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.
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 here. In addition, some sheriffs’ website display the county’s most wanted list.
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:
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.
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.
According to data published by the CA DOJ, in 2013 – 151,634 violent crimes were reported to CA law enforcement agencies. These crimes involved 1,745 homicide cases, 7,459 rapes, 53,621 robberies and 88,809 aggravated assaults. In addition, there were 1,018,333 property crimes. Statistically speaking, 4.7 violent crimes and 31.05 property crimes occur per 1,000 residents. The national median is 3.8 and 27.3 respectively. 68 crimes take place per one square mile.
On average, around 30 suspects are placed under arrests per 1,000 people annually. The average in all of the United States is a little more than 40. In the last five years, approximately 7,100,000 arrests have been recorded of which 1.5% was carried out as a result of a violent crime.