Arrest Records in Nevada

Table of Contents

Nevada has a population of 3.08 million, making it the 33rd most populated and the 42nd most densely populated state in the nation. Carson City is Nevada’s capital, and the state’s largest city is Las Vegas, which has a population of 664,304. There are 16 counties in Nevada, with the largest being Clark County (the location of large cities Las Vegas and Henderson) and the smallest being Esmeralda County. 

Compared to the nation-at-large, Nevada experiences elevated levels of crime: the state’s 2018 violent crime rate of 5.41 per 1,000 is 46% higher than the nationwide rate. North Las Vegas is the state’s most dangerous city, logging a violent crime rate of 9.66 per 1,000. The state has a high volume of arrests, ranking 7th in the nation in arrests per capita. 

Nevada Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, there were 140,967 arrests in Nevada as reported by 47 law enforcement agencies. 10,026 of these arrests were of minors under the age of 18.
  • There were 8,012 arrests made for violent crimes, including 1,411 for robbery, 408 for rape, and 191 for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. 
  • The leading identified cause of arrests in the state was ‘Other assaults” resulting in 17,883 arrests, followed by drug abuse violations with 11,238 arrests.
  • Nearly 11 thousand arrests were made for driving under the influence, but only 362 arrests were made for drunkenness. 
  • There are about 7,200 registered sex offenders residing in Nevada. 

Sources: FBI: 2018 Crime in the United States, Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada?

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. 

If you can’t find the criminal history records you are looking for, the Nevada Criminal History Repository has a large database of State of Nevada Criminal Records. 

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

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 Nevada

How can I get a copy of a Nevada arrest record through the Nevada Department of Public Safety?

Unlike many other states, the Nevada State Government does not have a searchable online database of criminal records, however, you can request a copy of your Nevada Criminal History Record Information–including arrest records–through submitting an application to the Nevada Department of Public Safety. The state does not allow you to request the record of another person. Each request requires a fee of $27.

Follow these steps to request and receive a copy of your Nevada Criminal History Record Information:

  1. Complete the Identification File Request for Nevada Records of Criminal History Form. Note that you must complete one form per request and that multiple family members cannot use the same form. 
  2. Have your fingerprints taken on the official fingerprint card FD-258 by a certified fingerprint technician at a local law enforcement agency office. All ten fingerprints must be taken simultaneously. Fill out the rest of the card with your personal information. You may have to pay a variable fee. Copies of the card will not be accepted.
  3. Prepare a certified check or money order in the amount of $27 made out to the “Nevada Department of Public Safety”. If you are making a record request for multiple family members, you may use the same check or money order: add $27 for each additional request.
  4. Staple the Request Form, the fingerprint card, and the payment together.
  5. Mail or submit in person all the necessary documents to the following address:

Department of Public Safety

Records, Communications and Compliance Division

333 West Nye Lane Suite 100

Carson City, Nevada 89706

Please wait 6 weeks for the request to be processed. You will receive either a State Positive Record Response letter, along with the Criminal History Record Information, or a State Negative Record Response letter meaning that no record was found

How can I search for a Nevada 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 Nevada 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 Nevada Criminal History Record has inaccurate or incomplete information, there is an official process for challenging the mistake. Follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Request for Challenge form and the Statement of Inaccuracy included with the form. Include the details of the arrest in the statement, such as the date, charges, case number, etc.
  2. Gather any supporting documents you have that offer proof against the inaccuracy. These may include an arrest report or court disposition. 
  3. Have your fingerprints taken on an official fingerprint card FD-258 (the same card necessary for a Criminal History Record Information request) by a licensed fingerprint technician at a law enforcement agency office. Fill out the fingerprint card with your personal information. 
  4. Mail the form, statement, fingerprint card, and any supporting documentation you have to the following address:

Nevada Department of Public Safety 

Records, Communications and Compliance

Criminal Records Unit

333 West Nye Lane Suite 100

Carson City, Nevada 89706

After the Request to Challenge has been submitted, please give up to 90 days for the request to be reviewed. If you have any questions regarding the challenge contact the Criminal Records Unit at (7750 687-0196, or via email at [email protected].


 

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