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What are Ohio Criminal Records?

Ohio criminal records are documents created by law enforcement and government organizations that detail the actions of alleged or convicted criminals. Also known as rap sheets, criminal records cover a wide variety of criminal data such as the details of an arrest, indictment, pending and finalized dispositions, convictions, physical descriptors, and more. These records are taken from organizations at the state level, but also at the county and municipal level. Ohio criminal records typically contain:

  • The full name of the subject and any known aliases
  • Birthdate, ethnicity, and details of unique physical descriptors
  • A mugshot and fingerprints
  • All previous and current indictments
  • Arrest records and outstanding warrants
  • Conviction information

Are Criminal Records Public In Ohio?

Yes, according to Ohio’s Sunshine Laws, public members can access criminal records in the state. The State Bureau of Crime Identification & Investigation (BCI&I) maintains a criminal history records database and interested parties may submit digital applications to access Ohio public criminal records.

Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:

  • The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
  • The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.

Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.

How To Obtain Criminal Records in Ohio

Ohio’s BCI&I provides criminal records to schools, hospitals, daycare centers, and other employers. To perform a criminal record search, interested persons may submit a complete set of fingerprints at a WebCheck Location. The fee for this search is $22 and replies are processed within one business day.

For individuals that wish to obtain a person’s criminal records in Ohio, visiting the sheriff’s office where the subject resides is another option. The sheriff’s office will provide criminal records at minimal costs. In some places, requesters will be able to perform a free public criminal record check and pay only the copy costs.

What Are Ohio Arrest Records?

Arrest records in Ohio are documents that detail information about arrests and the suspects who were arrested. They cover aspects of the arrest and detainment of a suspect but typically do not serve as criminal records unless the arrest is followed by a conviction.

In Ohio, a person can be arrested once they commit a misdemeanor, though more commonly when they commit a felony. Ohio arrest records typically include:  

  • The personal information of the arrestee: their name, birth date, gender, etc.
  • When and where the arrest took place
  • Identification of the arresting officer
  • The location and address of the detention center, jail, or prison in question
  • The name of the issuer of the arrest warrant

While Ohio police records include arrest records and reports, arrest records and police records are not the same. Police records also include police reports, logs, and incident reports.

What Is An Arrest Warrant In Ohio?

Arrest warrants in Ohio are official documents that are signed and issued by a judge, magistrate, or other court officials. These documents allow law enforcement to apprehend a person named in the warrant. Arrest warrants are usually issued after a request from an agent of law enforcement that has evidence of criminal activity.

Arrest warrants also provide authorization for the search and seizure of private property for the purposes of evidence retrieval. Warrants are only valid for a specific person and for specific times.

Ohio arrest warrants typically contain:

  • Details of the alleged criminal offense
  • The full personal information of the suspect
  • The time and place the arrest may take place
  • An expiry date (if applicable)
  • The date on which the warrant was issued/the name of the issuer
  • Any applicable bail/bond conditions

In Ohio, it is possible for the police to arrest a person for committing a crime without an active warrant. This is most typical when a crime is committed in the presence of an author.

Ohio does not have a central database where members of the public can perform a warrant search. Individuals that wish to perform an active warrant search may visit the DEA Fugitive Search tool or the U.S. Marshall's Warrant Information System.

Are Arrest Records Public In Ohio?

Yes, per the state’s Sunshine Laws, Ohio arrest records are publicly available. In Ohio, local law enforcement generates arrest records and interested persons may visit them to obtain public arrest records. These records are typically available at minimal cost, and some offices will allow the public to get free arrest records with an arrest search.

What Are Jail And Inmate Records In Ohio?

Ohio jail and inmate records are documented accounts of prisoners who enter the jail or prison system in the state. Jail records hold relevant information about the inmate, such as their name, crime, date of entry, and expected date of release should one exist.

Ohio's Department of Corrections (DOC) maintains an inmate search database for those that wish to perform an inmate lookup. These records include the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense, and sometimes photos.

What Is The Ohio Sex Offender Registry

The Ohio sex offender registry is a database containing the details of all registered sex offenders in the state. This registry is accessible to the public, and it lists the names, descriptions, locations, and crimes of criminals featured there.

When a registered sex offender moves to a new residence, they must inform their neighbors of their status as a sex offender. While this rule is rarely enforced, it is encouraged as a means of reintegration into society. In Ohio, neighbors who live within 1,200 feet are notified by mail when an offender moves into their neighborhood.

The compulsory registration of sex offenders follows the establishment of the federally adopted Megan's Law. Per this law, information regarding the location, compliance status, and conviction history of all sex offenders be made public. Included on the registry are the full names and aliases of the offenders as well as their photographs, details of unique identifiers, home, work, and school addresses as well as details of their past crimes.

What Is An OVI In Ohio?

In Ohio, operating a vehicle under the influence is a serious traffic violation. Ohio law enforcement officers stop vehicle drivers who appear to be under the influence and subject them to blood alcohol or urine alcohol tests. They arrest motor vehicle operators who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or a urine alcohol concentration. In Ohio, individuals that are convicted for drunk driving face at least three days in prison and up to five years probation. They also face a possible fine from $375 to $1,075, and a court-imposed license suspension of one to three years.

What Are Felonies In Ohio?

