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Arrest Records in North Dakota

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


North Dakota has a population of 762K, which makes it the 48th most populated and 47th most densely populated state in the U.S. The state experiences a relatively low amount of crime, earning a 2.81 per 1,000 violent crime rate in 2018.

Fargo–the state’s largest city–is also its most dangerous. While Fargo’s violent crime rate of 4.18 per 1,000 isn’t that high for a large city, it also suffers from a high amount of property crime. North Dakota experiences a higher concentration of arrests than most states, earning the 10th ranked arrest rate in the United States in 2018.

North Dakota Arrest and Crime Statistics

  • In 2018, 33,210 arrests were made in North Dakota, as reported by 103 law enforcement agencies across the state.
  • The leading identified cause of arrest was drug abuse violations, which accounted for 5,448. Following closely behind was driving under the influence, which resulted in 5,136 arrests.
  • North Dakota has a rate of 213 sex offenders per 100K residents, which places it 33rd in the U.S. 

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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota?

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 North Dakota?

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 North Dakota

To perform a search of North Dakota arrest records and other criminal history information, an individual must submit a Criminal Record Request to the North Dakota Office of Attorney General

The fee for one request is $15, although eligible non-profit organizations may submit this application to have the fee reduced to $5

In order to view the record of another person, the requester must attach a signed authorization form OR include the subject’s current address on the request form.  

Follow this process to submit a request:

  1. Fill out your personal information under Requester Information on the Request for Criminal History Record Information form
  2. Fill out the subject of the search’s personal information. You must include the person’s current address OR include a signed authorization form along with the request form. If the subject does not authorize the request, they will receive a notice in the mail from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation informing them that a criminal record search has been performed on them.
  3. Prepare a check or money order for $15 payable to “North Dakota Attorney General”.
  4. Mail the request form, payment, and signed authorization form (if applicable) to:

Criminal Records Section

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation

4205 State Street

PO Box 1054

Bismarck, ND 58502-1054

Allow 7-10 business days for the criminal history record check request to be processed. If you have any questions, you can contact the ND BCI Criminal Records Section at (701) 328-5500

How can I search for a North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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 North Dakota arrest record or another criminal history record document has incomplete or inaccurate information you should contact the North Dakota BCI Criminal Records Section by calling 701-328-5500 and ask for instructions on how to proceed with a challenge and have the mistake corrected. 

