Find Out if Someone You Know Has Been Arrested

Find Out if Someone You Know Has Been Arrested

Last updated on May 3, 2021

If you’ve met someone new, it’s only smart to check them out before your relationship becomes serious. Or perhaps you’re suspicious about a new neighbor or your child’s new coach. Online background check websites let you easily check if someone’s been arrested and learn the truth about their criminal history.

If you’ve just started seeing someone and it turns out that they were arrested once, you’d want to know that as soon as possible. If you’ve got a bad feeling about them, it’s wise to check it out before your relationship gets serious. Perhaps you’ve got a new co-worker or neighbor who makes you feel nervous and you want to find out if they have anything threatening in their past. Or you may want to check if your own arrest back in your wild youth is public knowledge. There are plenty of reasons why you would want to know if someone’s been arrested.

How to Find Out if Someone Has Been Arrested

Finding out if someone has been arrested might seem like a big job, but you can make it easy if you use an online background check. An online background check will tell you:

  • If someone is on the sex offenders’ list
  • Where and when that person was arrested
  • What they were charged with
  • Whether they committed a felony or misdemeanor
  • Which jail they were held in
  • The name and region of the court where they were charged
  • The final outcome of the arrest (whether they were convicted, acquitted, or dismissed)
  • What sentence was given

Just because someone was arrested it doesn’t mean he or she was actually charged with any crime, so read the background check carefully to learn whether they were actually charged with anything.

How to Find Someone Who has Been Arrested

1.   Try Locating the Individual

  • Do a little investigating and attempt to find out the person’s close friends with whom they might have been at the time of their arrest.
  • If you cannot find who was with them when they were arrested, you might at least get an idea as to where they were and what they might have been doing.
  • If you are a co-worker, check their emergency contact details or ask someone they might have been close to at your workplace.

2.   Narrow Down Likely Locations

  • Find out where they might have been last, staring with the city or county where that person lives.
  • This might mean that you will have to call various law enforcement departments in the area.

3.   Contact the Local Police Department

  • Once you get an idea as to where the person was last seen, you will want to call the non-emergency number of the police department in that area.
  • Sometimes they have a specific phone number for people to call and find out if someone has been arrested.

4.   Contact the Closest Jail

  • If a person has been arrested, chances are they will be taken to the nearest jail.
  • You will need to provide the person’s full legal name, which might be different from what you’re accustomed to using.
  • Remember that it can take around 24-48 hours for the information to be included in a person’s jail records. If they have only been recently arrested then their details might not have been entered into the system just yet.

5.   Check Arrest Records Online

  • Many cities and counties have arrest records available online in a searchable database, making it faster for you to search several locations easily without having to visit them in person.
  • Make sure to look for an official URL with extensions such as .gov or .us.
  • Bear in mind that arrest records are free and public. You should never be asked to fork out money in order to look up arrest records.

6.   Run an Online Background Check

  • If you are having trouble getting any information back it might be because you have been entering the wrong details.
  • By looking up someone’s details with an online background check you will have more information to off on in your search.

Best Online Background Check Websites

Online background check websites deliver information about someone’s criminal history by searching publicly available government records such as inmate databases, arrest records, court dockets, and criminal conviction records. All of this information is completely legal and accessible to all, but it would take you an extremely long time to search through all of the state, county, and federal records to find the information you need. Background check sites do it in a snap.

Online background check websites can also give you other information about someone, including:

  • Other names and aliases
  • Address history
  • Known relatives and associates
  • Weapons permits
  • Current contact details
  • Social media photographs
  • Civil rulings and bankruptcies
  • Traffic records

Use only the best online background check website by choosing a site that:

  • Lets you search by name and location as well as narrowing down your search by date of birth
  • Searches all public records including traffic records and inmate databases
  • Provides clear and easy to read reports
  • Adds the option of sending a court runner to check non-digitized court records
  • Has an easy to use website and mobile app
  • Delivers good customer support in case you get stuck

We used these conditions to find the best online background check websites so that you can put your fears at rest – or prove them right – as soon as possible.


Intelius lets you choose how deep a search you want to perform, so you can just request a criminal records check if that’s all you are interested in, or ask for a full online background check to get information beyond someone’s criminal history.

With Intelius, you can search by full name and location, email address, or reverse phone lookup and get plenty of information very fast. Intelius will tell you about someone’s criminal records, civil lawsuits, or liens and bankruptcies as well as their property records, marriage and divorce history, full contact details, and known relatives. Intelius also offers the option of paying extra for a court runner to check non-digitized court records.

Intelius is easy to use on the Android or iOS app or via the website and presents clear, helpful reports with good customer support via phone, email, or an extensive troubleshooting center.

