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Arrest Records in Maryland

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Need more information? Check out our guides to Maryland background checks and Maryland public records.


Maryland has a population of 6,045,680, rendering it the 19th most populated and 5th most densely populated state in the United States. Due to high crime in its urban areas, Maryland has a violent crime rate of 4.69 per 1,000, which is well above the United States average. 

Additionally, Baltimore, Maryland’s largest city, is also the state’s most dangerous and one of the most dangerous cities in the country, earning a violent crime rate of 18.33 per 1,000.  However, Maryland is about average in terms of arrests per capita with the 27th ranked rate in the U.S.

Maryland Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, there were 181,434 arrests in Maryland, as reported by 153 law enforcement agencies. Additionally, 17,825 minors under the age of 18 were arrested in the state.
  • Drug abuse violations were the leading identified cause of arrest in Maryland by a considerable margin, accounting for nearly 32 thousand arrests.
  • Maryland has the fewest registered sex offenders per capita in the United States, with just 125 per 100K.

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


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 Maryland 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 Maryland 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 Maryland?

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 Maryland?

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 Maryland

Unlike many states, Maryland does not have a convenient online criminal history information search tool that’s available to the public. 

However, the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services does outline a process in which an individual can perform a criminal background check and view all arrests and convictions on their record.

Here’s how to perform a criminal background check in Maryland:

  1. Have your fingerprints taken at a local law enforcement agency on an official fingerprint card OR have your fingerprints taken at an authorized fingerprinting service location. There will be a variable fee involved. 
  2. Mail the fingerprint card, along with a check for the appropriate fee depending on which type of background check you’d like, to the following address:

CJIS-Central Repository

P.O. Box 32708

Pikesville, Maryland 21282-2708

How can I search for a Maryland 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 Maryland 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. 

Maryland Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

Allegany CountyCircuit Court for Allegany County30 Washington St
Cumberland, MD 21502
301-777-5923Allegany County Sheriff Department695 Kelly Rd
Cumberland, MD 21502
Anne Arundel CountyCircuit Court for Anne Arundel County8 Church Cir
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-222-1397Anne Arundel County Sheriff8 Church Cir
Annapolis, MD 21401
Baltimore CountyCircuit Court for Baltimore County401 Bosley Ave
Towson, MD 21204
410-887-2139Baltimore County Sheriff's OfficeGround Floor, 401 Bosley Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
Baltimore CityDistrict Court for Baltimore City700 E Patapsco Ave
Baltimore, MD 21225
410-878-8300Baltimore City Sheriff's Office100 N Calvert St #104
Baltimore, MD 21202
Calvert CountyDistrict Court - Calvert County200 Duke St
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
443-550-6700Calvert County Sheriff30 Church St
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Caroline CountyCaroline County District Court207 S 3rd St
Denton, MD 21629
410-819-4600Caroline County Sheriff101 Gay St
Denton, MD 21629
Carroll CountyCarroll County Historic Courthouse200 Willis St
Westminster, MD 21157
410-386-8710Carroll County Sheriff's Office100 N Court St
Westminster, MD 21157
Cecil CountyCecil County Courthouse129 E Main St
Elkton, MD 21921
410-996-1021Cecil County Sheriff Office107 Chesapeake Blvd
Elkton, MD 21921
Charles CountyCharles County Circuit Court200 Charles St
La Plata, MD 20646
301-932-3210Charles County Sheriff's Office6855 Crain Hwy
La Plata, MD 20646
Dorchester CountyDorchester District Court310 Gay St # 1
Cambridge, MD 21613
410-901-1420Dorchester Sheriff's Office829 Fieldcrest Rd
Cambridge, MD 21613
Frederick CountyFrederick County Courthouse100 W Patrick St
Frederick, MD 21701
301-600-2570Frederick County Sheriff's Office110 Airport Dr E
Frederick, MD 21701
Garrett CountyGarrett County Courthouse3 E Alder St
Oakland, MD 21550
Garrett County Sheriff's Office311 E Alder St
Oakland, MD 21550
Harford CountyHarford County Circuit Court20 W Courtland St
Bel Air, MD 21014
410-638-3426Harford County Sheriff's Office1305 Pulaski Hwy
Edgewood, MD 21040
Howard CountyHoward County Clerk of Court8360 Court Ave
Ellicott City, MD 21043
410-313-2111Howard County Sheriff's Office8360 Court Ave
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Kent CountyKent County Circuit Court103 N Cross St
Chestertown, MD 21620
410-778-7460Kent County Sheriff's Office104 Vickers Dr # B
Chestertown, MD 21620
Montgomery CountyDistrict Court for Montgomery County8552 2nd Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-563-8500Montgomery County Sheriff's Office50 Maryland Ave
Rockville, MD 20850
Prince George's CountyPrince George's District Court4990 Rhode Island Ave
Hyattsville, MD 20781
301-298-4200Prince George’s County Office of the Sheriff5303 Chrysler Way
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Queen Anne's CountyQueen Anne's County District Court120 Broadway
Centreville, MD 21617
410-819-4000Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office505 Railroad Ave
Centreville, MD 21617
Saint Mary's CountyDistrict Court for St. Mary's County23110 Leonard Hall Dr
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-880-2700St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office23150 Leonard Hall Dr
Leonardtown, MD 20650
Somerset CountySomerset County Circuit Court30512 Prince William St
Princess Anne, MD 21853
410-845-4840Somerset County Sheriff's Office7920 Crisfield Hwy
Westover, MD 21871
Talbot CountyTalbot Clerk of Circuit Court11 N Washington St # 16
Easton, MD 21601
410-822-2611Talbot County Sheriff's Office28712 Glebe Rd Suite 1
Easton, MD 21601
Washington CountyWashington County Circuit Court24 Summit Ave
Hagerstown, MD 21740
301-733-8660Washington County Sheriff500 Western Maryland Pkwy
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Wicomico CountyWicomico County Clerk of Court101 N Division St #105
Salisbury, MD 21801
410-543-6551Wicomico County Sheriff's Office401 W Naylor Mill Rd
Salisbury, MD 21801
Worcester CountyMaryland District Court6505 Coastal Hwy #1
Ocean City, MD 21842
410-723-6935Worcester County Sheriff's Office1 W Market St # 1001
Snow Hill, MD 21863


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 Maryland arrests, criminal and civil records are available online, as well as comprehensive background checks and secret data. You can even find Maryland 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