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Travis County Arrest Records

A Travis County arrest record is an official report of the arrest or detention of an individual by a local law enforcement agency. Per the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (Title 1, Chapter 2), law enforcement officers in Travis County must arrest individuals suspected of or caught committing crimes. When such an arrest occurs, the local law enforcement agency creates a record for that individual and updates it with each subsequent arrest.

Generally, a Travis County arrest record is created when an individual is booked. This involves taking the person into custody, documenting their personal information (name, date of birth, address), and the alleged offense. Law enforcement will also collect the suspect's fingerprints and take photographs (a mugshot). After booking, the individual may be released (on bail, personal bond, or ROR) or held in jail, depending on the crime, until their first court appearance.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office creates and maintains arrest records in Travis County. However, records for arrests made within the city limits of Austin by officers of the Austin Police Department are created by the local police department. Arrested individuals awaiting trial or serving sentences for misdemeanors and some felonies are held in either the Travis County Jail or the Travis County Correctional Facility.

Travis County arrest records may also be included in public files maintained by other official agencies in the county or state, such as Travis County court records kept by the local judiciary.

Are Arrest Records Public in Travis County?

Yes. Arrest records are public under the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA). Under this Act, interested individuals can request and obtain Travis County arrest records from the Travis County Sheriff's Office.

However, the TPIA exempts certain arrest records or information from public disclosure. This includes records related to juveniles, ongoing investigations, or those that could jeopardize the safety of individuals or law enforcement operations. Similarly, records containing sensitive and confidential information, such as medical information, home addresses, telephone numbers, or bank details. Likewise, records that have been expunged or placed under an order of non-disclosure are sequestered from public access.

Exempt arrest records can only be accessed by specific parties with a legitimate interest, such as law enforcement agencies, attorneys, or the individuals named in the records themselves. Formal requests must usually be submitted along with proper identification by these parties to access the protected records.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

A Travis County arrest record typically contains the following information:

  • Name of arrested individual
  • Date of birth
  • Charges/offenses
  • Date and location of arrest
  • Arresting agency
  • Fingerprint and mugshot
  • Name and location of arresting officer
  • Physical description such as height, weight, race, gender, eye color, hair color, tattoos, etc
  • Any relevant case numbers or identifiers

Travis County Crime Rate

According to statistics from the Texas Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Travis County reported 64,251 crimes in 2023. Property crimes constituted 62.2% (39,950) of the total crime count, with violent crimes accounting for 37.8% (24,292). Larceny-theft was the most prevalent property crime, with 26,115 cases, followed by motor vehicle theft with 8,122 cases, and burglary with 5,713 cases. On the other hand, assault (both aggravated and simple) topped the list of violent crimes with 22,487 cases, followed by robbery with 1,048 cases and rape with 676 cases.

Travis County Arrest Statistics

The Travis County Sheriff's Office does not publish its arrest statistics for Travis County. However, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety's Crime by Jurisdiction report for 2022, Travis County recorded a total of 5,171 arrests in 2022. Of these, there were 53 arrests for murder, 155 for rape, 570 for robbery, 1,835 for assault, 499 for burglary, 1,363 for larceny, and 696 for auto theft.

Find Travis County Arrest Records

Interested individuals may direct their request for Travis County arrest records to the local, state, and federal agencies described below:

Travis County Sheriff's Office

The Travis County Sheriff's Office maintains arrest records for arrests made in Travis County from May 1988 to the present. To obtain these records, interested individuals should visit the Sheriff's Office during business hours at the following address:

Travis County Sheriff's Office
5555 Airport Boulevard
Austin, TX 78751.

Alternatively, individuals can submit their requests for Travis County arrest records in writing to the sheriff's office by email, Fax: ((512) 854-7270), or mail. A government-issued ID is typically required when submitting open record requests for arrest reports. Fees may apply for obtaining copies. Requests should include the name and address of the inquirer and detailed information on the arrest record subject.

Meanwhile, interested parties can also find arrest records for individuals arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). To find arrest records for Travis County, search the Online Detainee Locator System. Alternatively, interested individuals may contact a local ICE field office by phone or in person to request an arrest record.

Free Arrest Record Search in Travis County

Under the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA), any member of the public can request arrest records from a local law enforcement agency. While inspecting or viewing public files, including arrest records, is typically free, agencies can charge reasonable fees for providing copies. Therefore, if requesting a copy of a Travis County arrest record from the Sheriff's Office, a fee may be required.

To access Travis County arrest records for free, interested parties can visit the Travis County Sheriff's Office in person and submit a request to inspect these records. Alternatively, they can use the sheriff's office's online resources, such as the "Find an Inmate" tool, to locate individuals currently detained in the Travis County Jail by searching with their full name (first, last, and middle).

Another option for free access to Travis County arrest records is searching third-party public records databases. These websites aggregate public information from various government sources, including law enforcement agencies. Requesters can often access an individual's arrest record by searching these databases with their first and last names. While limited reports may be free, detailed reports often require a fee.

Get Travis County Criminal Records

Criminal records, also known as rap sheets or criminal histories, are official documents detailing a person's arrests, charges, convictions, and sentences related to criminal offenses. To obtain Travis County criminal records, individuals should direct their requests to the Travis County Sheriff's Office, either in person, by mail, email, or fax. Requests should be in writing and include information such as the requester's name, address, and a detailed description of the needed records.

