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Erie County Arrest Records

In Erie County, arrests are necessary when individuals commit crimes such as felonies, misdemeanors, or other violations. The responsible law enforcement agency apprehends the individuals and takes them into custody. Inmates are typically held in the county jail.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office and local law enforcement agencies are responsible for generating arrest records. These records include personal details like name, age, and physical description and information about the arrest, such as charges, date, time, and location. They are maintained in secure databases and physical archives.

Arrest records in Erie County, New York, are mostly kept on file by the Erie County Sheriff's Office and local law enforcement agencies, like the Buffalo Police Department. Additionally, for a statewide search, the public can access and request arrest records through the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. Both physical archives and safe databases are used to store these documents. Law enforcement agencies use them to monitor and track illegal activities, as well as for background checks, assistance with criminal investigations, and help during court processes. Public access to these documents varies depending on each case's unique circumstances and privacy laws.

Arrest records are vital for tracking criminal activities, assisting in investigations, and background checks. Public access to these records varies depending on privacy laws and the specifics of each case. These records are also linked to other public records, such as court documents, which can be accessed through the Erie County Court Records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Erie County?

Yes. In Erie County, arrest records are public documents accessible under the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Government law enforcement agencies are required to provide these records upon request. Publicly available information typically includes basic arrest details such as the name, age, charges, and court appearance dates and times.

However, certain information are exempt from public disclosure, including:

  • Personal data, including financial, health, and social security numbers
  • Information that could impede legal processes or investigations
  • Information that could affect someone's right to a fair trial
  • Information identifying confidential sources or disclosing confidential investigative details
  • Information revealing criminal investigative techniques, except routine ones

Exempt records are only available to individuals legally permitted to access them, such as the subjects of the data, their legal representatives, or approved persons or agencies with a court order.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Per (Public Officers Law, Article 6, Sections 84–90), an arrest record in Erie County typically contains the following information:

  • Personal information of the arrestee, such as name, date of birth, gender, photograph, and other physical description
  • Arrest information includes the date, time, location, arresting officer and agency, charges filed, description of the alleged offense, booking number, etc.
  • Legal proceeding information such as court dates, case number, bail or bond information, and case status (e.g., pending, dismissed, or convicted)

Erie County Crime Rate

In 2021, Erie County recorded 20,447 offenses, according to the New York State Final Crime Report available on the Division of Criminal Justice Services website. Property crimes accounted for 82.96% (16,963) of all reported offenses, while violent crimes made up 17.03% (3,484).

Property crimes included motor vehicle theft, larceny, and burglary. Larceny made up 73.72% (12,506) of all property offenses, followed by motor vehicle theft at 13.5% (2,292) and burglary at 12.76% (2,165). Violent crimes included robbery, rape, murder, and aggravated assault. Aggravated assault comprised 66.21% (2,307) of all violent crimes, followed by robbery at 23.79% (829), rape at 7.89% (275), and murder at 2.1% (73). However, there was a 5.9% decrease in crimes when comparing the total reported crimes in 2021 (20,447) to 2020 (21,721).

Erie County Arrest Statistics

The Division of Criminal Justice Services website provides arrest data for each county in New York in addition to crime data. The agency's data states that 11,922 arrests were made in Erie County in 2021. 61.35% (7,315) of those were misdemeanors, while 38.64% (4,607) were felonies.

Among the arrests that fell under the category of felonies, 81.96% (3,776) of them were for other crimes. Violent crimes at 42.9% (1,981), drug-related offenses at 22.72% (1,047), and driving while intoxicated (DWI) came in at 9.68% (446).

In conclusion, the difference between the total number of arrests in 2021 (11,922) and 2020 (11,500) indicates a 3.6% rise in arrests in 2021, which is consistent with an increase in crime rates.

Find Erie County Arrest Records

Local law enforcement agencies in Erie County handle most arrests, and the records are initially created and kept by the precinct that made the arrest. To obtain arrest records, start by contacting the agency responsible for the arrest. Agencies may require specific information, such as:

  • The first and last name of the record subject.
  • The record subject's date of birth.
  • The case or docket number.
  • Fingerprints (for Federal agencies)
  • The date, time and location of the incident.
  • The requester's address information.

