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Arrest Records in New Jersey

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

 

New Jersey has an estimated population of 8.88 million, which makes it the 11th most populated state and the most densely populated state in the nation. Trenton is the state capital and the largest city in the state is Newark, which has a population of around 285K. New Jersey has 21 counties, the largest of which is Bergen County and the smallest is Salem County. 

Statewide, New Jersey has a low rate of crime: its 2018 violent crime rate of 2.08 per 1,000 is well below the national rate. However, the Garden State is home to some dangerous urban areas, the worst being the jurisdiction of the Camden County Police Department (including the city of Camden) which has a violent crime rate nearly 8 times the statewide rate. Along with its relatively low crime, New Jersey has low arrest numbers for its size, ranking 32nd in arrests per capita. 

New Jersey Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, there were 226,427 arrests in New Jersey as reported by 478 law enforcement agencies. 11,513 arrests were made of minors under the age of 18.
  • 7,146 arrests were made for violent crimes, including 5,058 for aggravated assault, 274 for rape, and 115 for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.
  • The leading identified cause of arrest in New Jersey by a significant margin was drug abuse violations, accounting for around 48 thousand arrests, followed by ‘Other assaults’ and larceny-theft, which both resulted in nearly 17 thousand arrests, each.
  • 17,230 people were arrested for driving under the influence in New Jersey.
  • New Jersey has about 183 registered sex offenders per 100K inhabitants.  

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

 

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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey?

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 New Jersey?

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 New Jersey

How to request a fingerprint-based Criminal History Record Check through the New Jersey State Police

In New Jersey, individuals may request a copy of their Criminal History Record Information, along with arrest records, from the New Jersey Division of State Police, Criminal Information Unit (CIU). Requesting the records of individuals other than oneself is limited to:

  • State or Federal government entities
  • Employers and volunteer organizations
  • Licensed attorneys
  • Licensed private detectives

To obtain Criminal History Record Information, an individual must have their fingerprints taken at one of a number of approved fingerprint capturing sites, which use live scan fingerprinting services provided by the private company IDEMA. 

The most convenient way to schedule an appointment is to do it online using the IdentoGO website. Simply visit the site, choose New Jersey, and select your local police department for the appropriate service code. Enter the service code and you can arrange an appointment at your convenience.  If you’d prefer to arrange an appointment through the phone, you may contact IDEMIA at 1-877-503-5981.

On the day of the appointment, be prepared to pay a fingerprint service fee of $42.80, which can be paid using a major debit or credit card. Expect to wait 10 working days for the request to be processed.

If you have any questions regarding a Criminal History Record Information request, contact the Criminal Information Unit at (609) 882-2000 or [email protected]

How can I search for a New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey arrest record has inaccurate or incomplete information, you can submit a challenge and have it corrected. In order to do so, contact the New Jersey Division of State Police, Criminal Information Unit at (609) 882-2000 or [email protected]. They will explain how to proceed with the challenge. 

New Jersey Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

CountyCourthouseAddressPhoneSheriffAddressPhone
Atlantic CountySuperior Court Judge1201 Bacharach Blvd
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
609-441-3330Atlantic County Sheriff's Office1201 Bacharach Blvd
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
609-909-7200
Bergen CountyBergen County Justice Center10 Main St
Hackensack, NJ 07601
201-221-0700Bergen County Sheriff's Office2 Bergen County Plaza
Hackensack, NJ 07601
201-336-3500
Burlington CountyBurlington County Superior Court49 Rancocas Rd
Mt Holly, NJ 08060
609-288-9500Burlington County Sheriff's Department49 Rancocas Rd
Mt Holly, NJ 08060
609-265-5127
Camden CountyNew Jersey Superior Court101 S 5th St
Camden, NJ 08103
856-379-2200Camden County Sheriff520 Market St
Camden, NJ 08102
856-225-5475
Cape May CountyCape May Court House9 North Main Street
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
609-465-1000Cape May County Sheriff's Office9 N Main St
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
609-463-6420
Cumberland CountyCumberland County Courthouse60 W Broad St
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
856-451-8000Cumberland County Jail54 W Broad St
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
856-453-4894
Essex CountyNew Jersey Courts - Essex County Courthouse50 W Market St
Newark, NJ 07102
973-776-9300Essex County Sheriff's Office50 W Market St 2nd floor
Newark, NJ 07102
973-621-4111
Gloucester CountyGloucester County Courthouse1 N Broad St
Woodbury, NJ 08096
856-853-3200Gloucester County Correctional Facility70 Hunter St
Woodbury, NJ 08096
856-384-4607
Hudson CountyHudson County Superior Court595 Newark Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-795-6000Hudson County Sheriff's Office257 Cornelison Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07302
201-915-1300
Hunterdon CountyHunterdon County Superior Court65 Park Ave
Flemington, NJ 08822
908-824-9750Sheriff’s Office8 Court St
Flemington, NJ 08822
908-788-1166
Mercer CountyMercer County Criminal Courthouse400 S Warren St
Trenton, NJ 08608
609-571-4200Mercer County Sheriff's Office175 S Broad St
Trenton, NJ 08608
609-989-6111
Middlesex CountyMiddlesex County Superior Court56 Paterson St
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
732-645-4300Middlesex Sheriff's Office701 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732-745-3366
Monmouth CountyMonmouth County Courts71 Monument St
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-358-8700Monmouth County Sheriff's Office2500 Kozloski Rd
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-431-6400
Morris CountyMorris County Courthouse56 Washington St
Morristown, NJ 07960
862-397-5700Morris County Sheriff56 Washington St
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-285-6610
Ocean CountyOcean County Superior Court120 Hooper Ave
Toms River, NJ 08753
732-504-0700Ocean County Sheriff120 Hooper Ave
Toms River, NJ 08753
732-929-2044
Passaic CountyPassaic County Superior Court77 Hamilton St
Paterson, NJ 07505
973-653-2910Passaic County Sheriff Office77 Hamilton St #1
Paterson, NJ 07505
973-881-4200
Salem CountySalem Municipal Court129 W Broadway # 2
Salem, NJ 08079
856-935-1734Salem County Correctional Facility125 Cemetery Rd
Woodstown, NJ 08098
856-769-4300
Somerset CountySomerset County Courthouse20 N Bridge St
Somerville, NJ 08876
908-332-7700Somerset County Sheriff's Office20 Grove St
Somerville, NJ 08876
908-231-7140
Sussex CountySussex County Courthouse (New Jersey)NJ-94
Newton, NJ 07860
973-579-0675Sussex County Sheriff39 High St
Newton, NJ 07860
973-579-0850
Union CountyUnion County Courthouse2 Broad St
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
908-787-1650Union County Sheriff's Running Club10 Elizabethtown Plaza
Elizabeth, NJ 07202
908-527-4450
Warren CountyWarren County Courthouse413 2nd St
Belvidere, NJ 07823
908-750-8100Warren County Sheriff413 2nd St #1
Belvidere, NJ 07823
908-475-6309

 

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