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Suffolk County Arrest Records

Suffolk County police officers are authorized to take individuals into custody if they are caught or suspected of committing an offense (Section 140). Offenses for which an individual may be arrested could be minor misdemeanors and violations or severe felonies.

Following an arrest, the suspect is taken to any local police precincts close to the arrest location for "booking or processing". This entails collecting and recording vital information related to the arrest, such as the suspect's personal information, possessions at arrest, fingerprints, warrant details, photographs/mugshots, circumstances leading to the arrest, and details about the arresting agent/agency.

In Suffolk County, arrest records are public records maintained by the police departments, the district attorney, and other criminal justice agencies. Because arrest records may often be useful in commencing criminal proceedings, they are typically included in Suffolk County Court Records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Suffolk County?

Yes. Article 6, Sections 84-90 of the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) provides Suffolk County residents the right to access arrest records maintained by the local police departments in Suffolk County with specific exemptions. As a result, interested persons can request arrest records from the appropriate custodian.

Notwithstanding, several exemptions to public access to arrest records are outlined in the Freedom of Information Law. Some of these exemptions include:

  • Records specifically sealed by federal or state laws
  • Records whose disclosure will invade privacy rights and public safety
  • Information that may impede the investigation of law enforcement agencies or other judicial processes
  • Juvenile arrest information
  • Medical reports
  • Records that may deprive a person of a fair trial or adjudication
  • Information related to witnesses and confidential sources.

Although certain arrest records may be exempt from public access, parties such as the record subject, a legal representation, and other authorized public service employers requesting the records for official uses may access such records.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

A typical Suffolk County arrest record contains the following information:

  • The complete name set and birth date of the suspect
  • Physical features of the suspect including hair/skin color, weight, height, gender, marks/tattoos( if available)
  • Alleged charges filed against the suspect
  • Circumstances leading to the arrest
  • Weapon and other possessions at the time of arrest
  • Arrest date, time, and place
  • Booking/processing information including the date, time, and location
  • The outcome of the arrest, either bail/release information or detention facility
  • The officer and enforcement agency in charge of the arrest
  • Information about the suspect's Parole/ probation or outstanding warrants.

Suffolk County Crime Rate

The New York Division of Criminal Justice Services publishes yearly crime index statistics. From recent data, the total number of crimes reported in 2021 was 17,109 with 1455 violent crimes and 15,654 property crimes. Crime totals for 2021 dropped by a -5.7% change when compared to statistics recorded in 2020. The most predominant violent crimes recorded in 2021 were aggravated assaults (903), robberies (282) and rape (237). For property crimes, larceny (13,595), motor vehicle theft (1218), and burglary (843) took the lead.

Suffolk County Arrest Statistics

Arrest data derived from the computerized criminal history system of the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services reveal the total adult arrests made in 2022 to be 13,012, a slight increase from the 11,918 arrests in 2021. On the other hand, juvenile arrests made in 2022 were 359 as opposed to the 282 arrests made in 2021.

Out of the 13,012 adult arrests recorded in 2022, 3,515 were for felonies while 9,497 were misdemeanors. The crimes with the most number of adult arrests in the year 2022 were property crimes(2,532). Violent crimes recorded 836 arrests.

Find Suffolk County Arrest Records

To obtain arrest records generated in Suffolk County, there are several state and federal resources available to interested persons. They include:

  • The Arresting Agency: One may visit the physical location of the local police department managing the desired record or send written requests via the designated mail address. The Records unit may request valid identification and other search information like a name, date of birth, or arrest date.
  • Statewide Online repositories: the official websites provided by either the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision or the New York State Unified Court System may be queried to retrieve arrest records and inmate information. To search these online repositories, a Department ID number(DIN), last/first name, birth date/year, or any other required search filter will need to be entered into the search buttons provided.
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP): The BOP maintains a database of persons arrested by federal agencies or held in custody by this agency. Interested persons may search the BOP inmate locator using the subject's name or identification number.

Free Arrest Record Search in Suffolk County

Suffolk County residents may access arrest records maintained by the Sheriff's Office and other local police units in the county. Inspection of these records is typically free of charge, although requestors may need to cover the cost of making record copies, especially for in-person and mail-in requests. Records obtained from the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office arrest page are free. One may also access recent arrest information from the Sheriff's Office by phoning (631) 852-2200.

Similarly, it is possible to access Suffolk County arrest records for free using third-party websites. These sites, as named, are owned by independent record providers and contain data gathered from numerous sources, including government-owned databases. A name search is typically free but returns limited information. Accessing more comprehensive arrest information often requires paying a one-time fee or subscribing.

Get Suffolk County Criminal Records

A Suffolk County criminal record, otherwise known as a criminal history record information or rap sheet, is a summation of a person's interactions with the criminal justice system. These records include information about an individual's arrests, sentences, indictments, and convictions. Criminal history records in Suffolk County are not public records. Hence, they are only accessible to record subjects, persons with legal authority, licensing agencies, and prospective employers.