North Dakota Courthouse and Sheriff Information by County

Adams CountyAdams County Courthouse (North Dakota)604 Adams Ave
Hettinger, ND 58639
(701) 567-2537Adams County Sheriff's Office604 Adams Ave
Hettinger, ND 58639
(701) 567-2530
Barnes CountyBarnes County Courthouse230 4th St NW Room 202
Valley City, ND 58072
(701) 845-8500Barnes County Sheriff575 10th St SW #4
Valley City, ND 58072
(701) 845-8530
Benson CountyBenson County Courts311 B Ave S
Minnewaukan, ND 58351
701-473-5345Benson County Sheriff311 B Ave S
Minnewaukan, ND 58351
Billings CountyBillings County Court Recorder495 4th St
Medora, ND 58645
701-623-4491Billings County Sheriff495 4th St
Medora, ND 58645
Bottineau CountyBottineau County District Court314 5th St W
Bottineau, ND 58318
701-228-3618Bottineau County Sheriff314 5th St W
Bottineau, ND 58318
Bowman CountyBowman County Recorder104 1st St NW #3
Bowman, ND 58623
701-523-3450Bowman Police Department101 1st St NE
Bowman, ND 58623
Burke CountyBurke County Courthouse Judicial Branch103 Main St
Bowbells, ND 58721
701-377-2718Burke County Sheriff103 Railway St SE
Bowbells, ND 58721
Burleigh CountyBurleigh County District Court514 E Thayer Ave
Bismarck, ND 58501
701-222-6690Burleigh County Sheriff's Department514 E Thayer Ave
Bismarck, ND 58501
Cass CountyCass County Courthouse211 9th St S
Fargo, ND 58103
701-297-6000Cass County Jail Administration450 34th St S
Fargo, ND 58103
Cavalier CountyCavalier County Courthouse901 3rd St
Langdon, ND 58249
701-256-2540Cavalier County Sheriff901 3rd St #4
Langdon, ND 58249
Dickey CountyDickey District Clerk309 2nd St N
Ellendale, ND 58436
701-349-3013Dickey County Sheriff309 2nd St N
Ellendale, ND 58436
Divide CountyDivide County Clerk of Court200 N Main St #13
Crosby, ND 58730
701-965-6831Divide County Sheriff312 Main St NE
Crosby, ND 58730
Dunn CountyDunn County Clerk of Courts205 Owens St
Manning, ND 58642
701-573-4447Dunn County Sheriff205 Owens St
Manning, ND 58642
Eddy CountyEddy County Court House524 Central Ave
New Rockford, ND 58356
701-947-5777Eddy County Sheriff Department524 Central Ave
New Rockford, ND 58356
Emmons CountyEmmons County Courthouse100 4th St NW
Linton, ND 58552
701-254-4807Emmons County Sheriff's Office100 4th St SW
Linton, ND 58552
Foster CountyFoster County Court House1000 5th St N
Carrington, ND 58421
701-652-1001Foster County Sheriff's Office1000 5th St N
Carrington, ND 58421
Golden Valley CountyGolden Valley County Recorder150 1st Ave SE
Beach, ND 58621
701-872-3713Golden Valley County Sheriff150 1st Ave SE
Beach, ND 58621
Grand Forks CountyGrand Forks County District Court124 S 4th St
Grand Forks, ND 58201
701-787-2730Grand Forks County Sheriff122 S 5th St # 210A
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Grant CountyGrant County RecorderN Main St
Carson, ND 58529
701-622-3544Grant County Sheriff106 2nd Ave. NE
Carson, ND 58529
Griggs CountyGriggs County Clerk of Court808 Rollin Ave SW
Cooperstown, ND 58425
701-797-2772Griggs County Sheriff808 Rollin Ave SW
Cooperstown, ND 58425
Hettinger CountyHettinger County Clerk-Court336 Pacific Ave
Mott, ND 58646
701-824-2645Hettinger County Sheriff336 Pacific Ave
Mott, ND 58646
Kidder CountyKidder County Courthouse120 Broadway E
Steele, ND 58482
701-475-2632Kidder County Sheriff120 Broadway E
Steele, ND 58482
LaMoure CountyLa Moure County Clerk of Court309 2nd St SE
Lamoure, ND 58458
701-883-5301LaMoure County Sheriff202 4th Ave NE
Lamoure, ND 58458
Logan CountyLogan County District Ct Clerk301 Broadway
Napoleon, ND 58561
701-754-2751Logan County Sheriff301 Broadway
Napoleon, ND 58561
McHenry CountyMc Henry County Clerk Of Court407 S Main St #203
Towner, ND 58788
701-537-5729Sheriff Department407 S Main St #303
Towner, ND 58788
McIntosh CountyMc Intosh County Recorder112 1st St NE
Ashley, ND 58413
701-288-3589Mc Intosh County Sheriff112 1st St NE
Ashley, ND 58413
McKenzie CountyMcKenzie County Courthouse201 5th St NW #524
Watford City, ND 58854
