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Are Missouri Criminal Records Public?

Yes, Missouri Criminal records are public. The Missouri Sunshine Law requires that state and local law enforcement agencies make state public criminal records available to requesters. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is the primary custodian of criminal history documents, although local law enforcement and courts also maintain copies. The Missouri State Highway Patrol allows the public to obtain criminal records online through the Missouri Automated Criminal History Site (MACHS).

Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:

  • The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
  • The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.

Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.

What is Considered a Criminal Record in Missouri?

Missouri criminal records are official documents providing details of the criminal activities of arrested and/or convicted individuals in Missouri. Besides arrest and conviction information, these records provide details of pleas, dispositions, and sentences. Missouri criminal records are also known as rap sheets and are prepared by various state and local law enforcement agencies, courts, and Missouri detention facilities.

What Shows Up on a Criminal Record in Missouri?

Missouri criminal records generally provide the following information:

  • Name of the subject, including known aliases
  • Other personal information such as date of birth, sex, and race
  • Subject’s mugshot and fingerprints on file
  • Current and previous indictments
  • Arrest records, including outstanding warrants
  • Conviction information
  • Post-conviction status

Everyone who has had a run-in with the law enforcement in Missouri will have a criminal record. However, criminal records are only one of several other police records available to public requesters in Missouri. Others include arrest records, arrest warrants, incident reports, and logs of police activities.

How to Obtain Criminal Records in Missouri?

State and local law enforcement agencies maintain criminal records in Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol allows the public members to perform a criminal record search for a nominal fee. Individuals looking to obtain a free public criminal record check must use third-party alternatives. This agency provides statewide criminal histories and can also process FBI federal criminal history requests. Local law enforcement agencies like city police departments and county sheriff’s offices may also provide limited criminal records. These include incident and accident reports for events that occurred within their jurisdictions.

For criminal on-demand court records, check the Missouri Courts Casenet portal. It is also possible to find criminal court records by visiting Missouri courts where the cases in question were heard. Clerks of courts also have provisions for providing copies of criminal case documents upon request.

Are Missouri Arrest Records Public?

Yes, Missouri arrest records are public, as the Missouri Sunshine Law requires that local law enforcement agencies make police records available to requesters. To obtain free arrest records in Missouri, parties can use the public access computers at the clerk's office at their local county superior court. An arrest search will bring any arrest records in the court’s database. Interested individuals may contact their local sheriff’s office or police station to request police reports.

What is Considered an Arrest Record in Missouri?

Missouri arrest records describe the apprehension and detention of individuals wanted in connection with ongoing investigations and crimes. These official documents are available from law enforcement agencies in the state. While arrest records indicate that apprehended individuals are taken into custody, they do not indicate that these individuals are guilty of crimes of which they were arrested.

Similarly, an arrest record is not proof of indictment. An individual’s arrest record will be included in their criminal record when indicted in a court of law. Lastly, an arrest record is different from a detention or inmate record. Law enforcement officers may arrest persons of interest to bring them in for questioning rather than detain them. A Missouri arrest record provides the following information:

  • Alleged crime committed by the arrestee or reason for the arrest
  • Arrestee’s identifying data including name, gender, and birth date
  • Where and when the arrest took place
  • Name of the arresting officer
  • Jail where the arrestee was held
  • Name of the issuer of the warrant authorizing the arrest

Missouri Arrest Warrants

Missouri arrest warrants are court orders providing law enforcement officers with the legal authority to make arrests. When seeking such warrants, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and district attorneys must approach judges and magistrates and show probable cause. A Missouri arrest warrant carries the signature of the judge or magistrate authorizing it. In Missouri, an arrest warrant contains the following information:

  • Full name of the subject of the warrant
  • Alleged crimes committed by this individual or probable cause for the arrest
  • Date and location where the arrest may occur
  • An expiry date that determines the validity of the warrant
  • Name and signature of the judge authorizing the warrant
  • Date of issue

Missouri law enforcement officers may make arrests without warrants only when they witnessed the crimes informing such arrests or have clear probable cause for doing so. There is no central database where the public can initiate a warrant search in Missouri. The easiest way to carry out an active warrant search is to look for lists of arrest orders that various county sheriff's place on their websites.

How to Lookup Missouri Inmate Records

Missouri inmate records provide incarceration information for individuals serving time in prison and jail. Jail records are official documents describing aspects of the operations of detention and correctional facilities. Inmate records provide details of individuals held in these facilities, including identifying information.

The Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC) runs state-operated prisons as well as oversees the operations of community supervision and community release centers. It is also responsible for probation and parole programs. For an inmate search, use the Offender Search tool provided on the MODOC website. For additional information and jail records, contact the Department’s Constituent Services Office by sending an email to constituentservices@doc.mo.gov.

Missouri does not release inmate’s health care information to the public. Those looking for health and mental health records, as well as sex offender treatment information for specific inmates, must provide notarized and completed Release of Information forms signed by the offenders. Send the form along with inquiry about medical records to:

Missouri Department of Corrections Medical Services Section
Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services
P.O. Box 236
Jefferson City, MO 65102

How Do I Find Sex Offenders in Missouri?

