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Michigan Court Records

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Kent County Arrest Records

Kent County arrest records play a key role in the criminal justice system. They record the specifics of an arrest, including the arrestee's personal information, the type of the alleged offense, and the date and location of the arrest. Law enforcement officials are authorized to make a brief investigative stop if they believe the individual has been involved in criminal activity. The officer may request identification from the individual.

Following an arrest, the individual is taken into custody and transported to the nearest law enforcement facility for booking. This process involves gathering and documenting key information about the suspect.

This procedure culminates in the creation of an arrest report. The next step depends on the severity of the alleged crime. For less serious offenses, the individual may be released pending their first court appearance, with a promise to appear. This is known as "release on recognizance". In cases involving more serious charges, the suspect is typically detained in a jail facility operated by the arresting agency until their first court appearance. Arrest records are typically contained within criminal records and maintained by county law enforcement. However, for cases that make it to a hearing, their associated arrest information may be included in Kent County Court Records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Kent County?

According to the Freedom of Information Act MCL 15.231-15.246, public entities, including law enforcement agencies, must disclose public records upon request unless the records are exempt from disclosure under the Act.

Generally, county residents and non-residents may inspect public records unless state law restricts or prohibits such inspection. Moreover, the law permits a records custodian to request that the individual seeking to inspect public records present government-issued identification. If they do not have such identification, the records custodian may accept alternative forms of identification.

Certain sensitive arrest and court records are subject to more restrictive access. These records may only be disclosed to authorized requesters, including individuals who have witnessed or been victims of a crime, their legal representatives, and juvenile court presiding judges who have been granted permission for information requests.

Note: The Kent County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) is the main law enforcement agency. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Sheriff's Office must provide access to Kent County Court Records upon request.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

In Kent County, Michigan, a culture of openness and synergy among law enforcement agencies enables active participation in the law enforcement process. Information contained in public arrest records are:

  • The individual’s details, including their name, address, date of birth, and other identifying information.
  • Physical description, including the individual’s height, weight, hair, eye color, and any distinguishing marks or tattoos.
  • A front-facing photograph
  • Fingerprints for comparison against existing databases.
  • The specific charges against the suspect

Kent County Crime Rate

According to a 2023 report by the Kent County Sheriff's Office, the total number of criminal charges was 9,390. The categories of charges with the highest offenders are violation of the state criminal code with 2,002 charges, operating while intoxicated with 2,352 charges, child support with 2,252 charges, retail fraud with 1,441 charges, and assault with 1,640 charges.

Kent County Arrest Statistics

According to a 2023 Kent County Sheriff’s report, the local detention facility housed an average daily population of 966 inmates. This was a 10.8% decrease from 1,083 inmates in 2022. The total bookings that year was 16,127. The facility had a peak average monthly population in 2018 and 2019, with over 1,100 inmates. That number fell in 2020. However, by 2021, the numbers slowly began to climb as more inmates were taken into custody.

Find Kent County Arrest Records

Pursuant to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.231 et seq., interested individuals may request access to public criminal records by submitting a written request to the Sheriff's Office. The Kent County Sheriff's Office maintains arrest records. These records include information about arrests made by various law enforcement agencies within the county, including the Kent County Sheriff's Office, local police departments within the county, and the Michigan State Police.

When requesting arrest records, the following information is frequently requested to streamline the process:

  • Date, time, and place of the incident.
  • Names of those involved
  • Case number
  • Type of record

Here are some state and federal resources individuals can use to look up arrest records and inmate information in Kent County:

  • Kent County Jail maintains a publicly accessible online database that provides daily arrest reports for incarcerated individuals.
  • VINELink is a nationwide service that provides details on offenders or criminal cases in U.S. jails and prisons.

Free Arrest Record Search in Kent County

Individuals interested in checking arrest records in Kent County can do so by visiting the physical location of the arresting agency or checking their website. Arrest and detention records are frequently available online. To facilitate the request, the individual should know the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, as well as the date and time of the arrest and the location.

