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Denton County Arrest Records

Denton County law enforcement agencies are required to create reports and collect information after apprehending alleged offenders. These reports are called arrest records and are considered part of Denton County public records.

State and local law enforcement personnel use arrest records to identify persons with prior arrests. These records are also frequently sourced by persons who want to expunge their criminal records or those looking to determine the circumstances of an individual's arrest. Moreover, judges review the records when determining whether law enforcement followed due process when arresting a defendant, and prosecutors review the records when determining whether to file charges. Consequently, other public records, like Denton County court records, inmate records, and criminal history records, may contain arrest details.

Are Arrest Records Public in Denton County?

Yes. The Texas Public Information Act instructs public bodies to make their official records accessible to the public unless the requested records are considered confidential by law. Thus, government agencies, including law enforcement, state departments, and courts, provide arrest records for inspection when they receive requests from members of the public.

Restricted records include:

  • Information tied to ongoing criminal investigations.
  • Juvenile arrest data.
  • Sealed court records.
  • Expunged criminal and arrest records.
  • Other records the law prohibits from disclosure.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Denton County law enforcement and other Texas public agencies release the following arrest details to the public:

  • Suspect information, including full name, date of birth, physical description, inventory of personal effects, and photograph
  • Arrest details, including the date, time, location, and circumstances of arrest
  • Charges, including the offense they committed and the laws, violated
  • Booking details, including date and time of booking and the facility where the suspect is being held
  • Arresting agency
  • Bond details, such as bond type (cash or surety) and amount
  • Release information

Denton County Crime Rate

Per the 2022 Crime Report released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Denton County law enforcement recorded about 11,314 offenses in 2022. Larceny was the highest recorded crime, with 7,932 reported incidents, and the Denton Police Department documented the most offenses (4,116).

Denton County’s crime rate per 100,000 in 2022 was 1,520.3.

Denton County Arrest Statistics

The 2022 DPS report shows that Denton law enforcement made 1,337 arrests, with 526 being executed by the Denton PD. Larceny was the highest cause of arrests, with 804 reported apprehensions. There were 14 arrests were recorded for murder and 24 for rape in the same year.

Find Denton County Arrest Records

Individuals can use the following process to find Denton County arrest records.

Identifying the records custodian

The first step when looking for a Denton County arrest record is identifying the public agency that maintains it. For example, an initial arrest record will be in the arresting agency's custody. A person can visit the arresting police department or Sheriff's Office to obtain the record.

However, depending on the events that occurred after the arrest, there may be easier ways to locate such records. For example, a searcher has more options if a defendant was convicted or incarcerated after the arrest. Then, they can find arrest details plus additional information in records maintained by agencies like the courts, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), Denton County Sheriff's Department (DCSO), and Texas Department of Public Safety.

Understanding the search or request process

Public bodies do not generally do things the same way. While most may have online search tools and record request processes, the finer details differ. Interested parties must find out how they can access each resource, including whether they qualify for access and the information required to initiate a search or request copies of documents.

If looking for an arrest record locally, individuals can contact the records bureau of the police department that made the arrest to understand the records request process. Some police departments may operate public online web pages where people can view recent arrests. For example, the Denton PD City Jail Custody Report displays information on recently arrested offenders, including their names, photographs, charges, bond details, and arrest dates.

The Denton County Sheriff’s Office provides the following resources and avenues for obtaining arrest records:

  • Jail Records Search: This system maintains information about people who have served or are serving jail time in the county jail. Members of the public can search the system using the inmate’s name, date of birth, or date booked/date released. It displays information such as offense, arresting agency, bind, booking date, warrant number, and release date.
  • Bond Records Search: This system shows bond details of arrested individuals, such as their offense date, offense type, bond amount, and bond status.
  • Open Records Request: The DCSO operates a PIA Request System for members of the public to submit and track PIA requests online. Individuals can use this online application to request copies of arrest records.

Note that if the query relates to a person arrested in Denton County but remanded to federal custody, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons operates an online search tool that provides basic details of inmates, albeit not their arrest information. People can use the details from the portal to submit Freedom of Information Act requests to the Bureau. The process involves providing their name, address, phone number, email, and description of the records they seek. They ideally have to provide the inmate’s full name and register number.

On the other hand, when searching for a person arrested in Denton County but sent to state prison, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Inmate Information Search can be accessed to find the inmate. Users can obtain details such as the offense date, offense type, and other incarceration information, including projected release and parole eligibility dates. People can also request inmate information the old-fashioned way by submitting PIA requests to the TDCJ, especially if they want to obtain copies of records.

Prepare required fees

Finding arrest records is not always free. While some online tools allow free access to their resources, others charge a fee. Also, individuals generally have to pay to obtain copies of arrest documents. One can contact the respective office in advance to confirm the required fees and payment methods.

Free Arrest Record Search in Denton County

Free Denton County arrest records search resources include the following:

Get Denton County Criminal Records

Courts and other local and state agencies maintain criminal records on individuals whose cases progressed through the justice system. The existence of such records means an individual was charged in court after their arrest. Criminal records typically contain arrest records, case files, sentencing information, parole details, etc.