Ohio felonies are the most serious offense in the state. They are criminal convictions with a minimum jail sentence of more than a year; usually served in either county jail or state prison. Ohio classifies the seriousness of its felonies with five classes. They are first degree - the most serious - second degree, third degree, fourth degree, and fifth-degree. There are also felonies that have no category, but are assigned penalties at the time of sentencing should a person face conviction.

  • First-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a minimum of between 3 and 11 years. They also can carry fines of up to $20,000. Common first-degree felonies include murder, kidnapping, and rape. 
  • Second-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a minimum of between 2 and 8 years. They also carry fines of up to $15,000. Common second-degree felonies include criminal gang participation and felonious assault. 
  • Third-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a minimum of between 9 and 36 months. They also carry fines of up to $10,000. Common third-degree felonies include certain drug offenses and fleeing or eluding law enforcement. 
  • Fourth-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a minimum of between 6 and 18 months. They also carry fines of up to $5,000. Common fourth-degree felonies include grand theft auto or felonious sexual conduct.
  • Fourth-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a minimum of between 6 and 18 months. They also carry fines of up to $5,000. Common fourth-degree felonies include grand theft auto or felonious sexual conduct.
  • Fifth-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a minimum of between 6 and 12 months. They also carry fines of up to $5,000. Common fifth-degree felonies include breaking and entering and receiving stolen property.
  • Fifth-degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by a punishment determined at the time of sentencing and over the course of a criminal trial. Common fifth-degree felonies include aggravated murder.

What Are Misdemeanors In Ohio?

Ohio misdemeanors are a type of crime that is usually considered minor or holds a maximum incarceration sentence of one year. More typically, misdemeanors are punished with fines, probation, or other less serious punishments. They are organized into classes in Ohio, which are known as first, second, third, and fourth degrees. The fifth and final class is known as minor misdemeanors. First-degree misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanors in the state.

  • First-degree misdemeanors in Ohio are punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and/or a fine of $1,000. Common first-degree misdemeanors include petty theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and carrying a gun without a permit. 
  • Second-degree misdemeanors in Ohio are punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and/or a fine of $750. Common second-degree misdemeanors are manufacturing or selling drugs or drug paraphernalia, or abuse of a corpse. 
  • Third-degree misdemeanors in Ohio are punishable by up to 60 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $500. Common third-degree misdemeanors are prostitution or negligent assault. 
  • Fourth-degree misdemeanors in Ohio are punishable by up to 30 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $250. Common fourth-degree misdemeanors include repeated traffic convictions or criminal trespassing. 
  • Minor misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $150. Typically, there is no jail time for this category. Common minor misdemeanors are disorderly conduct or reckless driving. 

Where To Get Parole Records In Ohio?

Ohio parole records are documents that detail the terms and conditions of an inmate’s parole. Parole is granted to prisoners and inmates who agree to certain conditions before the completion of their sentence. While a prisoner is on supervised parole a parole board will require them to pay a monthly supervision fee of $30 at minimum. They may also impose additional conditions if they deem it appropriate as a means to best serve the citizens and society of Ohio.

Parole is essentially the trust of the court that a convicted criminal will behave responsibly and not break any laws while granted their freedom. By avoiding any acts that could lead to a parole violation, inmates prove they have been rehabilitated, and are eligible for early release. This is meant to act as an incentive for long-term inmates to act accordingly. Certain crimes make a person ineligible for parole, though typically prisoners are eligible for parole during a life sentence after serving 20, 25, or 30 years of their parole.   

Where To Get Ohio Probation Records?

Probation records in the state of Ohio are documents created to detail the conditions and parameters of a person’s probation. This is usually granted in lieu of going to prison. It allows a person to serve their sentences out of custody, provided they comply with the probation conditions imposed by the judge and the probation office.

Probation length relates to the crime, so the nature of the crime can drastically alter the time a person must remain on probation. There are usually three types of probation: minimal, supervised by a probation officer, and intensive. Intensive is the only one that emphasizes punishment and control of the offender while they are in the community. The other two categories recognize that the offense was incidental or that the criminal is ready to reintegrate with society.

What Are Juvenile Criminal Records In Ohio?

A juvenile criminal record in Ohio is an official criminal record of information regarding criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are tried by a juvenile court, found to be “adjudicated delinquent,” and remanded to a juvenile detention center.

These criminal records are often mistakenly thought to be sealed or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains in the juvenile justice system unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well. Juvenile records are public unless requested to be sealed or expunged, which in most cases they are.

What Are Ohio Conviction Records?

Ohio conviction records are official documents that indicate the crimes and offenses of a convicted criminal. These include felonies, misdemeanors, and other, lesser crimes. Conviction records also indicate what type of punishment was assigned to the convicted criminal, including how long they served jail time, the fines they paid, and other information relating to their punishment, such as probation and parole details. These convictions are either rendered by a judge or a jury of peers during a criminal trial.

Typically, these records are considered court records and can be found in the courthouse where the judgment was rendered. They are considered public records, and in most cases are accessible by the public, though exceptions do exist in the form of sealed or expunged records.

History And Accuracy Of Ohio Criminal Records

The accuracy of criminal records data depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past, but with the advent of computers, the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially.



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