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Pinellas County Arrest Records

When law enforcement agents in Pinellas County, Florida, apprehend suspected criminals, they create written reports of the circumstances surrounding the arrest. They also document the arrestee's personal identifying information, mugshots, fingerprints, charges, bond information, and detention facility. These reports are referred to as Pinellas County arrest records.

Local law enforcement departments, like the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, generate arrest records, which may also form part of Pinellas County court records. Law enforcement personnel and prosecuting agencies also use the records to facilitate legal proceedings against suspects.

Nonetheless, an arrest record does not prove a person's guilt. Instead, it remains evidence that a person of interest was suspected of committing a crime. Only a court of competent jurisdiction can conclusively determine a person's guilt.

Are Arrest Records Public in Pinellas County?

Yes. Per the Florida Sunshine Law (Florida Statutes, section 119.01), arrest records are public information since they are maintained by public agencies such as the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies. This means that they can be inspected and copied by any interested person without providing reasons for accessing the records.

However, certain information is exempted from public disclosure by law and they include:

  • Criminal intelligence and active criminal investigative information
  • Information revealing surveillance techniques or procedures
  • Confessions of an arrestee before the final determination of a criminal case
  • Information revealing the identity of a confidential informant
  • Records regarding complaints about discrimination
  • Information revealing the identity of a child or sexual abuse victim
  • Personal identifying information of a sexual harassment victim
  • Address of victims of mass violence
  • Juvenile arrest records
  • Information that threatens public safety

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Below is an outline of the information contained in a public Pinellas County arrest record:

  • The subject's personal information (name, age, race, sex, gender, date of birth, etc)
  • The arrestee’s physical description
  • Information regarding the alleged offense
  • Details about the arresting agency and officer
  • Details about the holding facility
  • Booking information (booking number, date, etc)
  • Current status of the case

Pinellas County Crime Rate

The recorded crimes for Florida in 2021, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE)’s Crime in Florida Report was 427, 524 with 80,823 being the total violent crimes and total property crimes accounting for 346, 701 of the total crimes in the state. The most common crimes in the state for 2021 include larceny (266,798), aggravated assault (59,858), burglary (44,207), motor vehicle theft (35,696), and robbery (11,155).

The total number of crimes in Hillsborough County for 2021 is unavailable. However, 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.

Pinellas County Arrest Statistics

The total number of arrests for Pinellas County in 2020 (the latest year for which records are available), is 32,519. Per the FDLE’s Arrest Data, the arrest rate for the county per 100,000 is 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.

Find Pinellas County Arrest Records

Individuals can find Pinellas County arrest records by contacting the following public bodies on the county, state, and federal levels:

  • The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office:

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office is the primary custodian of Pinellas County arrest records. Interested parties can access available public arrest records by utilizing the Sheriff's Office’s Who Is in Jail search tool. The search tool grants individuals access to information about persons booked into the Pinellas County jail. Parameters for conducting the search include

  • Subject's name (first and last)
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Docket number
  • Booking date

Searchers are given the option of finding records specific to a local police department and can filter search results by arrest type.

To find information about persons released from the Pinellas County jail over 30 days prior, searchers are advised to send a public records request to the Sheriff's office through the agency's Records Request Portal. Individuals must create an account to use this portal, after which they will be required to login to the service using their email addresses and passwords. The portal also provides record request tracking and monitoring services for registered users.

Individuals can also visit the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in person at their locations to conduct an arrest record search. They are advised to visit the office during official hours. The fees for copying arrest records in the custody of the County Sheriff are as follows:

  • $15 for single-sided copy

  • $20 for two-sided copy

  • $1 for certified copy

  • Deposit for extensive research

  • Local Police Departments:

Apart from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, individual law local law enforcement agencies also keep records of arrests within their jurisdictions. For example, parties can make a public records request to the Clearwater Police Department if the Department is the arresting agency. Individuals are advised to check the official websites of various local law enforcement agencies to verify the processes of obtaining arrest records in their custody.

  • Federal Law Enforcement Agencies:

Several federal law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, make arrests in Pinellas County and detain their arrestees in Federal custody. Individuals can search the arrest records of such arrestees by querying the arresting agency after verifying the holding facility through the Federal Inmate Locator. Some federal law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) maintain online searchable databases for records of detainees. Requesters can search their official websites for such lookup tools to facilitate their search. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for arrest records can also be made to the various arresting federal agencies.

Free Arrest Record Search in Pinellas County

Below are the common free resources for searching arrest records in Pinellas County:

  • The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office online search tools
  • Local police department’s public record searches
  • Federal law enforcement lookup tools

Generally, inspecting public arrest information from a public body in Pinellas County comes at no cost to the requester. Moreso, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office offers the first 10 pages of an arrest record to searchers for free. However, searchers will be required to pay a fee for making copies or reproducing the records.

Another alternative for searching Pinellas County arrest records is using a third-party lookup tool. Although most third-party websites require a subscription to access, individuals may be lucky to find private sites that offer limited arrest information for free.

Get Pinellas County Criminal Records

Pinellas County criminal records, also known as criminal history or rap sheets, are official documents that highlight a person’s entire criminal journey. They include records of the person’s arrests, charges, dispositions, convictions, and sentences. Apart from criminal justice agencies that maintain these records to track the subject’s criminal history, private individuals and corporate organizations also access criminal history information as a means of carrying out background checks.

