Arrest Records in Arkansas

Table of Contents

Arkansas has a population of 3.014 million, which makes it the 33rd most populated state in the country, and the 34th most densely populated. The state’s capital and the most populated city is Little Rock, which has a population of 198,606. There are 75 counties in the state, with the most populated being Pulaski County, the home of Little Rock, and the least populated is Calhoun County. 

Like many southern states, Arkansas suffers from above-average crime, and its 2018 violent crime rate of 5.44 per 1,000 is about 47% higher than the national rate. The state’s most dangerous city is West Memphis, which logged an extremely high violent crime rate of 19.7 incidents per 1,000. In addition to its high rate of crime, Arkansas experiences a higher than usual number of arrests per year. 

Arkansas Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • 120,240 arrests were reported in Arkansas in 2018, and 7,697 arrests were made of minors under the age of 18.
  • Of these arrests, 4,650 were made for violent crimes, including 141 arrests for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, 238 for rape, and 3,797 for aggravated assault. 
  • The leading identified cause of arrests in Arkansas was drug abuse violations, which resulted in 17,954 arrests, trailed by ‘Other assaults’ which accounted for 11,866 arrests, and larceny-theft with 10,118 arrests. 
  • 5,761 people were arrested for driving under the influence, and 1,265 were arrested for violating liquor laws.
  • 5,035 people in Arkansas were arrested for drunkenness. 
  • There are over 16,000 registered sex offenders in Arkansas.  

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, ACIC Sex Offender Registry

What is a public arrest record?

An arrest record is a report produced by a law enforcement entity after the arrest or apprehension of an individual which contains the details of the incident, the individual’s personal information, and occasionally includes additional information about the individual’s criminal record.

An arrest record is often a key document in a criminal case and may play a significant role in an ensuing trial. The arrest record may remain in the public record for a long time regardless of whether the suspect is ultimately convicted of the crime(s) for which they were initially arrested. This means that it can be accessed by the general public.  

What is included in a public arrest record?

  • Description of the incident: An arrest record will include a chronological account of the alleged crime produced by the arresting officer that may utilize information provided by first-hand witnesses and/or victims of the alleged crime. 
  • Date and location of the arrest
  • Physical description: The height, weight, hair color, sex, and race of the arrested person, along with other distinguishing characteristics such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks. 
  • Personal information: The name, age, date of birth, phone number, address, social security number, and other contact information of the arrested individual, as well as any other names the person may go by. 
  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Criminal charges filed
  • Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • Bail
  • Court date
  • Police interrogation details

What are the types of charges that may appear on an arrest record?

Generally, charges are classified into three main categories:

  • Infraction – An infraction is a minor violation of the law that is regulated at the state level. Punishment for an infraction is typically a fine or a written warning, rather than a jail or prison sentence. Examples of infractions include minor traffic violations, public nuisance offenses, and littering. 
  • Misdemeanor – A misdemeanor is a crime that is more serious than an infraction, but less severe than a felony, and generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than a year, or a term of probation. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor is more likely to serve time in a county or local jail than a federal or state prison. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, most drug abuse violations, and petty theft.
  • Felony – A felony is the most serious type of crime and generally results in a term of imprisonment of more than one year in a state or federal prison. Having a felony on one’s record may result in limitations of employment and the acquisition of specialty licenses. Examples of felonies include rape, murder, and arson.  

Who can access arrest records?

As in most other states, arrest records (also known as arrest reports) are public records in Arkansas and can be accessed by anyone upon request to a law enforcement agency, and may come up during a routine background check. 

Other examples of Arkansas public records include:

  • vital records such as birth and death certificates
  • marriage licenses
  • mugshots
  • court records
  • voting records
  • property records 

Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in Arkansas?

Arrest records are typically held by the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest, usually a local police department or county sheriff’s office. They also may be kept in the archive of a state government agency, or circuit court. However, there is no official repository for arrest records. 

Why can’t I access an arrest record in Arkansas?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to access an arrest record. Although the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires federal agencies to release arrest records and other public records, records that fall under certain exemptions can be withheld from the public.

The FOIA includes nine exemptions that allow agencies to withhold documents, such as arrest records, and not release them to the public. They are:

  1. The information is classified to protect natural security. 
  2. The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
  3. Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
  4. The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information. 
  5. The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies. 
  6. The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
  7. The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source. 
  8. The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision. 
  9. The information includes geographical information about wells.

