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Cameron County Arrest Records

Pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a peace officer can make an arrest with or without a warrant as stated in Tex. Code Crim. Proc. § 14. Arrested persons are typically taken to the Cameron County Jail or Carrizales Detention Center for booking. The suspect's fingerprints and mugshot will be taken and held in jail before they are brought before a judge. Texas law requires all alleged offenders to be brought before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. At the first court appearance, the judge will notify the arrestee of the charges against them, determine bail, and set a trial date. If bail is granted, the arrestee can pay and be released from jail until after trial. However, the arrestee will remain in jail if bail is denied. If the defendant is found guilty during trial, a sentencing hearing date will be set, and a judge or jury will determine the punishments for the convict.

The Cameron County Sheriff's Department is the custodian of arrest records. The Department makes these records publicly available in keeping with the provisions of Texas public Record Laws. Arrest records are also featured within Cameron County Court Records and may encompass inmate and warrant information, making them accessible from law enforcement agencies and the judiciary.

Are Arrest Records Public in Cameron County?

Yes. Cameron County arrest records are public according to the Texas Public Information Act. However, arrest information whose disclosure would endanger a person's life or physical safety, constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or disclose the identity of a confidential source is restricted from the public. Some examples of confidential arrest information in Cameron County include:

  • Investigative records
  • Arrest records of juvenile offenders
  • An arrested person's medical records
  • Arrest records associated with child abuse investigations
  • The arresting officer's home address and family member information

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Public arrest records contain information open to Cameron County residents. Only information that does not lead to personal privacy invasion or endanger the life or physical safety of a person is considered public. Some examples include:

  • Booking date
  • Defendant's full name
  • Race, age, and gender
  • Booking number
  • SO number
  • Charges
  • Maximum sentence date
  • Housing facility
  • Projected released date

Cameron County Crime Rate

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Crime Report reported 9,149 crimes in Cameron County in 2022, an increase from the 8,994 crimes recorded in 2021. The topmost offenses recorded in 2022 were larceny (6,063), assault (1,239), burglary (959), and auto theft (500).

Cameron County Arrest Statistics

The State Department of Public Safety (DPS) publishes arrest statistics on its Crime in Texas page. The Crime by Jurisdiction report reveals that approximately 1,886 arrests occurred in Cameron County in 2022, an increase from the 1,696 arrests recorded in 2021. Most of the arrests were for crimes like larceny (925), assault (476), burglary (271), and robbery (116).

Find Cameron County Arrest Records

Cameron County residents can access arrest records online, by email, by phone, or in person at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facilities. Online requesters can use the Inmate Information Search tool to find arrest records for free. Inquirers will be required to provide search criteria such as the subject's last name, first name, TDCJ number, SID number, gender, or race. Send the inmate's full name and 7-digit TDCJ number to pia@tdcj.texas.gov for email requests. An exact date of birth must be provided if the TDCJ number is unknown. Inquirers without the inmate's exact date of birth can provide an approximate age and county of conviction. State the inmate's name in the subject line of the email. Phone requests can be made from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m, at the following offices:

  • Board of Pardons and Paroles status line at (844) 512-0461.
  • Parole Division status line in Austin at (512) 406-5202. Provide a TDCJ or SID# or date of birth.
  • Inmate Locator/General Information Line - Huntsville at (936) 295-6371 or (800) 535-0283.

Several federal law enforcement agencies issue arrest records to requesters. One such agency is the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), which has an Inmate Locator where individuals can locate Cameron County inmates housed in federal prisons. Searches can also be conducted by number or name. In-person requests can be made by visiting any BOP facility. Record seekers must provide basic information about the inmate to facilitate the search.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) provides arrest records online, by mail, and through approved channelers. This service costs $18 and is payable by credit card using the Credit Card Payment Form, money order, or certified check. Mail requests must fill out an Applicant Information Form and send it to:

FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

Interested persons can find arrest records maintained by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) online and in person at its local field offices and detention facilities. Use the Online Detainee Locator System for online requests and conduct a search by A-Number or biographical information.