The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services is the central state repository for criminal history information and makes suppressed and unsuppressed criminal history information available to eligible requestors. To obtain a Suffolk County criminal history record or rap sheet from the DCJS:

  • Schedule for fingerprinting with any of the authorized vendors or call (877) 472-6915
  • Provide a means of identification and a fingerprinting fee of $14.25
  • Fill out the required Request for Criminal History Record Information form (if it is a licensing or employment agency), notarize and mail with the stipulated fees to:

Office of Legal Services
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
Alfred E. Smith Building
80 South Swan Street
Albany, NY 12210.

Alternatively, interested persons may search for criminal history records using the statewide public search portal maintained by the New York State Office of Court Administration for a fee of $95. This search portal turns out results based on an exact name and date of birth match and the information obtained is not to be used as official records. Interested persons may send mail requests by completing a request form or send electronic requests via the Direct Access application. Mail requests can be sent using the address below:

Criminal History Record Search Unit
NYS Office of Court Administration
Division of Technology and Court Research
25 Beaver Street, 8th Floor – Room 830
New York, NY 10004

Suffolk County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Arrest records and criminal records are different terms usually used synonymously to describe a person's criminal history. However, slight differences exist between both terms.

A criminal record or rap sheet extensively reveals details about the record subject's actions and relations within the criminal justice agencies in the county. It features information about the arrest leading up to the sentencing and thereafter. It comprises information generated and maintained by various enforcement and correctional facilities. Official criminal history records in Suffolk County are managed by the State's Division of Criminal Justice Services.

An arrest record, on the other hand, is more succinct and is generated by the arresting agency. An arrest record discloses information about the physical description of the record subject, including details about the events surrounding the arrest, the arresting agent/ agency, release/ bond information, and the alleged charge.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Permanently. New York state laws do not stipulate a definite time frame for the automatic disposal or purging of arrest records created in Suffolk County. The county's law enforcement agencies have different internal policies and regulations concerning records retention, which may affect the retention period and disposal of such records. Nevertheless, removing an arrest from the record is possible by filing for an expungement or sealing.

Expunge Suffolk County Arrest Records

New York has no law for "expunging" or erasing arrest records except in some cases of Marijuana crimes. Other types of arrests can only be sealed per state laws. When a record is sealed in New York, it still exists and is accessible to certain parties with a court order. However, the fingerprint cards, mugshots, and DNA samples collected during booking are destroyed or returned to the record subject.

Note that some records may be sealed without filing a petition, including:

  • Cases with a "good result" as the disposition
  • Crimes committed by youthful offenders and minors
  • Traffic infractions and violations such as disorderly conduct and trespass.

It might also be possible to request the sealing of some felony and misdemeanor cases provided:

  • The offender has no more than two misdemeanors or one misdemeanor and one felony
  • The offender has been crime-free for ten years from the last conviction or has completed a drug treatment program prescribed by a court.
  • The crime committed is not a sex offense, violent felony, or other ineligible offenses.

To seal an arrest record in Suffolk County:

  • Obtain and fill out a Criminal Certificate of Disposition at the cost of $10 per request
  • Complete and notarize a Sealing Application form (also called a Notice of Motion and Affidavit in Support)
  • Obtain and attach any evidence of rehabilitation
  • Serve the Suffolk County District Attorney copies of the Certificate of Disposition, the Sealing Application, and other required documents by mail or hand
  • Fill out and notarize an Affidavit of Service form as proof of service to the District Attorney
  • File original copies of the Sealing Application, Affidavit of Service, Certificate of Disposition, and other supporting documents with a court of jurisdiction( where the most severe of the convictions was heard).

Once the petition is approved, the court sends out a signed "Seal Order". To verify that the arrest record has been sealed as requested, the requestor may complete a Request for Seal Verification form and mail it alongside a copy of the Seal Order to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Suffolk County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a legal directive ordering the arrest of a named individual. In Suffolk County, a judicial officer may issue a warrant to a peace officer once there is probable cause to prove that the individual committed an offense, evades a court appearance, or is indicted by a grand jury.

A Suffolk County arrest warrant typically carries the following information:

  • The suspect's complete name
  • The issuing time and date of the warrant
  • The charges
  • The city or county where the warrant was issued
  • The signature and title of the office of the issuing judge
  • The court/agency issuing the warrant.

Suffolk County Arrest Warrant Search

Arrest warrants are available at the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office. Interested persons may obtain information about executed warrants provided the custodian has determined that releasing the information will not compromise the integrity of a criminal justice process. Conversely, if releasing warrant information will compromise an active investigation, the record will be removed from public access. Only the warrant subject and their attorney may access information on unexecuted warrants and sealed executed warrants. Access is dependent on identity verification.

Do Suffolk County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Warrants issued by judicial agencies in Suffolk County remain active until an arrest is made and the named individual willingly makes a court appearance or becomes deceased. In cases where the record bearer evades an arrest and is a fugitive, the arrest warrant remains on the individual's records as an outstanding warrant. Some situations, such as false probable cause or illegal executions, may, however, propel a court to recall or quash an issued warrant.

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