701-444-3616McKenzie County Sheriff's Office1201 12th St SE
Watford City, ND 58854
McLean CountyMcLean County Court House712 5th Ave
Washburn, ND 58577
701-462-8541Mc Lean County Sheriff709 6th Ave
Washburn, ND 58577
Mercer CountyMercer Co Judge1021 Aurther St
Stanton, ND 58571
701-745-3262Mercer County Sheriff's Office419 North Ave
Stanton, ND 58571
Morton CountyMorton County District Court210 2nd Ave NW
Mandan, ND 58554
701-667-3357Morton County Sheriff205 1st Ave NW
Mandan, ND 58554
(701) 667-3330
Mountrail CountyMountrail Clerk-District Court101 N Main St
Stanley, ND 58784
701-628-2915Mountrail County Sheriff's Office101 N Main St
Stanley, ND 58784
Nelson CountyNelson County Court Clerk210 B Ave W # 203
Lakota, ND 58344
701-247-2462Nelson County Sheriff210 B Ave W
Lakota, ND 58344
Oliver CountyOliver County Courthouse115 Main St
Center, ND 58530
701-794-8777Oliver County Sheriff115 Main St
Hensler, ND 58530
Pembina CountyPembina County Recorder301 Dakota St E # 10
Cavalier, ND 58220
701-265-4373Pembina County Sheriff308 Court House Dr #2
Cavalier, ND 58220
Pierce CountyPierce County District Court240 2nd St SE #8
Rugby, ND 58368
701-776-5375Pierce County Sheriff110 Industrial Rd
Rugby, ND 58368
Ramsey CountyRamsey County Courthouse524 4th Ave NE
Devils Lake, ND 58301
701-662-7007Ramsey County Sheriff222 Walnut St W
Devils Lake, ND 58301
Ransom CountyRansom County Court Clerk206 5th Ave W
Lisbon, ND 58054
701-683-6120Ransom County Sheriff's Office204 5th Ave W
Lisbon, ND 58054
Renville CountyRenville County Courthouse205 Main St E
Mohall, ND 58761
701-756-6398Renville County Sheriff's Office205 Main Street East
Mohall, ND 58761
Richland CountyRichland County District Judge418 2nd Ave N # 16
Wahpeton, ND 58075
701-671-1524Richland County Sheriff Office413 3rd Ave N
Wahpeton, ND 58075
Rolette CountyRolette County Clerk of Court102 2nd St NE
Rolla, ND 58367
701-477-3816Rolette County Sheriff's Office209 1st Ave NE
Rolla, ND 58367
Sargent CountySargent County Courthouse355 Main St SW
Forman, ND 58032
701-724-6241Sargent County Sheriff355 Main St S # 6
Forman, ND 58032
Sheridan CountySheridan County District Court215 2nd St E
McClusky, ND 58463
701-363-2207Sheridan County Sheriff215 2nd St E
McClusky, ND 58463
Sioux CountySioux County Clerk of Court303 2nd Ave
Fort Yates, ND 58538
701-854-3853Sioux County Sheriff's Office302 2nd Ave
Fort Yates, ND 58538
Slope CountySlope County Courthouse206 Main St
Amidon, ND 58620
701-879-6275Slope County Sheriff's Office206 South Main Street
Amidon, ND 58620
Stark CountyStark County District Court - Clerk51 3rd St E
Dickinson, ND 58601
701-227-3184Stark County Sheriff's Office66 W Museum Dr
Dickinson, ND 58601
Steele CountySteele County Recorder201 Washington Ave W
Finley, ND 58230
701-524-2152Steele County Sheriff201 Washington Ave
Finley, ND 58230
Stutsman CountyStutsman County District Court511 2nd Ave SE
Jamestown, ND 58401
701-252-9042Stutsman County Correction Center205 6th St SE #2
Jamestown, ND 58401
Towner CountyTowner County Courthouse301 2nd St
Cando, ND 58324
701-968-4340Towner County Sheriff315 2nd St
Cando, ND 58324
Traill CountyTraill County Clerk of Courts114 W Caledonia Ave
Hillsboro, ND 58045
701-636-4454Traill County Sheriffs Office118 W Caledonia Ave
Hillsboro, ND 58045
Walsh CountyWalsh County Clerk of Court600 Cooper Ave
Grafton, ND 58237
701-352-0350Walsh County Sheriff638 Cooper Ave # 2
Grafton, ND 58237
Ward CountyClerk of District Court Office315 3rd St SE
Minot, ND 58701
701-857-6600Ward County Sheriff's Department204 Front St SE
Minot, ND 58701
Wells CountyWells County CourthouseRailway St N
Fessenden, ND 58438
701-547-3122Wells County Sheriff700 Railway St N
Fessenden, ND 58438
Williams CountyWilliams County Clerk of District Court205 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58801
701-774-4375Williams County Sheriff's Office223 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58801


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