Additionally, some state laws limit the availability of arrest records due to the fact that they are perceived as one-sided documents that do not include the arrested person’s account of the incident. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record?

Compared to an arrest record, a criminal record is a more thorough document that details an individual’s entire criminal history, including arrest warrants, arrests, third party complaints, convictions, and even dropped cases. 

What is the difference between an arrest record and an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest an individual suspected of a crime or to search and seize the individual’s property, whereas an arrest record is a document of an arrest that is only created after an arrest or apprehension has already occurred.  

In order for a judge or magistrate to issue an arrest warrant, they must conclude that there is probable cause for an arrest. Probable cause must be backed by sworn testimony or an affidavit that provides sufficient information supporting the need for an arrest. An arrest warrant must also specify one individual that should be arrested, rather than a group of individuals or a rough description of a suspect. 

How many Americans have been arrested?

While crime has steadily dropped in the United States over the past several decades, arrests have gone up, particularly for younger age groups. Typically, law enforcement makes around 10 million arrests each year. Here are some key statistics on arrests in the United States:

  • In 2018, around 10.3 million arrests were made nationwide.
  • 73% of arrested persons in 2018 were males.
  • The more recent an American was born, the greater the likelihood that the individual has been arrested at least once. The following is the percentage of Americans in various age groups that have been arrested: 
    • 6.4% of Americans  born before 1949
    • 10.7% of Americans born between 1949 and 1958
    • 13.8% of Americans born between 1959 and 1968
    • 18.7% of Americans born between 1969 and 1978
    • 23% of Americans born between 1979-1988

Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, RAND Corporation

How to search for Arrest Records in Arkansas

How do I search for public arrest records through the Arkansas State Police?

The Arkansas State Police has two systems for people who wish to run a criminal background check, which will include arrest records in the results. They are: 

  1. The ARCH system for those performing a search for a personal reasons 
  2. The system for those mandated by law to perform the background check or have the signed consent of the subject of the search.

Arkansas Criminal History (ARCH) System

This system is for those who wish to perform a criminal history background check for personal reasons other than legally mandated ones. The search can be done by any person and signed consent of the subject of the search is not required.

Each name-based search costs $24 and is non-refundable. The payment can be made by debit or credit card. Once the name search is performed, the searcher is allowed to click and view a single result, and download and print the result if they wish. 

Users will be charged a fee even if their search yields no results. 

Click here to perform a search. 

Legally Mandated Criminal Background Check

This search can be done using the Official State of Arkansas Online Criminal Background Check System and it is limited to:

To perform a search using the online system, one must first subscribe online with the Information Network of Arkansas (INA). After obtaining an online account, the price is $22 per name-based request. 

However, those that do not have an online account can mail in a request by filling out and submitting the Arkansas Background Check Request Form along with a payment of $25 in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Arkansas State Police. The completed form and payment should be sent in an envelope to the following address:

Arkansas State Police

Identification Bureau

1 State Police Plaza Drive

Little Rock, AR 72209

For questions regarding the mailed-in request form, call the Arkansas State Police ID Bureau at 501-618-8500

How can I search for an Arkansas arrest record on the internet using a background check service?

Since tracking down physical copies of arrest records can prove challenging, searching for them online is a viable option. There is a wealth of online services that allow you to search and access Arkansas arrest records and other public records via numerous government agency databases in exchange for a fee. 

However, despite the fact that users must pay to obtain an arrest record from an online service, it’s nevertheless a convenient means of getting these documents. The offices of government agencies are often marred by inconsistent service and take a long time to process requests to view documents. 

Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a fee to use an online background check service, rather than endure the extended delays typical of government offices.  

What can I do if my arrest record has a mistake?

If your Arkansas arrest record incorrectly displays the arrest of another person, you are allowed to challenge the record at no personal cost. 

To do so, you must visit a law enforcement agency and be fingerprinted. Then, your fingerprints will be compared with those in the record. If your fingerprints do not match those on the arrest record, the record will be removed from your Arkansas criminal history.   


If you’re worried that someone you know or love has a criminal record and maybe hiding it from you, run a quick background check online with Thanks to public records laws, almost all Arkansas arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find Arkansas marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.

Violent Crime rate 

Property Crime rate 

Murder Crime rate 

Forcible Rape rate 

Robbery rate 

Assault rate 

Burglary rate  

Theft rate 

Motor Vehicle Theft rate