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Bell County Arrest Records

Bell County arrest records are law enforcement documents that provide information on the arrest of persons in the county. Individuals are usually arrested with or without warrants in various cases, such as legal violations, suspected offenses, or failing to show up after a court summons. Subsequently, the arresting agency creates the arrest record by summarizing the circumstances surrounding the arrest and reports the incident to a central index.

When arrested by local police or the Sheriff’s Department in Bell County, individuals (adults) are usually held in a police cell or booked into the Bell County Jail, which houses both male and female offenders. This makes it possible to find arrest information in inmate rosters and criminal history records. Furthermore, arrest details like warrant information and the arresting agency’s name may also be included in Bell County court records.

Note: Offenders under the age of 18 are mostly detained in the Juvenile Probation Center.

Are Arrest Records Public in Bell County?

In line with the Texas Public Information Act, Bell County arrest records are public as long as they do not disclose information deemed private or confidential by law. These exempted information include:

  • Social security numbers or other personal identifying details
  • Certain crime victim or claimant information
  • Information on active/ongoing investigations
  • Most juvenile records
  • Personnel information
  • Records subject to non-disclosure orders or expunged criminal information

To access exempted information, the requester has to be specifically granted the special right of access by law, the record subject’s consent, or a court order. Otherwise, the record or parts of the record containing confidential information shall be unavailable to the public. Meanwhile, public arrest records shall be available for inspection and duplication upon request to the arresting or incarcerating agency.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Generally, public arrest records hold basic information about an arrest, the arrested person, and the event's circumstances. Contained details may include:

  • The arrestee’s full name
  • Mugshot or photograph
  • Physical description (race, sex, height, weight, body markings)
  • Offense or arrest date and location
  • Offense classification or charges
  • Arresting officer/agency details
  • Arrest warrant details (if any)
  • Holding facility, court date, and bond details (if any)

Bell County Crime Rate

Bell County crime statistics provided by the FBI UCR showed that the county had more property crimes (631) than violent crimes (82) in 2019. Property crimes included 34 motor vehicle thefts (MVT), 152 burglaries, and 445 larceny thefts, the most reported offense of that year. On the other hand, violent crimes comprised one (1) robbery, 54 aggravated assaults, and 27 rape offenses. No arson or murder cases were reported in 2019.

Compared to the 2018 data, the crime rate for robbery, murder, rape, burglary, and larceny-theft witnessed varying degrees of decrease, while aggravated assault and MVT cases increased. No arson was recorded in either year.

Bell County Arrest Statistics

The arrest data provided by the FBI Crime Data Explorer shows that the Bell County Sheriff’s Department recorded 653 arrests in 2022. Arrest statistics in line with offense categories included 235 crime-against-person arrests, 335 crime-against-society arrests, and 83 crime-against-property arrests. Assault crimes were the most recorded offense, with 214 reported arrests.

Find Bell County Arrest Records

Finding arrest records may be difficult if the arresting agency is unknown. However, since arrest details are available in inmate records, individuals can conduct free inmate searches with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice database or Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator to find offenders incarcerated in state or federal facilities and their arrest information. Users can conduct searches on these platforms using the inmate’s name or assigned number, but other information, such as the inmate’s gender and race, can help screen the search results.

Arrest details are also contained within an individual’s criminal history records. If the arresting agency is known, record seekers should direct their public records requests to the agency using an accepted channel (mail, email, fax, etc.)

Free Arrest Record Search in Bell County

The online inmate roster provides free information on persons arrested by the Bell County Sheriff. Users can see a list of inmates and obtain related information on their arrests and suspected offenses. The Bell County Sheriff’s Department operates the Bell County Jail, which may also house inmates arrested by local police in the county. Therefore, this search may be useful in getting arrest information despite the arresting agency.

Records seekers may also view arrest records for free in person at the agency’s records department. To view or obtain copies of Bell County arrest records maintained by the Sheriff’s Department, direct requests to:

Bell County Sheriff's Department
104 South Main Street
Belton, TX. 76513
Phone: (254) 933-5420 or (254) 933-5419 (Records)

Note: Free Bell County arrest records may also be available on third-party sites.

Get Bell County Criminal Records

Bell County criminal records are collated crime data collected by criminal justice agencies that provide information on an individual’s criminal history, including arrests, indictments, prosecution, disposition, and detentions. These records may include the following information about the subject:

  • Full name and known aliases
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Photographs
  • Physical description of the subject
  • Arrests, prosecution, and convictions.

