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Hillsborough County Arrest Records

An arrest occurs when a person is deprived of their constitutional right to freedom via legal means. In Hillsborough County, Florida, an arrest becomes necessary when the police have probable cause to suspect a person of committing a crime, which can be a felony or misdemeanor (FS 901.15). 

Upon arrest, the suspect is detained at the county jail or any other local receiving facility. At the facility, the arrestee undergoes a booking process, during which their personal belongings are inventoried, their prints and pictures taken, and details regarding the arrest are recorded. 

Information gathered during booking is compiled into an arrest record, which the arresting police department preserves and shares with some criminal justice agencies. Consequently, arrest information may be included in other public records, especially criminal history data, and Hillsborough County court records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Hillsborough County?

Yes. Under Florida’s Sunshine Law (also the Florida Public Records Law), arrest records are considered public information to be made accessible to any member of the public upon request.

However, specific arrest-related information may be exempt from public disclosure. For example, sealed or expunged arrest records will not be made available to the public for inspection or copying.

Other arrest records that are deemed confidential by operation of law include:

  • Juvenile arrest records (an exception includes specific serious felonies where the subject has interactions with the adult criminal justice system)
  • Active criminal investigative information (details of an ongoing investigation)
  • Criminal intelligence information maintained by a criminal justice agency
  • The identifying information of a victim or informant
  • Specific personal information

To gain access to exempt arrest records, requesters must need certain requirements, including:

  • Being the subject of the record
  • Having a notarized Records Release Form
  • A court order
  • A subpoena with notice of non-objection
  • The subject's legal guardian’s permission (in the case of juvenile arrest records)

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Individuals can find an outline of the information a typical public arrest record generated and maintained by Hillsborough County will contain below:

  • The subject's personal information (Name, date of birth, gender, race, address, etc)
  • Arrest Information (Date and time of arrest, location of arrest, arresting agency and officer)
  • Booking Information (Booking number, booking date and time, facility)
  • Others (Charges, bond amount, booking photo)

Hillsborough County Crime Rate

The total crime index for Hillsborough County in 2020 (the latest year for which data is available), according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) 2021 Florida Uniform Crime Report, is 20,705. Hillsborough County 2021 estimates are unavailable due to the data sample’s limited size.

Below is the breakdown of recorded crimes for Hillsborough County for 2020 according to the top 5 most common offenses:

  • Larceny (12,348)
  • Aggravated assault (3,201)
  • Burglary (2,332)
  • Motor vehicle theft (1,730)
  • Robbery (650)

Per the 2021 Florida Index Crime by Jurisdiction Report, the highest recorded number of crimes by a local police department in the county for the above year is 1290 by the Tampa International Police Department.

Hillsborough County Arrest Statistics

According to the Florida County and Municipal Arrest Report, the total arrests for Hillsborough County in 2020 (the latest year for which records are available), is 32,519. The data also reveals the arrest rate for the county per 100,000 as 2,199.1, while the total adult arrests is 30,119. Larceny accounted for 2,766 arrests, followed by aggravated assault with 1,481, and burglary with 865 arrests.

Again, there are no reliable arrest statistics for Hillsborough County for 2021 as a result of the limited size of data sample.

Find Hillsborough County Arrest Records

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office handles arrest inquiries for the county. Individuals can conduct their arrest record search with this criminal justice agency online by accessing the Arrest Inquiry page on the Sheriff's official website. There, they will be able to find their requested arrest information by providing the subject’s booking number, name, booking date, release date, race, sex, and date of birth. They can also choose to view records for current inmates only and for the search results to include arrest details.

Note: Persons can only obtain limited arrest information from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office public online search tool. Full access to the portal is only granted to law enforcement agencies and select individuals affiliated with the bond industry, accredited media, or the State Bar Association.

Another way for members of the public to obtain arrest records in Hillsborough County is to submit a public records request to the local arresting agency. For example, the City of Plant City Police Department accepts public record requests in person during regular business hours or via a signed letter of request.