The United States Capitol Police (USCP) issues arrest summary reports online and by mail. Conduct an online search by CFN number, crime date, crime summary, and crime type. Mail requests require submitting a completed Request Form to:

United States Capitol Police
Reports Processing Section
119 D Street, Ne
Washington, DC 20510

Free Arrest Record Search in Cameron County

The Cameron County Sheriff's Department has an Inmate List where record seekers can find arrest records for free. A search can be conducted by name, booking date, or number. Additionally, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) makes arrest records available to the public via its Inmate Information Search portal at no cost. Users can search by last name, first name, TDCJ number, SID number, gender, or race.

Alternatively, interested persons can use the free online resources provided by third-party vendors to search arrest records in Cameron County. These platforms only permit name-based searches and only return basic arrest information for free. Requesters interested in performing comprehensive arrest searches must be willing to pay between $2.95 and $4.95 for seven (7) days of unlimited access or a monthly subscription charge ranging from $19.95 to $24.95.

Get Cameron County Criminal Records

Interested persons may obtain Cameron County criminal records through the Clerk's Criminal Department. Requests can be made by mail or in person during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Mail requesters must submit a Search Request Form to the Department at:

Cameron County Clerk
P.O. Box 2178
Brownsville, TX 78522
Phone: (956) 544-0848

The Department charges a $5 search fee. Plain copies of criminal records cost $1, while certified copies cost $5 plus $1 per page. If the search returns no record, individuals will pay $6. These fees can be paid by cash, money order, check, or credit or debit cards. Note that personal checks are unacceptable, and payment by card attracts an additional processing fee. The processing time for criminal records is between 24 and 48 hours.

Individuals can also get criminal records from the Cameron County District Clerk. To do so, submit a Copy Request Form to the office. A search fee of $5 and $1 per copy is required. The processing time is between 2 and 5 business days. Send the form and appropriate fees to:

Cameron County District Clerk
Cameron County Courthouse
Judicial Building – 3rd Floor
974 East Harrison Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
Phone: (956) 574-8130, (956) (544) 547-7024
Email: dcrecords@co.cameron.tx.us

Cameron County residents seeking comprehensive criminal records can contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Crime Records Division (CRD). A criminal records search can be done by fingerprint or name. Requesters must review the Criminal History Information document, make an appointment, and visit any DPS FAST location to conduct a fingerprint-based search. This service costs $15 with an additional $10 fingerprinting fee when utilizing FAST. Name-based searches can be done via the Criminal History Conviction Name Search portal. An account and a $10 fee is required. The turnaround time is ten (10) business days.

Cameron County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

The primary difference between arrest and criminal records is the volume of information they contain. Criminal records are more extensive than arrest records, and they contain details of a person's life from the time they were arrested to the time they were released from prison or jail.

Arrest records are legal documents containing information on a detained person and taken into police custody. Per Texas Government Code §411.082(2), criminal records are official documents maintained by criminal justice agencies. They consist of arrested persons' identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, indictments, and other formal criminal charges and their dispositions.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Arrests permanently stay on a person's criminal history record in Cameron County. Therefore, expungement is the only way offenders can erase or seal their records. However, the Texas government has a timeframe within which a record custodian should maintain some arrest records. Record seekers can visit the Texas State Library & Archives Commission's (TSLAC) website to review some Arrest Records Retention Schedule. For example:

  • Arrest reports are destroyed after 75 years.
  • Police arrest activity logs or dockets are retained for two years.
  • Offense investigation records are destroyed after 75 years or until the arrested person's death.
  • Offense records (first-degree and capital felonies) of cleared and dismissed cases are kept for 50 years.
  • Offense records (second and third-degree felonies) of cleared and dismissed cases are kept for ten years.
  • Offense records (class A and B misdemeanors and state jail felonies) of cleared and dismissed cases are destroyed after two years.
  • Clery Act arrest reporting (crime log and statistics) for liquor and drug law violations and possession of illegal weapons are retained for seven years.
  • After six months, arrest reports and citations for Class C misdemeanors and unclassified violations of state law or local ordinance punishable by fine only are destroyed.