To get Bell County Criminal Records, interested persons must query the District Clerk's Criminal Department for criminal court records relating to felony cases and the County Clerk's office for criminal records relating to misdemeanor cases. Requests should contain sufficient details about the case or document of interest and required fees. However, note that duplication fees may be paid after the Clerk provides the costs of copying and certifying the document in the reply. Send requests to:

Bell County District Clerk
Attn: Criminal Copy Clerk
P.O. Box 909
Belton, TX 76513
Phone: (254) 933-5193
Email: dcfelonycopy@bellcounty.texas.gov

Bell County Clerk
Bell County Justice Center
1201 Huey Road
P.O. Box 480
Belton, Texas 76513
Phone: (254) 933-5161
Fax: (254) 933-5176
Email: cccriminal@bellcounty.texas.gov

For more extensive, statewide criminal history records, interested persons should direct requests to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Interested persons can conduct name-based searches on the Computerized Criminal History System and record subjects, and authorized employers, or organizations may conduct fingerprint-based checks through authorized FAST locations.

Bell County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Arrest records and criminal records in Bell County are both official documents created and maintained by criminal justice agencies. However, while arrest records only provide information on a single case or arrest incident, a criminal record is a collection of an individual's criminal activities and history, regardless of the number of arrests or cases.

Furthermore, while arrest records only indicate that it was suspected at some point and did not establish that the subject violated the law, criminal records provide further information on the disposition and conviction of persons. As such, if a person pleads guilty or no contest to a criminal charge, or if they are found guilty by a jury, this information will be included in their criminal record. Their conviction status will be listed along with other detailed information. However, if found not guilty, they will simply have an arrest record on file. This record will include the fact that the person was deemed innocent of the charges for which they were arrested.

Therefore, an arrest record cannot serve as an adequate substitution for criminal records if looking for conviction information.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In Bell County, arrests, charges, and convictions remain on a person's criminal record indefinitely unless they are erased. Even if the prosecutor eventually drops the charges against the subject of the record, the criminal charge and arrest will still appear on a background check.

Expunge Bell County Arrest Records

In Bell County, an expungement, also known as an expunction, is a legal process that removes an arrest from a person's public criminal record. This means that when members of the public request an individual’s criminal record, the expunged record will not be available. However, certain government agencies may still be able to access the expunged information.

To expunge an arrest record in Bell County, persons or their attorneys must:

1. Determine eligibility for the process. Arrest records that could qualify include the following:

  • An arrest that never resulted in a conviction
  • An arrest, charge, or conviction reported incorrectly owing to identity theft.
  • Cases acquitted by the court
  • Pardoned convictions
  • Convicted of unlawful carrying weapons offenses committed before September 2021.

2. File a petition with the District Clerk Civil Department requesting the removal of the offense according to the relevant article of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The petition must contain:

  • Petitioner’s identifying information
  • Date of arrest
  • Charges
  • Case number
  • Date of the alleged offense
  • The current disposition of the case
  • The name of the court
  • Name of the arresting agency
  • A list of all the agencies or other entities that may have a record of the arrest
  • Grounds for expungement
  • Request for hearing and notification of law enforcement agencies
  • Request for the destruction of records.

3. Comply with all mandatory conditions, including any required waiting periods and paying fines and restitution.

4. Submit a petition to the court for review.

5. Draft an Order of Expunction for the court to sign after granting the expunction request. A copy of the signed order should be sent to all relevant parties, including any agency or organization with records or files connected to the expunged offense.

Texas government agencies must expunge records within one year after an expunction order. Successful petitioners may also notify private organizations who keep or provide criminal records of the court decision to get them to comply with the order.

Bell County Arrest Warrants

Bell County arrest warrants are written orders issued by a judge or magistrate. They are issued after an enforcement officer submits an affidavit establishing probable cause that a person violated state criminal statutes. As such, a Bell County arrest warrant authorizes law enforcement agents to arrest and detain a person at any time and at any location.

Bell County arrest warrants often contain these specifications:

  • The name of the suspect or offender
  • Identifiable description of the named individual
  • Description of the offense
  • The judge or magistrate’s signature and office
  • Issuance under the name "The State of Texas".

Bell County Arrest Warrant Search

Bell County Sheriff’s Department maintains records of felony and misdemeanor arrest warrants issued within its jurisdiction. Individuals interested in finding active arrest warrants issued in Bell County may call (254) 933-5431 or contact the Warrants Section at:

Bell County Sheriff's Department
104 South Main Street
Belton, TX. 76513

Record seekers can also find Bell County Arrest Warrants through third-party websites. However, while these sites have no geographical limitations, they are generally payment-based and offer limited free searches.

Do Bell County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No, in Bell County, arrest warrants do not have an expiration date. They remain active and actionable until resolved or recalled. The police or other law enforcement officers are permitted by law to carry out the arrest anywhere, anytime, even after many years, unless the warrant is resolved.

A Bell County arrest warrant might be resolved when the subject of the warrant:

  • Surrenders to the law enforcement agency for questioning or incarceration
  • Pays associated fines and penalties
  • Posts bail
  • Attends scheduled court hearings.

On the other hand, if an arrest warrant is recalled, the court declares it null and void. This means that the subject is no longer wanted by law enforcement and will no longer face arrest.

Overall, when dealing with an arrest warrant, it is critical to retain the services of a qualified attorney to protect the subject's freedom. Additionally, the lawyer could investigate ways to lessen fines and court fees and represent the accused in court if necessary.

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