Apart from the above agencies, state and federal law enforcement may also have reason to arrest a person in Hillsborough County. The options for accessing such records depend on the specific agency that carried out the arrest:

  • State Agency:

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is the main state-owned law enforcement agency in Florida. As part of its duties, the body can make arrests anywhere within the state, including Hillsborough County. However, when arrests are made in the county, the suspects are booked in the Hillsborough County jail. As such, information about arrests conducted by the FDLE will be obtained from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Arrest records maintained by the FBI can be searched using the Federal Inmate Locator tool, as the arrestees are often detained in a federal holding facility. Individuals can conduct this search by FBI number or by inputting the subject's first/middle/last name, race, sex, and age.

  • The U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE is responsible for enforcing the country’s immigration and customs laws and conducting arrests of suspected offenders. Upon arrest, the arrestees are kept at an ICE detention facility which individuals can contact to obtain arrest information. Alternatively, members of the public can search the agency’s online

Free Arrest Record Search in Hillsborough County

Members of the public can conduct free arrest record searches in Hillsborough County by sending a public records request to the local law enforcement agencies. For example, individuals can inspect arrest records maintained by the Temple Terrace Police Department for free by sending a public records request to the Department’s Police Records Unit in person during business hours. However, reasonable costs apply for making copies of documents (15 cents per page for single-sided copies). The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s online arrest inquiry tool also allows individuals to inspect arrest records free of charge.

Another option parties may explore is conducting arrest record searches through third-party websites. A quick online search will produce a number of options that allow members of the public to search private aggregate databases for a subject’s arrest information using various parameters such as name and date of birth. While some of these websites allow free searches, requesters will have to pay a fee for comprehensive arrest records.

Get Hillsborough County Criminal Records

Hillsborough County criminal records refer to official documents that highlight a person's criminal history and interactions with law enforcement agents, courts, corrections facilities, and other criminal justice agencies within Hillsborough County. They include information about the subject’s arrests, convictions, incarceration, warrants, probation, etc. Since criminal records are generated and maintained by different entities, fragments or a compilation of them can be obtained from their respective records custodians as seen below:

  • Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)

The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), a Division of the FDLE, is the central criminal history information repository for Florida. CJIS receives information from various criminal justice agencies, including those in Hillsborough County. The Division compiles the data into a publicly accessible online database where individuals can search criminal history information including arrests, convictions, incarcerations, etc.

CJIS offers three options for conducting criminal history information searches:

  • An instant Florida criminal history search: This is a quick name-based search with instant uncertified results. The results can be printed from the result page or sent to the researcher's email. Furthermore, an instant criminal history check attracts a $24 public request fee and $1 credit card processing fee.
  • Certified/Non-Certified Search: Individuals can obtain certified copies of a subject's criminal history information via this search option. However, this requires a more stringent process that involves entering a mailing address and search subject, requesting confirmation, and payment. Again, unlike the instant search option, persons have to wait for 5-7 business days for the results to be processed (this excludes US Mail delivery time).
  • An ORI (Originating Agency Identifier) based Florida criminal history search: This option is for law enforcement and other authorized agencies, who must specify the agency. The cost for conducting a search using this option depends on the requesting agency.

Note: Each option has different degrees of access, requirements, and obtainable information.

Organizations can also obtain criminal history information of employees, volunteers, etc., through the FDLE’s Volunteer & Employee Criminal History System. The applicable fees for conduction background searches through this platform are outlined in the agency’s FAQ page.

  • Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller, 13th Judicial Circuit

The Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts doubles as the Comptroller of the 13th Judicial Circuit in the state. As part of its functions, the clerk’s office maintains records of criminal cases adjudicated in the county. These records form a part of a subject’s criminal history information and can be accessed by members of the public via the following methods:

  • Online Search

Members of the public have electronic access to criminal court records maintained by the Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts. To conduct a search, parties can visit the search page of the county clerk's official website. Court records can be searched by case number/ uniform case number, citation number, party/business name, and date range/court type/case type. There are also separate online platforms for viewing high profile cases. Copies of court records (certified and uncertified) can also be printed on the website for a fee.

