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Kentucky Court Records

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Kentucky Arrest Records

Kentucky arrest records are official records detailing the circumstances surrounding an arrest. These documents are typically generated by law enforcement agencies after an arrest is made by a peace officer within state limits

Per Kentucky Statute 431.005, a peace officer can make an arrest following the issuance of a warrant. In some instances, such as when a peace officer witnesses a crime, an arrest may also be performed without a warrant.

Following an arrest in Kentucky, the arresting officer typically transports arrestees to the closest jail to be booked. During the booking process, the detainee’s information is taken and compiled with related information to create an arrest record. This information is subsequently included in the arrestee's criminal record.

Kentucky arrest records are essential because they provide insight into an arrest, such as the reason for the arrest (the offense committed by the arrestee), arrest date, and the arrestee's basic information, amongst other pertinent details. Prosecutors can also use arrest records to bolster and initiate a criminal court procedure. Arrests are generally a precursor to creating arrest records in Kentucky and other U.S. states. 

According to the Kentucky State Police 2022 Crime in Kentucky report, the state experienced a minimal increase in arrests between 2021 and 2022. According to the report, 326,327 arrests were made in Kentucky in 2022. Meanwhile, only 323,978 arrests were recorded in 2021, representing a 0.726% increase in arrests made in 2022. 

Are Arrest Records Public in Kentucky?

Yes. Public access to records generated by public agencies is authorized by the Kentucky Open Records Act (KRS 61.870 to 61.884). Since law enforcement agencies are responsible for generating and maintaining arrest records, most records they produce, including arrest records, are generally accessible to the public.   

The Kentucky Open Records Act (KORA) does, however, provide exemptions that restrict or limit public access to specific records. In such instances, the document is treated as confidential. Depending on what they contain, such records may not be available to the public in their entirety or part. These personal records are only accessible for specific reasons or by eligible parties and entities. The following are some exemptions to KORA outlined in KRS 61.878:

  • Records containing personal information whose disclosure would constitute an invasion of the record holder's personal privacy
  • Records of law enforcement agencies whose disclosure would jeopardize informants or undercover officers
  • Juvenile records (per KRS 610.320).

What is Included in Kentucky Arrest Records?

 Kentucky Arrest Records typically contain the following information:

  • Place, date, and time of the arrest 
  • The arresting agency's name  
  • The arresting officer's name and badge number
  • The arrestee's basic information and physical description, such as their
    • Name
    • Address
    • Gender
    • Race
    • Height 
    • Weight
  • The arrestee's Mugshot 
  • The arrestee's offense and charges
  • Booking details

Find Public Arrest Records in Kentucky

Kentucky public arrest records can be found by querying the Kentucky state police and local agencies like county sheriff's offices and municipal police departments. Although the method of requesting arrest records may differ by law enforcement agencies, the overall process is the same and is as follows:  

  • Determine the custodian of the desired record: Law enforcement agencies only maintain arrest records for arrests made within their jurisdiction. Therefore, to appropriately target their query, record seekers must first ascertain which agency holds the desired arrest record—typically, the law enforcement agency that made the arrest. 
  • Find out the agency record request procedures and fees: On their official website; most law enforcement agencies offer information on the procedures and fees for making a public records request for arrest records in their custody. Some examples include the Kenton County Sheriff's Office Open Records Request page and the Kentucky State Police Open Records Request page. If such information is unavailable on an agency's website, it can be obtained by contacting the agency directly.   
  • Submit the request: Depending on what a law enforcement agency permits, records in their custody may be viewed or requested online, in person, or by mail. For mailed requests, a record seeker may draft a written request or complete the 2021 Standardized Open Records Request Form and mail it to the appropriate agency. Note that a description of the record being sought after must be included in the request. Requesters should be as specific as possible when describing the sought-after record (i.e., include the arrest date, location, and the arrestee's full name). Along with providing contact details (such as name, address, and phone number), requesters must also sign the request. For in-person requests, requesters can submit their drafted written request or a completed 2021 Standardized Open Records Request Form in person at the arresting agency during regular office hours. Alternatively, some agencies maintain an online portal requesters can use to submit a request for a sought-after record. These portals are usually hosted on the agency website. A good example is the Kentucky State Police public record request portal

Note that requesters are typically charged a fee per released page of records they requested. These fees, as well as their method of payment, vary across agencies.

In cases where the arrest record being sought after is restricted or non-public, it may be possible to subpoena the record from their custodian. According to Kentucky Rules of Criminal Procedure (RCR) Rule 7.02, a subpoena is a court order that directs a named party to perform a specific task. In the context of restricted arrest records, a subpoena directs the record custodian to release an otherwise restricted arrest record to the party named in the subpoena. To obtain a subpoena, interested persons can complete and submit a subpoena request form to the clerk's office of a court with appropriate jurisdiction and pay the necessary fees. Thereafter, the approved subpoena can submitted to the custodian of the sought-after restricted record.  

How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Kentucky

In Kentucky, interested parties can search for arrest records online using specific third-party websites and online tools maintained by various law enforcement agencies. Many law enforcement agencies maintain online tools that provide information on individuals who have been arrested, are currently in custody, or have been released. Typically, these tools do not provide detailed information regarding an individual arrest. Nonetheless, basic information, such as an individual's arrest date, arresting officer, arresting agency, offenses, and booking date, are usually accessible through such tools. Some examples include Louisville's inmate search and Lexington's inmate information portal. Note that these tools are typically searchable using an individual's full name.

