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Broward County Arrest Records

Committing a criminal offense in Broward County, Florida, may lead to a suspect's outright arrest. The offense may be categorized as a misdemeanor or felony and attracts legal penalties based on its degree. Depending on the severity of the crime, the suspect may be released or remanded to a jail facility managed by the local sheriff's office until their arraignment.

Generally, once an individual is apprehended in Broward County, the party is transported to the Broward County Sheriff's Office Central Intake Bureau for booking or to a city police department within the jurisdiction.

On arrival, the arrestee will complete a few necessary steps, including photographing, DNA sample collection, property check and admission, medical screening, fingerprinting, and an arrest warrants check. The procedure creates a few official reports, including an arrest record.

Local law enforcement agencies, such as the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO), typically maintain and grant public access to arrest records. These records are fundamental for beginning criminal proceedings and provide insight into a person's criminal history. Thus, they may be preserved as part of other public documents, such as Broward County court records and statewide criminal history files.

Are Arrest Records Public in Broward County?

Yes. According to the Sunshine Law of Florida, county and municipal arrest records are open to public inspection and copying. Each sheriff's office or police department is legally obligated to provide access to these records.

However, the law recognizes certain Broward County arrest records as ineligible for public disclosure. Section 119.071 outlines these exemptions, such as:

  • Records that disclose the substance of an arrested person's confession until the case is concluded by adjudication, dismissal, or other final disposition
  • Criminal investigative or intelligence information
  • Social security, bank, and credit card numbers
  • Information that reveals the identity of victims of child abuse
  • Information that reveals the identity of victims of sexual offenses
  • Medical history records
  • Information that may endanger a person's life or safety
  • Juvenile arrest records

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Members of the public can find the following information in a Broward County public arrest record:

  • An arrestee's full name and date of birth
  • An arrestee's booking number
  • An arrestee's physical description, including sex, race, height, weight, marks, and hair and eye color
  • Arresting agency
  • Detention facility
  • Bond type and amount
  • Charges, including offense description and statute
  • Release information

Unless otherwise permitted, juvenile arrest information is not open to the public. Nonetheless, under Chapter 985 of the Florida Statutes, law enforcement agencies may disclose the name, address, photograph, and crime of juveniles charged with adult felonies.

Broward County Crime Rate

The 2020 Florida Uniform Crime Report, published by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), indicated 47,045 offenses reported in Broward County in 2020, with a population of 1,932,212. The county's 2020 crime rate was 2,434.8.

Within the index crime category, larceny, aggravated assault, and burglary constituted 80% of the offense total. Larceny accounted for 30,673 incidents, followed by motor vehicle theft at 4,977 incidents and aggravated assault at 4,578 occurrences.

Broward County Arrest Statistics

The 2020 County and Municipal Arrest report circulated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement showed 29,685 arrests occurring in Broward County in 2020. The county had a 1,536.3 arrest rate per 100,000 population.

Adult arrests constituted 27,778 of the total, while juvenile arrests made up the remaining 1,907. The top three arrests were larceny, simple assault, and drug violations. Larceny accounted for 3,263 arrests, followed by simple assault at 3,259 and drug arrests at 2,668.

Find Broward County Arrest Records

To find Broward County arrest records, individuals can visit the arresting local law enforcement agency, which may be the sheriff's office or a municipal police department. Each law enforcement agency utilizes unique procedures for obtaining arrest records. Generally, one can visit a local office, send a mail request, or use online resources provided by the respective agency (if available).

County Sheriff's Office

The Broward County Sheriff's Office, where most arrested suspects are processed, provides an Online Public Records Portal for people to submit their records requests. Once a request is received, the records unit fulfills it electronically.

If requestors wish, they can communicate with the technician handling their request and receive email updates. The Public Records Unit processes these requests on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alternatively, residents can request records in person. To do this, individuals can utilize the kiosk at the sheriff's office's lobby during business hours. Nonetheless, in-person visits do not speed up the turnaround time since the office no longer processes record requests immediately. Thus, online requests are faster and more convenient.

Interested individuals can also submit requests in writing to:

Broward Sheriff's Office
Public Records Unit
Attn: Records Management Liaison Officer
Public Records Unit Supervisor
P.O. Box 9507
Fort-Lauderdale, FL 33310

Each requester must submit the arrested person's full name, race, sex, and date of birth.


  • The records unit does not charge for electronic requests that do not take more than 15 minutes.
  • Requests that take more than 15 minutes of research are considered a "Special Project" and may attract a $25 per hour research fee.
  • Body-worn camera video requests may attract a $30 per hour research/redaction fee.
  • Payments are payable in check or money order only.
  • Local arrest records checks are NOT the same as a complete criminal history check from the FDLE. Broward County Sheriff's Office only collates and provides arrest records submitted by law enforcement agencies within the county.
  • To obtain a statewide records check, one can contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and follow the process outlined below.

Likewise, residents can query other district police departments in Broward County, such as the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, for arrest records by following the procedures outlined on their website.

