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Kansas Court Records

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Kansas Arrest Records

Any act or omission that constitutes a crime or is in violation of the Kansas Criminal Code may lead to an arrest. An individual may be arrested if they directly commit a criminal act. They may also be arrested for directly or indirectly aiding, abetting, or procuring another person to commit a criminal offense. When a person is arrested, they undergo a booking process, which involves recording information about the person and the circumstances relating to the arrest for documentation. The documents created during booking constitute arrest records. 

An arrest record in Kansas documents the police interactions with the suspect/arrested person. It contains essential information about the person arrested and the agency who made the arrest. Arrest records are an important tool in the Kansas Criminal Justice System. It is not only useful to public agencies like the courts, correctional institutions, and law enforcement officials but also to citizens and arrested persons. Arrest records are a matter of public safety, accountability, and transparency in the Criminal Justice System. They help the state analyze crime trends, track patterns of crime and develop strategies to prevent reoccurrence. 

According to the 2022 Kansas Crime Index, 65,119 property crimes and 13,808 violent crimes were reported. The crimes with the highest reports in 2022 were aggravated assault (11,225), which was the highest rate experienced in Kansas in over 11 years, burglary (8,849), and theft (48,373). Although the Kansa Bureau of Investigation does not publish arrest reports for Kansas, it can be inferred that high reports and convictions for a specific crime will translate to equally high arrest rates.

Are Arrest Records Public in Kansas?

Yes. According to the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), individuals have the right to inspect, request, and obtain copies of records maintained by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and all other public agencies (KSA 45-218). 

Chapter 45-217 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated (KSA) defines essential terms relating to public records. It defines public records as any recorded information, irrespective of format, in the custody of any state agency. However, certain limitations apply to an individual’s right to freedom of information in Kansas. Due to the sensitivity of a case or the nature of the record, the law may restrict public access to arrest information.

Government records may be sealed by a court order, federal or state law, or by the discretionary powers of record custodians. Per Section 45-218(d), where a government agency refuses citizens access to public information, they must provide, upon request, a written statement on the grounds of denial. 

The Kansas Open Records Act, Chapter 45-221, states records specified by law or a rule of the Supreme Court to be closed. The Act does not require public agencies to disclose:

  • Medical and all other health-related records
  • Records protected under the rules of evidence 
  • Personal information about a witness, informant, or undercover agent
  • Criminal investigation records that may interfere with court proceedings, ongoing investigations, and endanger the life or safety of persons. 
  • Administrative adjudication and civil litigation records 
  • Juvenile offender records 
  • Criminal intelligence information and
  • Records restricted explicitly by a statute or rule of the Kansas Supreme Court. 

What is Included in Kansas Arrest Records?

Arrest records created by Law Enforcement Agencies in Kansas may include the following details:

  • Arrestee identity information: This will include the arrestee’s first, last, and middle name, date of birth, mugshot, and address. 
  • Physical description: Race, sex, height, weight, hair and eye color, visible scars, and tattoos. 
  • Arrest and Booking Information: City of arrest, booking number, booking officer, booking date and time, arresting agency and officer, arrest time and date. 
  • Charge, description of the charge, charge type, charge level. 
  • Bond information (including amounts, bond type, bail terms, etc.) 
  • Active warrants (if any) 
  • Other comments by the arresting officer or agency. 

Find Public Arrest Records in Kansas

The typical custodians of arrest records in Kansas are County Sheriffs and City Police Departments. These agencies are authorized to make arrests within the state Jurisdiction and are the first point of contact with suspects and arrested persons in the Kansas Criminal Justice System. 

Interested persons can direct their requests to local law enforcement agencies or utilize online resources. Although agencies may have specific regulations or procedures for accessing arrest information, below is a general guide to help researchers find public arrest records in any government agency in Kansas. 

  • Identify the Records Custodian: A search for arrest records will only be successful if directed to the accurate record custodian. Thus, researchers must determine and identify the specific police or sheriff's department who arrested the subject of the search, as such agencies usually only maintain records of arrests they conducted. 
  • Determine the Records Request Procedure and Fees: All public agencies have specific procedures or methods for disseminating arrest information. While some may welcome in-person requests, others may limit inquiries strictly to phone calls or mail requests. The rules of every agency are accessible on their websites. Individuals should look for details on mail request formats, certification, copying fees, payment modes, etc. Researchers are also advised to look up the office directly and call their office lines to confirm the availability and status of the records (public or sealed), opening hours, and other requirements needed to access arrest information. 
  • Submit the Request: Depending on the agency in custody of the information sought, requests may be made in person, via mail, fax, or online. Most County Sheriffs maintain an updated online arrest log or online request forms on the department's website for information available online. Interested persons who wish to inquire in person should visit the physical Police or Sheriff's Department during official working hours. Where a mail-in option is available, the requester can write a letter containing sufficient information to identify the record along with whatever applicable copying or certification charges. 

In line with the Kansas Open Records Act, individuals do not need to state their reason for requesting public records. The custodian must respond within three business days of receiving the request. The custodian can refuse to fulfill a request or permit inspection and copying. However, they must inform the requesting party in writing of their grounds for denial. 