A subscription for one month is a mere $22.86, you can buy a single background check for $49.95, and a statewide or national criminal check cost $19.95 and $39.95 respectively.

Sign up with Intelius here or read more about them by checking out our Intelius review.


TruthFinder’s easy to use Android mobile app and website make it easy to look up someone’s criminal past. You can search public records for someone’s arrest history using reverse phone lookup, email address, full name, or street address and receive the information you want in a clear, accurate, and easy-to-read report.

TruthFinder will tell you all you need to know about someone suspicious, including their criminal and civil court records, traffic records, and contact details as well as their current and previous addresses, aliases, and relatives. If you feel really uneasy, you can choose to pay extra for a premium report which will tell you about weapons’ permits, current and former roommates, education and employment history, and more.

TruthFinder doesn’t offer a court runner but it does have a deep web crawl which gathers an impressive level of information from social media and internet activity. It has good customer support available 24/7 via email or phone and an extensive troubleshooting section.

One month has a fee of $27.78, while three months is $69.07 per month for unlimited standard reports. A reverse phone lookup plan comes to under $2 per month.

Sign up with TruthFinder here or read more about them by checking out our TruthFinder review.


InstantCheckmate provides impressively accurate information in its standard search that includes criminal records, sex offender status, and also any marriage and divorce records, which is helpful if you’re checking up on a new love interest. You’ll also get all of the expected contact details, previous addresses, and information about known relatives as well as links to all his or her known social media profiles with profile photos.

If you want to dig deeper to learn about weapons permits, civil court judgments, and bankruptcies you’ll have to pay extra for the premium search, although there’s no option to send a court runner to check on non-digitized court documents.

It’s easy to run a search on the simple website or Android app using the person’s full name, or you can even run a search with just a partial name and his or her last known location. You’ll get all of the information nicely presented in a clear report so you can read it easily, and InstantCheckmate has phone and email support open 24/7.

One month costs $34.78, or you can pay $83.47 for 3 months, for unlimited basic background reports. You can then upgrade to a premium report for $19.99 per report.

Sign up with CheckMate here or read more about them by checking out our CheckMate review.

Will There Be Information if Someone is a Sex Offender?

Worrying if someone is a sex offender is one of the biggest concerns for anyone who feels suspicious about a new love interest. If you’ve just moved into a new neighborhood then you probably also want to check out the truth about your new neighbors.

You can run a check on someone on your state’s Sex Offender registry but that won’t help if he or she is registered in another county. There is a searchable nationwide database which covers the entire USA, but that will fail if your subject has changed his or her name. An online background check is by far the most reliable way to discover any sex offenders in a given neighborhood or to look up one specific individual, even if they have changed names and locations.

Finding a Jail or Prison Inmate

If you wish to find a fail or prison inmate you can do so by checking out the online inmate locator service which is something the federal prison system provides. You will need to know some basic information regarding the person in question such as their name, sex and race. If the person that you are looking for doesn’t come up with any search results you can also check your state’s online inmate locator.

Finding an Arrestee

It will probably be a little harder to find someone that has been arrested than a jail inmate as so many things depend on pending bail hearings and arraignments. This means that you will usually need to give the police a call that placed the arrest. There are some cities such as New York which will provide services to locate a recent arrestee, and you can find that service here.

What’s In an Arrest Record?

An arrest record can include a myriad of information such as:

  • Source
  • Charge or offense
  • First, middle and last name
  • Date of the filed chared
  • Location of the crime
  • Charge category
  • Case type
  • Case number
  • Charge category
  • Court Name

How to Use Arrest Records

You can use arrest records in order to find out information on the following:

  • New relationships
  • Vacation buddies
  • Family members
  • Former classmates
  • Friends
  • Yourself
  • Potential dates
  • Celebrities
  • Online buyers or sellers

However, it should be noted that you cannot use this information to screen potential tenants, employees or possible domestic workers. Also, this cannot impact someone’s eligibility for insurance, credit cards or loans. You also cannot use this information for professional services or determine whether someone should be eligible for scholarships or educational programs.

Who Can Arrest Someone?

Any officer of the law can make an arrest if they find a suspected criminal caught in the act or if there is probable cause that the person in question committed a crime. An arrest can also be made if a judge issues an arrest warrant. There is also the case if an arrest being made by a citizen.

What Is a Citizen’s Arrest?

A citizen’s arrest dates back to medieval England where local sheriffs actually encouraged people to make these types of arrests. In the US, regular citizens are able to make a citizen’s arrest without a warrant. An example of this is when a shopkeeper arrests a person for stealing by detaining the thief until the police come.

Learn the Truth Today

Whether you’re curious about a new relationship or suspicious of a new neighbor, you can discover the truth about any given person easily by running a quick, reliable online background check with one of these best online background check websites.

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