  • In-Person Visits

The Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts allows individuals to physically visit any of their office locations during regular business hours to view and obtain copies of available criminal records in paper form. This is particularly beneficial to authorized persons who need to view images of sensitive cases, (such as child abuse matters) that cannot be accessed remotely. To save time, individuals can order paper court files online before and view the requested records physically at a selected location.

  • Public Records Request

Persons can obtain court records from the Hillsborough County Clerk’s Office by sending a public records request. Individuals can send a written request to the Hillsborough County Clerk's office through the Public Records Request page. For unwritten requests, they are advised to contact the Clerk's office at (813) 284-2131. Parties have an option of sending their requests anonymously after contacting the Clerk's office and receiving a request status with 10 days of request submission.

  • Electronic Mail, Phone, or Writing

Another option for obtaining Hillsborough County is by preordering case files via email, phone, or in writing via mail. This search option is best for searchers who cannot find the images of documents they need or whose requested documents are not available for viewing. More information on how to preorder case files can be obtained on the Obtaining Copies of Court Documents page.

Generally, there is no charge for viewing and printing non-certified copies of Hillsborough County criminal records. However, copies of certified documents must be purchased at predetermined fees.

Hillsborough County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

In Hillsborough County, individuals can find information about convictions, adjudications, arrests, dismissed charges, etc., in a subject's criminal record. However, arrest records are limited to information generated when the suspect is taken to the police station or during the booking process. So, while criminal records capture the full journey of a criminal case from the point of arrest to the final determination and even after, arrest records are limited to details from the booking process conducted by a law enforcement agent.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In Hillsborough County, arrests stay on the subject’s criminal record forever unless they are sealed or expunged. While sealed records are restricted from public view, expunged records are deleted permanently from the subject’s criminal history record.

Expunge Hillsborough County Arrest Records

Florida Statutes 943.0585 and 943.059 highlight the processes for sealing and expunging Hillsborough County arrest records, which involves petitioning a competent court. To do this, the subject of a record must first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility from the FDLE to verify that they are eligible to have their records sealed or permanently removed. More information on applying for a Certificate of Eligibility can be obtained from the FDLE’s Seal and Expunge page.

The eligibility requirements for obtaining the certificate include:

  • The subject of the record must not have been convicted for the offense they were arrested for (charges that were dropped or dismissed are elig
  • The individual has no prior criminal convictions on their record
  • There are no pending criminal investigations against the individual seeking to expunge/seal the record
  • The subject of the record has never had a sealed or expunged record (this is because an individual can only expunge or seal a record once)
  • The offense is not included in the list of ineligible offenses, which include:
    • Sexual offenses
    • Violent crimes
    • Crimes involving minors

After the FDLE issues the certificate of eligibility, the individual is to submit it along with a petition and affidavit in a court of competent jurisdiction located within Hillsborough County. The court will exercise its discretionary powers in determining whether to grant the request for expungement or sealing.

Hillsborough County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a court order that authorizes law enforcement agents to detain an individual suspected to be a criminal offender. While Hillsborough County arrest warrants are issued for various reasons, many of them arise from the suspect’s failure to appear in court. To obtain an arrest warrant, law enforcement agents present ample evidence (including sworn affidavits and witness statements) to show that there is probable cause to apprehend the suspect. After reviewing the evidence before the court, a judge will grant an arrest warrant if the judge finds that there is reasonable ground for it.

A Hillsborough County arrest warrant must be in writing and contain:

  • The nature of the offense
  • The suspect's name or a reasonable description of the subject of the warrant
  • The date the warrant was issued
  • The judge's signature

Hillsborough County Arrest Warrant Search

Individuals can find active arrest warrants in Hillsborough County by querying the following agencies:

  • The HCSO (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)
  • The FDLE Website
  • Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts

Do Hillsborough County Arrest Warrants Expire?

Hillsborough County arrest warrants do not expire. They remain active until executed.

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