Obtaining Restricted Arrest Records in Kansas

A common reason for refusing access to arrest information is because the record is sealed, expunged, or prohibited from public disclosure by federal law, state statute, or court order. Where one can prove legal interest in a non-public arrest record (for example, an individual who is the subject of the arrest record, attorney, or law enforcement agencies), they can apply to subpoena the record. 

A subpoena is an order issued by the court commanding a person to attend a court hearing, trial, or disposition to testify or produce a document. It issues an order to produce a document for inspection, copying, testing, or sampling (KSA 60-245 2(c)). Per the Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure, all subpoenas must be issued by the court clerk under the court's seal or by a judge. Subpoena forms can be found online at the Kansas Judicial Council website. 

How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Kansas

One may find Kansas arrest records online through the official websites of county sheriff’s offices and police departments or third-party search tools. Some local law enforcement agencies in Kansas maintain online arrest logs, jail rosters, and other offender registers. For example, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office operates a Booking and Release Report website where anyone with internet access can find information on recently arrested persons. Searchers may also contact local authorities or conduct an inmate record search to check if a person is in jail.  

Also, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation allows individuals to perform criminal history record checks online. This service costs $20 for a search session. Interested individuals need to create a KanAccess account to access this eGovernment service. 

Another alternative is looking up arrest records through third-party search services. Third-party sites are non-government affiliated. They compile arrest information from multiple state sources in a single database. However, information from private websites may not be as accurate as that of public agencies.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Kansas?

In Kansas, an arrest will remain on a person's record indefinitely until it is sealed or expunged. Expunging an arrest record means sealing it from the public platforms and removing it from the petitioners' criminal history. It does not destroy or completely eradicate the record, as certain state agencies may have statutory access to sealed records. Any person arrested may petition the court for expungement of such records, subject to the provisions of Kansas Statutes.

Individuals can apply to seal or expunge their records in Kansas. An arrested person may file a petition to the district court in the municipality where they were arrested pursuant to the following subsections under Chapter 22-2410 of the Kansas Statutes.

Expunging an arrest record under section 22-2410 (A)(1) and (2) KSA: 

Where a person has been arrested in Kansas as a result of mistaken identity, and the charge against the subject of the record is dismissed or not prosecuted, the prosecuting attorney or judicial officer who declined to prosecute or dismiss the charge must notify the court of the action and petition the court to expunge such record.

When a petition is filed in this regard, the court will set a date for the hearing and give notice to the prosecuting officer and arresting agency. Further, the court file shall be separated from the other court records. Presently, by order of the Kansas Supreme Court, the docket fee for a petition for expungement is $195. 

Expunging an arrest record under section 22-2410 (B) (4) KSA: 

A petition filed pursuant to subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) must contain the following details of the petitioner:

  • Current full name
  • The full name at the time of the arrest (if different from current name)
  • The crime which served as the basis of the arrest
  • The date of the arrest
  • The identity of the arresting agency.

Expunging an arrest record under section 22-2410 (C) (a)(1) KSA: 

The court may order the sealing of arrest records and ensuing court proceedings subject to the criteria listed under subsection 22-2410 (4) KSA:

  • The person was arrested as a result of mistaken identity 
  • The court found no probable cause for the arrest
  • The arrestee was found not guilty by the court
  • The expungement would be in fulfillment of justice 
  • The charges have been dismissed 
  • No charges have been or are likely to be filed

Effect of a Court Order for Expungement of Arrest Records 

Under section 22-2410 (D)(a)(1) of the KSA, when an order for expungement is given, it shall state the information to be deleted and the grounds for doing so under the relevant subsection. The court clerk shall notify and send a certified copy of the order to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the municipal court where the trial started, all relevant criminal justice agencies, and the secretary of corrections. The order shall direct the KBI to seal the arrest information from all federal and state databases. 

Once the order is executed, the petitioner shall be regarded as not having been arrested concerning the deleted records only. This process may take two to four weeks. When a person’s record has been deleted following an order by the court, all custodians of the record of arrest are prohibited from disclosing the arrest or any information related to the arrest except as instructed by an expungement order or at the request of the petitioner. 

It is pertinent to note that expungement orders only have authority over federal and state agencies and their databases, not third-party search services. As such, concerned persons who find their arrest information on third-party search sites after an expungement should consider contacting the service provider and requesting a deletion. 

How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Kansas?

Residents of Kansas can find details on recent arrests by checking online arrest logs or visiting their local law enforcement agencies or surrounding districts. Interested persons may also check jail rosters and third-party search services and call the sheriff's and police offices in the last known location of the suspected arrested person. 

Are Kansas Arrest Records Free?

Yes, Kansas arrest records are generally free. Anyone with access to the internet can look up arrest information from any part of the state. However, statutory fees may apply for records requested via mail or fax and for anyone requesting certified copies of records. In the same regard, while private search applications may offer their search services for free, searchers will pay a fee to print or download copies of records from their sites.

Kansas Arrest Records
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