Travis County Sheriff's Office
Attn: Paralegal
5555 Airport Boulevard
Austin, TX 78751
Phone: (512) 854-9718
Fax: (512) 854-7270
Email: tcsor@traviscountytx.gov.

Alternatively, individuals can obtain Travis County criminal records online through the Texas Department of Public Safety's (TxDPS) Criminal History Search system. To access Travis County criminal records, visit the TxDPS Criminal History Name Search portal, create an account, buy credits, and search using the subject's first and last name. Additional criteria like date of birth and middle name can be added to narrow down the results.

Travis County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Local law enforcement agencies, such as the Travis County Sheriff's Office or city police departments, maintain arrest records. An arrest record contains information about the arrested individual, the incident, and the outcome of the arrest, such as whether the agency released or charged the suspect.

In contrast, the Texas Department of Public Safety compiles and maintains criminal records. A criminal record is a more comprehensive document that details an individual's complete journey through the criminal justice system. It includes information from various agencies, including law enforcement (arrest records), courts, correctional facilities, etc.

While arrest records only provide details about a person's arrest, criminal records offer a broader picture, including charges, convictions, sentences, and other dispositions related to an individual's criminal cases. The TxDPS has a centralized master file of an individual's criminal history in the state, accessible to the public via its Criminal Record Service (CRS).

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Indefinitely. Texas law does not specify retention schedules or guidelines for how long arrest records must be kept. Instead, it depends on the internal guidelines or policies of the law enforcement agency maintaining the records, the nature of the crime committed, and whether or not the arrest led to a conviction. Generally, criminal arrest records of individuals stay indefinitely, especially on the TxDPS database. However, when an arrest record is expunged or sealed, it becomes publicly inaccessible.

Expunge Travis County Arrest Records

Individuals can have their Travis County arrest records expunged or petition to seal them through a non-disclosure order. Expungement completely erases all records of arrests or charges as if they never occurred. Expungement of records in Travis County is governed by Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

An individual is eligible for expungement if

  • They were acquitted at trial;
  • They were pardoned based on innocence;
  • The charges did not result in a conviction;
  • They were pardoned by the President of the US or Governor of Texas;
  • The statute of limitations for their offense has expired;
  • They were convicted of certain eligible misdemeanors.

An individual who meets the eligibility criteria to expunge their record should file a petition for expungement with the court to expunge an arrest record. The court will review the petition and determine if the statutory requirements for expungement are met. If approved, the court will issue an order of expungement. Upon receiving the expungement order, agencies like the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Department of Criminal Justice must redact or delete the expunged arrest records from their databases.

non-disclosure order, on the other hand, seals criminal records from public view but does not destroy them. The Texas Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter E-1 governs non-disclosure orders.

To be eligible for a non-disclosure order, an individual must have been placed on deferred adjudication and completed the probation term, must not have been convicted or placed on deferred adjudication for another offense during the period, the offense must not be one of the excluded offenses (e.g., family violence, certain sex offenses), and the waiting period must have passed.

To obtain a non-disclosure order, the individual must file a petition with the court that handled the original case, pay the required filing fee, and provide evidence of eligibility, such as proof of completing deferred adjudication and no subsequent offenses. After reviewing the petition, the court will decide whether to grant the order. If granted, the non-disclosure order will seal the criminal record from public view.

Per Section 58.203 of the Texas Family Code, juvenile records are automatically restricted from public view if they meet specific eligibility requirements, such as if the juvenile completed a diversion program, the case was dismissed without an adjudication hearing, and the juvenile was not charged with a felony or jailable misdemeanor.

Travis County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a court order that authorizes law enforcement to arrest or detain an individual if there is probable cause to believe that they committed a crime. Travis County arrest warrants are issued under the guidelines outlined in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (Chapter 15).

Per the law, an arrest warrant against an individual can only be issued when sufficient probable cause exists that a person committed an offense. This means that a requesting officer, such as a law enforcement officer or district attorney, must file a complaint and affidavit to establish probable cause and demonstrate the need for an arrest warrant.

Per Section 15.02 of the TCCP, a Travis County arrest warrant contains the following information:

  • The defendant's name or a clear description of the defendant
  • Date and time of issuance
  • The defendant's alleged offense
  • The issuing authority's signature
  • The issuing court or agency.

Travis County Arrest Warrant Search

Individuals seeking to find out whether an active arrest exists against them or a person of interest should visit the Travis County Sheriff's Office with a photo ID or information that may help the sheriff's office determine the existence of an arrest warrant against a person.

Alternatively, individuals may use the Sheriff's Office Warrant Search Service to look up active Travis County arrest warrants. A searcher only needs a name or case number to use the service to find Travis County arrest warrants online.

Do Travis County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Arrest warrants do not expire in Travis County. Once issued, they stay active until resolved. Arrest warrants are typically resolved when the person named on them is arrested, posts a bond, or dies. However, in some instances, a court may recall a warrant upon determining that it is illegal or invalid. This may happen if a motion is filed and it is proven that the requesting officer did not adequately demonstrate probable cause or made false claims in the affidavit.

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