Expunge Cameron County Arrest Records

Expungement may also be referred to as called expunction in Cameron County. The process removes information about an arrest, charge, or conviction from criminal records. Expungement grants the subject of record the right to deny that they have ever been the subject of an arrest and that an expunction order exists in their name. Per Tex. Code Crim. Proc. § 55, some crimes eligible to be expunged in Cameron County are:

  • Some eligible misdemeanor juvenile offenses.
  • A minor who was convicted for specific alcohol-related offenses.
  • The person is charged with a felony or misdemeanor but found not guilty by a judge or jury.
  • The person is convicted of a crime but later receives a pardon or is granted relief due to actual innocence.
  • The person received a pardon for the offense from the Governor of Texas or the U.S. President.
  • Crimes committed before September 1, 2021, that involve the unlawful carrying of weapons fall under Texas Penal Code Section 46.02(a).
  • The charges against the person did not lead to a final conviction and are no longer pending, with no court-ordered community supervision (except it is a Class C misdemeanor offense) provided that:
    • No indictment or other charging instrument has been filed against the person following the arrest or was dismissed or quashed.
    • A specific period has passed since the arrest date (this period varies by offense).
    • The person has not previously expunged their arrest records and files.
  • The prosecution of the crime is no longer possible because the statute of limitations has expired.
  • The period for granting a petition for discretionary review has expired, the person has been tried and convicted but later acquitted by the court of criminal appeals, or the government office authorized to prosecute the offense recommends the expunction.

To expunge arrest records, requesters must file a Petition for Expunction with the Cameron County District Court requesting that the court grant an Order for Expunction. The petitioners can prepare the petition themselves, download it online, or hire an attorney to do so. Per Tex. Code Crim. Proc. § 55.02, the petition must contain the following information:

  • Personal identifying information of the petitioner
  • The offense charged
  • Arrest date
  • The date the offense was committed
  • The arresting agency's name
  • the case number and court of offense
  • A list of all of the agencies with records of the arrest.

The petition must be signed and notarized and contain a blank "notice of hearing" so the court can hold a hearing on the issue. The District Court will schedule a hearing within 30 days after filing the petition and send notice of the hearing by mail, email, online, or fax to all respondents (applicable agencies and facilities). After the notification, the District Court will conduct a hearing to allow the respondents an opportunity to contest the expunction. However, the request for an expunction will be granted if the petitioner meets the necessary requirements. When the District Court grants the expunction, the petitioner must present an Order for Expunction to the court for the judge's signature. Therefore, the petitioner must have drafted an order before the hearing. The signed order must then be submitted to all agencies with records or files relating to the expunged offense. The agencies can either delete the records or return them to the District Court Clerk as stated in the Order for Expunction.

Cameron County Arrest Warrants

Pursuant to Tex. Code Crim. Proc. § 15.01, an arrest warrant is a written order issued by a magistrate directing a peace officer to arrest a person suspected of violating local or state laws. A complaint must be filed when requesting a warrant, and it must contain the necessary information required to determine probable cause. A typical arrest warrant issued in Cameron County will include the defendant's name or a physical description if the name is unknown. The warrant will also state the name of the offense committed and the magistrate's signature and office. The arrest warrant will be valid across Texas, except a city major issues it. After executing the warrant, the defendant must be brought before the issuing magistrate within 48 hours of the arrest (Tex. Code Crim. Proc. § 15.17).

Cameron County Arrest Warrant Search

The Cameron County Sheriff's Department publishes arrest warrant information on its Most Wanted page. Therefore, individuals can find the arrestee's name, date of birth, eye and hair color, weight, height, and charges by searching the database. Individuals can also check if they have an arrest warrant by calling the Department at (956) 554-6700.

Do Cameron County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Cameron County arrest warrants are permanent. They remain active until executed by the arrest of the named person or recalled by the court.

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