed, you will have to download and fill in a form that can be found here. Then, you will have to take it to a live scan site that provides fingerprinting services. The DOJ provides references for such sites. A typical arrest record contains the following information:

  1. Arrests made regarding the person in question
  2. Dismissed charges including plea bargains
  3. Details on the person committed the offense and his / her victims.

Guidelines for Conducting a California Inmate Search

California Department of Corrections puts at your disposal an electronic inmate locator. You can conduct your inquiry according to an inmate's last name or number. Results do not include abundant information. You will be able to see an inmate's full name, age, CDCR number, current location and admission date. You may choose to carry out a more focused arrest search by referring to the website of each county's sheriff office where you will most likely find and inmate lookup tool. For example, you can perform a Ventura County inmate search here.

Why Will You Need to Carry out a Background Check?

There are many instances in life that require checking whether a person has a criminal history. You are about to hire a person and you wish to make sure he is not wanted by the police. You are looking for a nanny and it is imperative to find out if she has a criminal record. Last but not least, you started dating a new person and you want to be sure he or she does not pose any risk to you. Nobody wants to date a former sex offender! In sum, the information is out there and it does not require much effort to obtain it.

California Crime Statistics

According to data published by the Criminal Justice Statistic Center, in 2021, there were 183,546 violent crimes in California. These crimes included 2,361 mueders, 14,435 raoes, 43,628 robberies and 123,122 aggravated assaults. The number of property crimestood at 857,599. There were 136,275 burglaries, 179,956 motor vehicle thefts and 541,368 larceny-thefts. The rate of violent crime was 446.2 per 100,000 population. The rate of property crime was 2,187.4 per 100,000 population.