To obtain Pinellas County criminal records, one may query the following agencies that keep them:

  • Pinellas County Sheriff's Office:

Limited Pinellas County criminal records can be obtained from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Individuals can obtain available records through a public records request as discussed above.

  • Pinellas County Clerk of Court:

Certain criminal records can be maintained by the various courts in Pinellas County. Individuals can obtain these records by querying the primary record custodian: the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller. Records can be viewed online or in person. To obtain online court records, individuals should access the Court Records Public View page and click on “Criminal & Traffic Case Records”.On the page, researchers will be able to search court records by case, defendant, citation, attorney, and date filed. Parties will also be able to filter search results by case status, date filed, and case types.

Interested parties have the option of searching court records in person at one of the Pinellas County Court Clerk's offices. The offices have public-view terminals to enable access to online records at the following locations:

Recording Services
Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court Street
Room 150
Clearwater, FL 33756

Civil Court Records
Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court Street
Room 114
Clearwater, FL 33756

Probate Court Records
Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court Street
Room 106
Clearwater, FL 33756

North County Branch
29582 U.S. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761

Pinellas County Justice Center
14250 49th Street North
Second Floor
Clearwater, FL 33762

St. Petersburg Branch
545 1st Avenue North
Room 153
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

The offices also grant access to paper court records, especially older ones. Parties are advised to dial (727) 464-7000 to confirm the availability of requested records before visiting the locations.

Record searches attract a fee of $7 per name plus $2 per year where an offense is found. Standard prices also apply for copies of documents.

Parties can also send a public records request to the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office through their Public Request Center. They are to provide the subject’s name or alias, maiden name, date of birth, and last 4 of the subject’s social security number, if available.

  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE):

The FDLE processes requests for criminal history information for the State of Florida, including Pinellas County. Individuals can query the Department through their Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, which maintains an online database where they can search criminal records instantly (through the instant Florida criminal history search) or wait a few days to obtain the records (through the certified/non-certified search). Individuals can visit the FDLE’s FAQ page for information on applicable fees.

Pinellas County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Pinellas County criminal records are an umbrella for all documentation regarding a subject’s history of criminal activities and criminal court cases in the county. As such, it encompasses records of arrests, adjudications, charges, convictions, and any information regarding a subject’s interactions with the various criminal justice agencies in Pinellas County.

On the other hand, arrest records are one of the details found in a comprehensive criminal record. They document details of the subject’s arrest and nothing more. A major difference between Pinellas County criminal records and arrest records is that Pinellas County criminal records compile information across various criminal justice entities, such as law enforcement agencies, courts, jails, etc., while Pinellas County arrest records are limited to information gathered by an arresting agency.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Pinellas County arrest records do not have an expiry date. As such, they will remain on a person’s criminal record indefinitely. However, specific actions can be taken to have them cleared from the record or restricted from public access. The processes for doing these will be discussed below.

Expunge Pinellas County Arrest Records

In Pinellas County, individuals seeking to seal or expunge their arrest records must navigate a precise process outlined in Florida Statutes 943.0585 and 943.059. This journey begins with an application to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a Certificate of Eligibility, which verifies their qualification for record sealing or expungement.

To be eligible, the individual must meet specific criteria: they must not have been convicted of the offense in question, have no prior criminal convictions, face no ongoing investigations, and have never previously sealed or expunged a record. Additionally, the offense cannot be among the excluded crimes, such as sexual offenses, violent crimes, or those involving minors.

Upon receiving the certificate, the individual submits it, along with a petition and affidavit, to a competent court in Pinellas County. The court then exercises its discretion in deciding whether to grant the request, carefully weighing the circumstances before making a determination.

Pinellas County Arrest Warrants

In Pinellas County, a court order known as an arrest warrant empowers law enforcement to apprehend an individual suspected of committing a crime. While these warrants are issued for various reasons, failure to appear in court is a common cause. To obtain a warrant, law enforcement must present sufficient evidence, including sworn affidavits and witness statements, demonstrating probable cause to justify the suspect's arrest.

Upon reviewing the evidence, a judge will issue a written arrest warrant if they find reasonable grounds to do so. The warrant must include the following specific details:

  • A description of the alleged offense
  • The suspect's name or a reasonable physical description
  • The date of issuance
  • The judge's signature

This written document authorizes law enforcement to detain the suspect, enabling them to take the individual into custody.

Pinellas County Arrest Warrant Search

The process for finding active warrants in Pinellas County begins with querying the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Individuals are expected to call the Sheriff’s Warrants Desk at (727) 464-7000 for questions regarding Pinellas County warrants. Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Violent Offender Warrants Unit can help parties with information about outstanding warrants for violent crimes. The Unit can be contacted at (727) 582-6149. The Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court may also provide assistance to individuals search arrest warrants issued by a court in Pinellas County.

Do Pinellas County Arrest Warrants Expire?

Pinellas County arrest warrants do not have an expiration date and remain active and outstanding until one of the following occurs:

  • Execution: The individual is arrested and taken into custody by law enforcement.
  • Recall: The issuing judge or court cancels the warrant, usually due to new evidence, incorrect information, or another legal reason.
  • Quash: A higher court or the same court that issued the warrant declares it invalid, often due to procedural errors or lack of probable cause.
  • Discharge: The individual is released from the obligation to appear in court, typically after resolving the underlying case or meeting specific conditions.

Until one of these events occurs, the arrest warrant remains active, allowing law enforcement to apprehend the individual at any time, even years after the initial issuance. This means that individuals with outstanding warrants in Pinellas County should take steps to address the issue, as the warrant will not simply expire with time.

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