Criminal Court Case Records

Criminal court records include case files, offender arrest details, and sentencing information. Depending on where the case was handled, individuals can obtain these records through the Denton District Clerk's Office, County Clerk's Office, or Justice of the Peace Courts.

Interested parties can open the Denton County Records Inquire portal and select the appropriate court and case to search.

People requesting copies of criminal court records from the District Clerk have in-person, mail-in, email, and fax options. They can download the records request form and submit it using the following information:

Physical address
1450 E McKinney Street
Denton, Texas
Fax: (940) 349-5754
Email: dcrecords@dentoncounty.gov

Mailing address
P.O. Box 2146
Denton, Texas 76202

Individuals looking to request copies of criminal case records generated by the county courts must go through the County Clerk. They must fill out the Request for Copy form and send it to the clerk's office using the following information:

1450 East McKinney Street
Denton, TX 76209
Phone: (940) 349-2012
Fax: (940) 349-2013

Individuals can also go to the Justice of the Peace Court precinct that handled a specific case to obtain records.

Criminal History Information (Background Search)

Individuals can order criminal case searches from different local and state agencies.

The Texas Department of Public Safety provides criminal history information search services to eligible entities, including the following:

  • Volunteer centers
  • Delivery companies
  • Private schools
  • Safe houses
  • In-home residential services companies
  • Private health providers
  • Children's activity providers
  • Government bodies, such as fire department, public transportation, and local law enforcement agencies

The department also runs a fingerprint-based service that can be accessed by Security System contractors, security and armed guard contractors, nursing homes, and child care providers.

At the county level, individuals can fill out and submit background search requests to the Denton County Clerk for Misdemeanor A and B offenses. They can also fill out and submit felony search requests with the Denton District Clerk. Requestors must note that these searches are restricted to criminal data within Denton County.

People looking to obtain their criminal history record for federal offenses can contact the FBI. They can use the Bureau's Identity History Summary service to request their information online, by mail, or through an approved FBI channeler.

Denton County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Arrest and criminal records may overlap when individuals progress through the justice system, but they are not the same.

Arrest records only document events surrounding a person's apprehension. They do not prove the person's guilt or involvement in the alleged offense.

On the other hand, criminal records contain arrest details and are created when a suspect is charged in court. They contain other information, such as case dispositions and incarceration details (if the person is convicted).

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Arrest records remain on a person’s criminal history until expunged. An expungement instructs law enforcement, courts, and other agencies to delete someone’s records from their system. However, not every arrest record is eligible for expungement in Denton County.

Expunge Denton County Arrest Records

Only eligible Denton County residents can expunge their criminal and arrest records under Chapter 55A of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Eligibility hinges on certain circumstances, such as dismissed charges, acquittal at trial, pardon based on actual innocence, or overturned convictions with subsequent case dismissal. Individuals who completed pretrial diversion programs or faced no formal charges after a designated period may also be eligible.

Expungement petitions can be filed in Denton County's district or county court with criminal jurisdiction. However, offenses that do not involve jail time may be addressed in justice of the peace or municipal courts. While there are no general filing deadlines, exceptions exist, such as a 30-day window following a pardon, relief, or acquittal.

The petition must detail the petitioner's personal information, including their address at the time of arrest and details such as the charged offense, arresting agency, and case outcome. It must also clearly articulate why the petitioner qualifies for expungement under Chapter 55A, supported by their criminal history report and relevant court documents. Further, the petition should include contact information for organizations that possess the record.

Denton County Arrest Warrants

Denton County arrest warrants are legal orders that authorize law enforcement to arrest suspected offenders. Judges issue these warrants when presented with evidence and sworn statements alleging that a person violated a law.

Warrants normally include the suspects' names or descriptions, the specific charges they face, judges' signatures, and the dates of issuance.

Note that judges can also issue bench warrants in Denton County, a type of arrest warrant that does not require the submission of an affidavit. These warrants are issued to apprehended people who failed to appear in court, violated their probation or parole, or disobeyed court orders, such as paying fines, providing child support, and completing community service or pre-trial programs.

Denton County Arrest Warrant Search

Denton County law enforcement agencies provide various methods for finding arrest warrants.

The Denton County government has a website that connects individuals to lists of the most wanted individuals. Police departments also maintain records of active arrest warrants handed down by the courts. One can request these records from the local police precincts or check their official websites. For example, the Lewisville PD has an Active Warrant Search page showing wanted persons' details.

Court clerks also provide information about arrest warrants since these legal documents are issued by judges. Individuals can visit the court they believe issued the arrest warrant to find the information they seek. For instance, arrest warrants issued in relation to felony cases are typically issued by the Denton County District Court, and requesters can approach the District Clerk's office.

Do Denton County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Arrest warrants do not become invalid unless the issuing judge recalls them or law enforcement executes them. Alleged offenders can also clear their warrants by turning themselves in or fulfilling their court-ordered obligation(s).

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