On the other hand, comprehensive arrest records in Kentucky are accessible online at a fee through certain third-party websites. These websites are discoverable through popular search engines by making related queries. Searches can be conducted on such websites using the arrestee's full name and applicable state. However, these websites typically have no affiliation with any government agency. Hence, the accuracy and completeness of records obtained through such channels are usually not guaranteed.  

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Kentucky

Kentucky state statutes do not specify a specific timeframe for the retention of an arrest record on an individual's record. According to the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy, unless an individual asks to expunge an arrest record, the records will remain on the subject criminal history record.

Expunge an Arrest Record in Kentucky

Per KRS 431.079, individuals who want to have their arrest record expunged must first apply for an expungement certification to determine if they are eligible. The expungement certification application process is overseen by the Kentucky State Police in conjunction with the Administrative Office of the Courts. There are three main ways to request an expungement certification: online, in-person, and through mail service. 

Interested persons must register for online requests at the Kentucky Court of Justice registration site. During the registration process, users must provide a valid email address. Once logged in on the site, users would be provided an online request form for an expungement certification. The online form must be appropriately completed and electronically submitted. Users must also pay the required $40 request fee. Afterward, applicants can check their email for a notification about when the certification packet will be available online. Once available, users can log back into the registration site to download the certification packet.

For in-person requests, interested persons must complete an Expungement Certification Request Form and submit it with the $40 request fee payment at the drive-thru window of the Administrative Office of the Courts at:

1001 Vandalay Drive, 

Frankfort, KY 40601

Once approved, applicants will receive their expungement certification packet by U.S. Mail at the address they provided on their request form. Similarly, applicants must complete an Expungement Certification Request Form for mail-service requests. The completed form, along with the $40 request fee payment, should be mailed to:

Records Unit 

Administrative Office of the Courts 

1001 Vandalay Drive 

Frankfort, KY 40601

After their request has been processed and approved, the applicant will receive their expungement certification packet by U.S. mail at the address they provided on their request form. 

As soon as the petitioner has obtained an expungement certification, they can proceed to request expungement of their desired arrest record. This entails filing an expungement petition alongside the expungement certification with the Circuit Court Clerk in the county the original charge was filed. Depending on the specifics of their arrest, petitioners can file an expungement petition under KRS 431.073, KRS 431.076, or KRS 431.078. 

Expunging an arrest record under KRS 431.073

For arrests that led to certain felony convictions, interested persons can petition to have records, including arrest records, in such cases expunged under KRS 431.073. To do this, the petitioner must complete form 496.3 and file it alongside their expungement certification at the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk in the county where the conviction occurred. Additionally, petitioner must pay a $50 non-refundable filing fee. 

Prosecutors are generally allowed 60 days to object to the expungement petition. If the prosecutor objects, the court will schedule a hearing, and send notice of the hearing. However, if the prosecutor does not object, the court will issue an order granting the petition without a hearing. Thereafter, the petitioner must pay an additional $250 expungement fee to complete the expungement process. 

Expunging an arrest record under KRS 431.076

Arrest records that fall under any of the following categories may qualify for expungement under KRS 431.076:

  • Arrests that led to an acquittal (where charges were dismissed but not in exchange for a guilty plea to another charge) 
  • Arrests that led to felony charges that did not result in indictment

To expunge arrest records under KRS 431.076, interested persons must complete form 497.2. The completed form and the petitioner's expungement certification can be filed at the court with appropriate jurisdiction over the case. 

Expunging an arrest record under KRS 431.078

Arrest and other pertinent records may be expunged under KRS 431.078 using form 496.2 when an arrest resulted in the arrestee's conviction on certain misdemeanors, violations, or traffic infractions. Below are some eligibility criteria that must be met for a court to approve the expungement of qualifying records under KRS 431.078;

  • The petitioner's arrest did not stem from a sexual offense or an offense against a minor.
  • The petitioner had not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in five (5) years prior to filing the expungement petition
  • The petitioner has no pending proceedings concerning a felony or misdemeanor offense.
  • The petitioner's offense can not be enhanced for a second or subsequent offense, or the time limit for such an enhancement has passed.

Provided the aforementioned eligibility criteria are met. In that case, interested parties may file a completed form 496.2, their expungement certification, and the necessary fees before a court with the proper jurisdiction to request the expungement of their record. 

Upon completion of any expungement process, the court will order the expungement of the petitioned records. Following this order, all government agencies, including law enforcement agencies and courts, records on or related to the expunged record will be deleted or removed from official records. Furthermore, government agencies shall reply that no record exists when queried about such records. 

How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, Interested persons can obtain information on recent arrests by submitting an open record request to law enforcement agencies, such as county sheriff's offices and local police departments. Most local jails and detention centers also provide online inmate search tools that can be used to find information about individuals who were recently arrested and booked. These online tools are typically found on the official websites of most Kentucky municipalities and counties. Some examples include the Boone County jail inmate list page, Lexington Detention Center inmate information page, and Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections inmate search tool.

Are Kentucky Arrest Records Free?

The easiest way to access an individual's arrest information for free in Kentucky is through online inmate search tools maintained by local jails and detention centers. These tools only provide basic arrest information on individuals who were booked or released from respective jails or detention centers in the state. More detailed arrest records are typically only accessible for a fee through local law enforcement agencies. Detailed arrest records are also accessible through third-party websites at a fee.

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Kentucky Arrest Records