Get Kent County Criminal Records

The Michigan State Police (MSP) maintains a statewide criminal history database, including arrest records, convictions, and other relevant information. These records should be requested to the MSP's Criminal Justice Information Center (CJIC). In addition, criminal records can be obtained in person at the records section of the Sheriff's office, which is provided free of charge.

Kent County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

A criminal record is a record of an individual’s past convictions. It shows whether they were arrested, charged, tried, and found guilty or otherwise. A caution, a fine, or other penalties will appear on an individual’s criminal record. A criminal record may contain information that the public needs to know, such as a restraining order or whether an individual is part of a specific register.

In contrast, an arrest record is kept by the law enforcement department that made the arrest. This record only shows that an individual was arrested; it does not reflect guilt or conviction for any crime.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Arrest records will remain on file unless specifically expunged or sealed. In Michigan, when an individual is arrested and charged, the relevant information is entered into their criminal record at the arraignment stage. The case disposition remains uncertain until the trial when the court will render a verdict.

Even if the accused is subsequently acquitted or the charges are dismissed, the arrest record will still reflect the original charges.

Expunge Kent County Arrest Records

Sometimes, individuals get arrested as a result of situations in which they have little or no control. Under Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 780.621 et seq., eligible individuals in Michigan can petition the court to set aside or expunge their arrest records. In Michigan, there are specific circumstances under which an arrest record can be expunged or set aside. Individuals acquitted of all charges may be eligible to have their record expunged. Also, some misdemeanors may be eligible for expungement after a certain period. Setting aside a record hides it from public view, while expungement permanently erases the record as if it never existed.

Individuals may be able to erase their criminal history if:

  • They were arrested and processed but not formally charged.
  • Their accusations were dismissed by a court or dropped by the prosecution.
  • They were acquitted at trial.

However, record sealing or expungement is not a catch-all solution and is not available for all offenses. Individuals convicted of certain crimes, such as sex offenses, stalking, domestic violence, drug trafficking, offenses by public officials, and major felonies like arson, home burglary, robbery, carjacking, aggravated assault, kidnapping, manslaughter, and murder are ineligible for record sealing or expungement.

Individuals must obtain a certificate of eligibility before filing their request with the court to have their records sealed or expunged. They must also attach a certified copy of the disposition of each charge they seek to have expunged or sealed to their Application for Certificate of Eligibility.

Kent County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest an individual. Before issuing a warrant, the judge must determine that there is probable cause that the individual committed a crime. The warrant compels law enforcement to apprehend the named individual and bring them before the court to face the charges. Failure to comply with a valid arrest warrant, when able to do so, can constitute contempt of court.

To obtain an arrest warrant, a law enforcement officer must demonstrate probable cause by a preponderance of evidence. The officer's evidence is then reviewed by a prosecutor, who evaluates its strength under legal standards. If the prosecutor finds probable cause, they submit an affidavit to the court. The judge then reviews the evidence presented. They issue the arrest warrant if they are satisfied that probable cause exists. Once issued, the warrant is entered into law enforcement databases, enabling officers to proceed with the arrest.

An arrest warrant normally includes the following information:

  • The name of the court that issued the warrant.
  • The name of the defendant.
  • Their physical description includes information such as height, weight, hair color, eye color, and other unique features that may help identify them.
  • The criminal offense charged against the individual.
  • The official issuing date of the warrant
  • The signature of the judge issuing the warrant.
  • The bail amount

Kent County Arrest Warrant Search

In Kent County, Michigan, there are many ways to determine if someone has an outstanding warrant. The Sheriff's Office keeps a list of individuals with active warrants that are deemed high-priority. To inquire about active warrants, individuals can go to their local police or sheriff's department. A government-issued identification may be required. In addition, the Clerk of Courts may keep track of current warrants. These records may be available online or in person.

Do Kent County Arrest Warrants Expire?

Once an arrest warrant has been issued, it remains in effect indefinitely. If, for some reason, law enforcement agents cannot find the individual, the warrant is logged into a national database. Anytime the individual interacts with law enforcement officers in the future, they will find it, and such an individual will be arrested.

The warrant remains active unless it is executed upon the individual, a judge issues an order recalling or quashing the warrant, the charges related to the warrant are withdrawn or dismissed, or the individual named in the warrant dies.

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