For arrest records, you can contact any of the more than 40 city police departments in Erie County online, in person, via mail, fax, or phone. For example, the Buffalo Police Department offers an online portal for public documents, can be called at (716) 851-4444, or visited in person at 68 Court Street, Buffalo, NY 14202.

The Erie County Holding Center (ECHC) in Buffalo, run by the Sheriff's Office's Jail Management Division, provides public access to jail records of current detainees. The Sheriff's Office offers a free Erie County Arrest Records Roster.

State or federal agencies like the New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA), New York Sex Offender Registry, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), also handle arrests and provide access to records. The New York State OCA provides electronic access to New York criminal records for a $95.00 fee. Requests can be made via mail or through their internet direct access page. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services offers a free sex offender registry accessible through their Sex Offender Registry Search Tool. Finally, the FBI provides national criminal history records (rap sheets) for $18.00, available online or by mailing a written request.

Free Arrest Record Search in Erie County

The New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) mandates that all government entities provide open access to public documents, including arrest records. While searching for arrest records is free, agencies may charge processing fees for duplicate copies.

Except for processing fees needed for duplicate copies, all agencies listed in the preceding section offer arrest information for free. For example, the Erie County Sheriff's Office maintains a jail roster that can be viewed online to search for arrest information at no cost.

Additionally, basic arrest data can be accessed on third-party public records websites. However, a fee may be required for more comprehensive or extensive criminal history records. Examples of third-party websites include [insert example third-party site] &hellip:

Get Erie County Criminal Records

A criminal history record, also known as a criminal record, documents a person's interactions with the criminal justice system. It includes information about arrests, charges, convictions, sanctions, and court proceedings. Law enforcement organizations maintain these records for purposes such as background checks, court cases, and investigations.

Criminal records can be searched at county, state, and federal levels. To obtain criminal records in Erie County, start at the Erie County Clerk's Office, where court records can be accessed for free online, in person, or by mail. The Erie County Criminal Record Search Tool is available online for convenience. Users can also use the New York State Unified Court System Case Search Tool by selecting "Erie" as the county and "Criminal" as the case type.

For mail and in-person requests, applicants should fill out the criminal records request form and mail or bring it to the following address:

Erie County Clerk's Office
92 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

Note that processing fees would apply.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office offers a fingerprint-based check for a more comprehensive criminal history record. The fees are $25.00 for the fingerprint card, $25.00 for the check, and $1.00 for each additional copy. This search can only be done in person, and an appointment must be scheduled by calling (716) 858-6566. After filling out the request form, ensure to bring along a valid U.S ID like driver's license or passport to the office at:

Erie County Sheriff's Office
Identification Bureau
1st Floor, 134 West Eagle St.
Buffalo, New York 14202

Erie County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Arrest records and criminal records serve different purposes and contain different information in Erie County, New York. Criminal records are comprehensive records of a person's past criminal behavior maintained by the courts and law enforcement. They include convictions, penalties, dismissals, and acquittals. These records can impact a person's future legal processes, employment opportunities, and other aspects of their life and are frequently used for background checks.

In contrast, arrest records are specific to instances when law enforcement officials took a person into custody. They include information such as the date, place, and charges at the time of the arrest. However, arrest records do not necessarily indicate guilt or a criminal past, as an arrest does not always result in a conviction. Both types of records represent different stages of interaction with the criminal justice system and are essential for various legal and administrative purposes.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Arrest records in Erie County, New York, usually stay on a person's record for an extended period. Adult criminal records are not automatically expunged under New York state law. However, certain records, such as those for non-criminal infractions, may be sealed after a predetermined period if specific requirements are met. Additionally, under CPL 160.59, individuals who meet qualifying criteria—including a ten-year waiting period following the date of conviction or release from jail—can apply to have certain misdemeanor and felony convictions sealed.