Free Arrest Record Search in Broward County

Florida Sunshine Law permits anyone to request public documents without stating a purpose and at no cost. However, depending on the required labor, charges may apply for certain requests.

For free arrest records in Broward County, individuals can utilize the Broward County Sheriff's Office Arrest Search Database.

A person can also perform arrest record searches on third-party aggregator websites. However, obtaining printouts or copies of arrest records may attract a fee.

Get Broward County Criminal Records

Criminal records chronicle a person's interaction with law enforcement agencies, including arrests, convictions, sentencing, and court dispositions.

To obtain a Broward County criminal record, individuals can visit local law enforcement agencies, courts, or the State Department of Law Enforcement.

However, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement should be the first point of call for anyone who wants to conduct a Broward County criminal record search. As the central repository for criminal history information, the FDLE provides a person's statewide criminal history information, including information submitted by law enforcement in Broward.

The FDLE provides three options to obtain criminal records: Instant Search, Certified/Non-Certified Search, and ORI Search. Each public record search costs $24, which may include a $1 card processing fee. Fees can be paid by debit/credit card at the time of the request.

People who prefer a self-service search of the FDLE's Computerized Criminal History (CCH) files can explore the Instant Search website. In addition to the CCHInet portal, people can obtain certified/non-certified copies of criminal history records via the FDLE's SHIELD Search (i.e., Certified/Non-Certified Search) database. SHIELD results are notarized and returned to the requestor by regular mail within five to seven business days.

Further, the FDLE provides an ORI Search option for people to find criminal records directly from law enforcement agencies. To conduct an Originating Agency Identifier search, one must provide a valid ORI number. Each search cost varies based on statute, agency, or authorized entity.

Individuals can also obtain nationwide criminal records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for $18. Although the FDLE issues criminal history records to members of the public, only subjects of records can obtain an FBI rap sheet. Record subjects can submit an online request or hire an approved channeler to aid criminal history information requests. Request guidelines are available on the FBI's website.

Broward County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

It is not uncommon for people to misunderstand the difference between an arrest and a criminal record. An arrest record only details a person's offense for which the law enforcement agency apprehended them, details of the incident, and the outcome. Having an arrest record does not mean one is guilty of committing the stated offense since it does not include court proceedings or verdicts.

Conversely, a criminal record is a detailed summary of someone's dealings with the criminal justice system, including arrests, charges, and court sentencing. Typically, one may require criminal record checks as part of a background review for licensing, school, or employment.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Permanently. Arrests may stay on a person's record forever unless they submit a petition for expungement or sealing. However, they must be eligible under Florida's laws to file such a petition.

Expunge Broward County Arrest Records

Florida Statute 943 permits eligible individuals to apply for expungement or sealing of arrest records per court order. A court-ordered expungement outrightly erases the existence of the record from the public domain. On the other hand, a sealing order will limit access to a few authorized parties, including law enforcement agencies and courts.

One is eligible to petition the court to expunge an arrest record if they satisfy certain requirements, including:

  • The person was apprehended, but no charges were filed.
  • The charges were dismissed.
  • The arrest was made contrary to law or by mistake.
  • The record is ineligible under FS 943.0584.
  • The subject of the record has never been adjudicated guilty or delinquent of certain felony or misdemeanor unless the record is expunged under FS 943.0515.
  • The petitioner has not received a previous expungement or sealing.

To petition for arrest record expungement in Broward County, one must first apply to the FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility (see FAQs). The process costs $75. If the FDLE approves the application, the agency will mail the certificate to the applicant, who can then file a petition with the Broward County Court Clerk's Office. The clerk will provide all expungement forms needed for the process, and the certificate will be required.

Note that the local State Attorney's Office or the Office of Statewide Prosecution (whichever filed the charges) must be served with the petition documents to allow for an objection, in which case, a hearing may be scheduled.

Broward County Arrest Warrants

A Broward County arrest warrant is a court order released by a judge that allows law enforcement officers to apprehend a person.

According to FS 901.02, arrest warrants are only issuable upon probable cause, established by a complaint and relevant evidence. The court will issue the warrant if probable cause exists to justify the arrest.

Per Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.121, arrest warrants issued in Broward County bear the following details:

  • Suspect's name
  • Physical description of the suspect
  • Nature of offense/crime
  • The judge's signature and office title
  • Date and county of issuance
  • Bail amount

Broward County Arrest Warrant Search

Individuals may contact the county sheriff's office or municipal police station to search for active Broward County arrest warrants. Local law enforcement agencies do not typically maintain an online repository for active warrants.

Alternatively, one may visit the local court clerk's office to inquire about the existence of arrest warrants. Since the clerk is the chief record keeper of all public court case records, the office can provide adequate information on active warrants. The clerk's online case search tool can also be used to find Broward County warrants.

Do Broward County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Broward County arrest warrants do not expire. Unless a judge revokes a warrant, it will remain valid until law enforcement executes it. A warrant is deemed executed when the suspect is captured and brought before the court.

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