Connecticut is a New England state with a population of 3.57 million, which makes it the 30th most populated and 4th most densely populated state. The state’s capital is Hartford, and its largest city is Bridgeport, which has a population of around 144K. There are 8 counties in the state, with Fairfield County being the most populated and Windham County the least populated.
Crime is relatively low in Connecticut, and the state’s 2018 violent crime rate of 2.07 per 1,000 is well below the national rate. The state capital of Hartford is the state’s most dangerous city, logging a violent crime rate of 10.66 incidents per 1,000, which is over five times higher than the statewide rate. Overall, Connecticut has a low number of arrests relative to the state’s population.
Connecticut Arrest and Crime Statistics
- There were 95,709 arrests in Connecticut in 2018 as reported by 104 agencies. 7,106 minors under the age of 18 were arrested.
- 3,399 arrests were made for violent crimes in 2018, including 79 arrests for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, 212 for rape, and 2,238 for aggravated assault.
- The leading identified cause of arrests was ‘Other assaults’, which accounted for 17,370, followed by disorderly conduct with 10,505 arrests, and larceny-theft with 9,834 arrests.
- Drug abuse violations accounted for 8,087 arrests, while driving under the influence resulted in 7,484 arrests.
- Around 4,500 registered sex offenders live in Connecticut.
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.
- Criminal charges filed
- Classification of the crime: Whether the alleged crime is a felony or a misdemeanor.
- 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 Connecticut 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 Connecticut public records include:
- vital records such as birth and death certificates
- marriage licenses
- court records
- voting records
- property records
Where are physical copies of arrest records kept in Connecticut?
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 Connecticut?
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:
- The information is classified to protect natural security.
- The information focuses on the internal rules and practices of the agency.
- Another federal law prohibits the release of the information.
- The information includes confidential trade secrets and/or commercial and financial information.
- The information includes privileged, confidential communicative exchanges between two agencies.
- The information could pose a danger to another person’s privacy if released.
- The information is reserved for law enforcement purposes in a court case or an investigation or could reveal a confidential source.
- The information includes confidential information about financial institution supervision.
- 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
How to search for Arrest Records in Connecticut
How can I obtain physical copies of public arrest records in Connecticut?
Individuals may obtain a copy of a Connecticut criminal history record, including arrest records, through the State of Connecticut State Police Bureau of Identification. The requested record can belong to the person doing the search or anybody else in the state.
This method may only be done manually and requires requesters to mail in a form. There are three types of criminal background searches supported:
- Name/Date of Birth search that verifies that existence of a criminal record but does not provide a copy of the record – $36
- Name/Date of Birth search that provides a copy of a criminal record if it exists – $75
- Fingerprint search that provides a copy of a criminal record if it exists – $75 along with a $15 fingerprinting fee to be paid at a Connecticut State Police location
In order to search for a criminal history record, complete the following steps:
- Print or open the State of Connecticut Criminal History Record Request Form
- Select the Type of Background Search of your choice
- Fill out the rest of the form with the appropriate information
- If you opt to perform a fingerprint-based search, visit a Connecticut State Police location and obtain a Fingerprint card with the fingerprint of the subject of the search for $15
- Prepare a check or money order with the appropriate amount made payable to Treasurer-State of CT. If you are requesting the criminal records of more than one subject, use a single check to pay for the search, rather than multiple checks.
- Mail the form, along with the form of payment and fingerprint card (if applicable) to this address:
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, CT 06457-2389
If you have any questions regarding the status of the request, contact the State Police Bureau of Investigation at (860) 685-8480.
How can I search for a Connecticut 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 Connecticut 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 Connecticut criminal history record or arrest record has inaccurate information, you may challenge the accuracy of the record by giving a written notice to the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Investigation. The notice must contain a sworn statement that the challenge is made in good faith and that any information supporting the challenge is accurate.
Once the State Police Bureau of Investigation receives the written notice, they will conduct an audit of the challenged criminal history information and deliver the results of the audit in writing within 60 days to the individual making the challenge stating whether the challenge was successful or rejected.
For more information on how to submit a challenge to a criminal history record, contact the State Police Bureau of Investigation at (860) 685-8480.
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 ArrestRecords.com. Thanks to public records laws, almost all Connecticut arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find Connecticut marriage records, secret divorce records as well as birth and death records.
Violent Crime rate
Property Crime rate
Murder Crime rate
Forcible Rape rate
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