Expunge Erie County Arrest Records

Although "sealing" and "expunge" are not the same, they are frequently used synonymously in New York. Sealing limits access to records, keeping them out of the public domain but still available to certain people, law enforcement, and government agencies. Expungement, on the other hand, usually refers to the complete eradication of records.

In general, Erie County does not have legislation that permits the deletion of criminal records. The guidelines for sealing criminal records, including arrest records, are found in New York Criminal Method Law Section 160.59. It is important to remember that not all crimes—such as violent or sexual assault crimes—are eligible for record sealing.

The next step after determining eligibility is to obtain an application form for record sealing and submit it to the county's district attorney where the conviction(s) was obtained. The application should include:

  • A copy of any disposition certificate or comparable paperwork for any offense for which the defendant has been found guilty or a justification if the paperwork is not readily available.
  • A written declaration from the defendant indicating if they have submitted or plan to file an application for the sealing of any other eligible offense, along with a copy of any previously filed applications.
  • A sworn declaration detailing the conviction(s) for which relief is requested.
  • A sworn justification for the sealing request, together with any supporting documentation, should be provided to the court.

An individual can apply for sealing only after at least ten years have passed since their most recent conviction and the imposition of the sentence. If the individual served a prison sentence, including a probationary sentence, or was released from prison, the ten-year period starts after their release. Time served under confinement will be added to the ten-year period, and any time spent behind bars following the conviction for which the sealing application is made will be omitted from the calculation.

Erie County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a legal order issued by a judge or magistrate that enables law enforcement to arrest a particular person suspected of committing a crime. It is signed by the issuing authority, contains the accused person's name, and is based on probable cause.

According to New York State law, an arrest warrant in Erie County permits the arrest of a person suspected of a crime. However, police officers are also allowed to arrest without a warrant under certain conditions as outlined in (CPL) §140.10.

Per New York Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) §120.10, an arrest warrant must include the following information:

  • Personal Information: The individual's name, physical description, and any known aliases.
  • Statement of Alleged Crime: A clear statement of the alleged crime with legislative references.
  • Probable Cause: Proof or an affidavit demonstrating the probable cause for the arrest as defined by CPL §120.20.
  • Issuing Authority: Information about the judge or magistrate, including their name, title, and signature.
  • Issue Date and Jurisdiction: The date the warrant was issued and the jurisdiction or place of validity.
  • Execution Instructions: Precise directions for law enforcement on how to carry out the warrant, including any restrictions or conditions.

These components balance law enforcement's needs with individuals' rights, ensuring that the warrant is legally valid and enforceable.

Erie County Arrest Warrant Search

Depending on the required search scope, warrant information can be acquired from municipal, county, and state agencies. State law does not require the public release of warrant information, and the organizations in possession of these documents will decide what information should be included in Erie County's public records.

To search for active warrants in Erie County, New York, individuals can use the Erie County Sheriff's Office website. The Sheriff's Office provides an online database where anyone can look up active warrants. Search criteria may include the last name, date, and reason for the warrant.

For a more localized search, interested individuals can contact relevant law enforcement agencies in specific cities and towns, as they may also provide this information. For example, the public can obtain an active warrant list of criminals wanted by the City of Tonawanda by contacting the police department, though this may not cover the entire county.

Another valuable resource is the New York State Unified Court System's website, which offers a criminal case-finding tool called "WebCriminal". This tool allows users to check for warrants throughout the state.

Do Erie County Arrest Warrants Expire?

Arrest warrants in Erie County, New York, typically do not expire. According to the New York Criminal Procedure Law, an arrest warrant remains valid until the subject is found, the warrant is executed, or a judge formally revokes it. Various factors can impact the status of an arrest warrant, including the nature of the offense, judicial scrutiny, and potential administrative errors. For instance, warrants may be recalled or dismissed if the underlying matter is settled or if procedural flaws are discovered. Procedural flaws might include errors in the issuance process, lack of probable cause, or administrative mistakes. In such cases, a judge may decide to revoke the warrant formally. Despite these possibilities, in practice, arrest warrants generally remain active indefinitely unless specific actions are taken. Law enforcement agencies continue to prioritize and act on outstanding warrants, especially those related to serious offenses.

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