Looking to access a criminal record in Kansas? The state will release criminal records to the public along with other certain registered users that have entitlements and specific rights. The first place to find criminal records in Kansas is to check online on the Kansas Clerk of Court website and visit the website of the specific courthouse that heard the case.
Those needing criminal records for a background check can make an email request. Those wanting a criminal history for other purposes like applying for a visa application or adoption must mail a request to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).
Since the rules can be a little confusing, this state-specific guide will provide answers to many of your questions.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is an official document detailing a person’s criminal convictions, pending criminal cases, prior arrests, and other interactions with law enforcement agencies. Additional names for a criminal record include criminal history record, rap sheet, and a police record.
As with marriage records and court records, criminal records are generally public records in the United States and can be accessed through a criminal background check. However, public access to specific criminal record information varies from state to state.
In the State of Kansas, criminal records are accessible both online and by a written or in-person request to the KBI. Fees are assessed depending on the extent of the history report and the time it takes to pull it.
What is included in a Kansas criminal record?
As criminal records are kept by law enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the United States, a Kansas criminal record may vary in format and content depending on the law enforcement database from which it is accessed.
Generally, a Kansas criminal record will include the following information:
- A person’s full name and possible aliases
- Personal information such as age, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, height, weight, and other physical characteristics
- Fingerprints and mugshot
- Misdemeanor criminal offenses and convictions
- Felony criminal offenses and convictions
- Traffic records
- Past and outstanding arrest warrants
- Prior arrests
- Pending and dismissed charges
Why would someone access a criminal record?
There are several reasons for someone to request a criminal history check.
- A criminal history report is required when someone applies for a visa or is involved in an adoption proceeding.
- There are trade licensing associations that require a criminal background check, and it is also required when someone applies for a security clearance.
- There are a number of private services, such as caregivers and nannies, that make a criminal history standard as part of their resume.
- Some business transactions, like creating a partnership or merger, may also require it.
What’s the difference between an infraction, misdemeanor, and felony?
When you access a criminal record, the person listed on the record may have an offense listed. Criminal offenses are usually broken into three categories: Infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
An infraction is a minor violation, a misdemeanor is more serious, and a felony is the most serious type of crime.
To better understand the information listed on a criminal record, here’s a quick overview of each offense and its severity:
- Infraction: A small traffic violation or littering are considered infractions. An infraction is a minor violation of the law. Usually, punishments are a warning or a fine. Typically, no jail time is associated with an infraction.
- Misdemeanor: If someone were to get a DUI or a drug violation, it’s considered a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction but less severe than a felony. Jail time of less than a year or probation are usually associated with these types of crimes. Likely, the offender will do time in a local or county jail.
- Felony: Murder, rape, and arson are considered felony charges. A felony is the most serious type of crime. Offenders are typically sentenced to jail for more than a year and are likely held in a state or federal facility.
What is the difference between a Kansas arrest record and a Kansas criminal record?
An arrest record is an official document including the details of a specific arrest. A criminal record is a more comprehensive document that includes a person’s entire criminal background known to law enforcement agencies.
Both types of documents are usually public records in the United States, although information about specific arrests may be sealed and rendered inaccessible to the public for a variety of reasons.
Whether an arrest record or a criminal record is accessed, the information listed is for state crimes only. If a person is involved in a federal crime, this information is not listed on a state record.
How do I search for a Kansas criminal record?
Kansas allows any individual, organization or company to seek out criminal records. All criminal records are stored at the Kansas Central Repository located at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Records are collected from local police departments, sheriff’s offices, and courts.
Criminal history records include felony and misdemeanor arrests, court dispositions, prosecution data and incarceration information. The repository only has information about criminal history occurring in Kansas and doesn’t contain any information from federal agencies.
There are certain types of information that is standard to be released under Kansas law including:
- Felony and misdemeanor court convictions.
- Misdemeanor municipal and county ordinance convictions.
- Confinements in Kansas Department of Correction facilities.
- Arrest records within the past year where the disposition isn’t received.
- Active diversions not completed.
There is some information in criminal records that aren’t released publicly including:
- Arrests where there wasn’t a conviction.
- Successfully completed diversions.
- Expunged arrests, prosecutions, convictions, and confinements.
- Arrests occurring more than a year ago where there aren’t records of disposition.
How do I obtain a physical copy of a Kansas criminal record?
In Kansas, someone can conduct a record check using one of two methods. A search can be done by either the person’s name or by fingerprints.
To do a name-based record check, the person seeking the information will need the person’s legal first and last name, along with the date of birth. Also knowing the person’s social security number, middle name, any alias names is also helpful. Having other identifying information, like their height, weight, race, birthplace, residence, and occupation can also be helpful in narrowing a search.
The most accurate way to conduct a criminal history check is with fingerprints. This is the state’s preferred method of conducting a criminal history search as criminal history records are tied to fingerprints submitted by the arresting agency.
How do I search for Kansas criminal case court records?
Kansas is transitioning to a new centralized system of court records where most can be found online. There is a portal where court records can be found online, called the Kansas District Court Public Access Portal. This site has most lower court cases but there are exemptions according to court law. Cases not available on the public portal include:
- Cases involving the care of the mentally ill
- Child custody proceedings
- Child in need of care cases
- Coroner inquests
- Expunged cases
- Grand Jury proceedings
- Guardianship and conservatorship cases
- Juvenile offender
- Parental bypass
- Protection from abuse, stalking or domestic protection cases
- Child death review board
- Coroner reports
- Marriage license documents
- Poverty affidavits
- Investigation documents
- Probable cause affidavits
- Trial exhibits
- Warrants that haven’t been executed
Cases that aren’t on the public access portal are available at the courthouse where the case originated. Those searching for court cases can use a courthouse terminal in the search. Each court has a computer used specifically for the public to search court cases. Sealed cases are not available to the public.
Does Kansas allow criminal records to be sealed or expunged?
Yes, criminal records can be sealed or expunged in Kansas under certain conditions. To be eligible, the case must either be one of mistaken identity, a court found there wasn’t probable cause for the arrest, or the expungement would be in the best interest of justice. In some lesser crimes, expungement can occur after three years while other crimes have a time limit of five years.
In either case, fines and penalties must be taken care of before seeking expungement. There are certain serious offenses, such as murder and rape, that can’t be expunged. Juvenile cases can be expunged once the person turns 23 or it has been two years since the sentence was completed. Serious offenses are excluded from expungement even in juvenile cases.
How can I have false information on a Kansas criminal record corrected?
Those who have false information in their Kansas criminal history can have it corrected as long as there are documents that contradict the information. Those wishing to correct false information should contact the KBI Criminal Records Unit by calling 785-296-2454 on how to submit those documents and correct your record. Staff will guide those seeking to correct their criminal history by sending the appropriate forms and answering questions.
How long are Kansas criminal records kept on file?
Felonies and misdemeanors remain on a person’s record in Kansas forever until death. However, the oldest files the state has on record now date back to 1939.