The Missouri sex offender registry contains the names of registered sex offenders living in the state as well as details of the offenses. While local law enforcement agencies registered sex offenders living in the various counties, cities, and towns of Missouri, the State Highway Patrol maintains the central database of registered sex offenders in Missouri.

Missouri law mandates the State Highway Patrol to make this listing available online to the public. Visit the Sex Offender Registry to search for registered sex offenders living, working, and attending school in Missouri. For more information about an offender listed in the registry, contact the Sheriff’s Office of the county where the offender resides.

Understanding DWI Laws in Missouri

A DWI in Missouri, also known as drunk driving, is one of the most serious traffic violations that a driver can commit on Missouri roads. Missouri DWI law proffers strict penalties for drivers who operate motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as they put others’ lives at risk.

Missouri law enforcement officials look out for drivers who appear unable to maneuver their vehicles probably and may stop them for a field sobriety test. The police will arrest any driver that has a measured blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04%. In Missouri, first-time DWI offenders will lose their driver’s license for ninety days. Multiple offenders may lose their licenses for 1 - 5 years. The court may also sentence a driver convicted of DWI to jail or impose other penalties.

Missouri Misdemeanors Laws: Offenses and Penalties

In Missouri, misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies. They usually involve less serious injuries, properties of lower value, and/or smaller amounts of drugs. There are three misdemeanor classes in Missouri. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious while Class C misdemeanors are the least serious.

  • Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in year, up to $2,000 in fines, or both. Examples of misdemeanors in this class are third-degree domestic assault, shoplifting items valued below $500, and possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana
  • Class B misdemeanors are punished by up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. First-degree trespassing and driving while intoxicated are examples of misdemeanors in this class
  • Class C misdemeanors are punished by up to 15 days in jail and up to $750 in fines. Illegal gambling, library theft of items valued below $500, and third-degree sexual misconducts are misdemeanors in this category

Missouri Felony Laws: Offenses and Penalties

Missouri classifies crimes punishable by more than one year in prison as felonies. The state has five classes of felonies with Class A ones being the most serious crimes.

  • Class A felonies are punished by a maximum of 30 years in prison and a minimum term of 10 years. Examples include murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, and forcible rape of a child under 12 years of age
  • Class B felonies are punishable by 5 - 15 years in prison. First-degree burglary and voluntary manslaughter are examples of felonies in this class
  • Class C felonies are punished by 3 - 10 years in prison. Missouri courts may also fine offenders up to $10,000 or twice the amount of financial gain arising from their crimes. Theft, possession of controlled substances, second-degree statutory rape, and first-degree involuntary manslaughter are Class C felonies
  • Class D felonies are punished by up to 7 years in prison. The court can also fine offenders up to $10,000 or twice the amount of financial gain from their crimes. Fraud, writing a bad check, resisting arrest, and third-degree domestic assault are Class D felonies
  • Class E felonies are punishable by up to 4 years in prison. They may also attract up to $10,000 in fines twice the amount of financial gain to offenders. Examples include boating while intoxicated leading to third-party injury

How to Obtain Missouri Parole Information

The Missouri Department of Corrections also maintains probation and parole records for inmates released from state-run prisons. To obtain parole and probation information, contact the Parole Board by calling (573) 751-8488 or sending an email to probation.parole@doc.mo.gov. When making an inquiry, provide the following information about the offender:

  • Full name
  • Inmate number
  • Social security number and date of birth

Are Probation Records Public in Missouri?

Missouri probation records are official documents providing details of court-ordered supervised releases of individuals awarded suspended sentences. Convicted individuals on probation serve their terms outside prisons and jails. Besides providing the name and other identifying details of the individual on probation, a complete probation record must also state the convict’s crime and court judgment, as well as the length and terms of the probation. Inmates who receive probation must report to a probation officer and ensure they follow the rules to avoid a probation violation. Missouri’s probation office is the Board of Probation and Parole of the Department of Corrections.

Are Juvenile Criminal Records Public in Missouri?

Juvenile criminal records are not open to the public except for court hearings and proceedings in cases where the juvenile is adjudicated guilty of a Class A felony, capital murder, first-degree murder, or second-degree murder. Similarly, arrest records for juveniles taken into custody for offenses considered felonies if committed by adults are not automatically sealed. The public can access fingerprints and mugshots of offending juveniles in such cases within 30 days of creating such records.

Juvenile criminal records are court documents that provide details of the criminal activities of juveniles (persons under 18 years of age). In Missouri, juveniles are not tried as adults but go to juvenile court. The Missouri Juvenile Code regards juveniles guilty of crimes as adjudicated delinquents rather than convicts and sends them to a juvenile detention center - instead of a prison. What are Missouri Conviction Records?

Missouri conviction records include detailed information about indictments, pleas, hearings, and sentencing of individuals found guilty by criminal courts in the start. These official court documents are prepared following the conclusion of trials involving infractions, misdemeanors, or felony charges. Juries render convictions in Missouri. In non-jury trials, convictions are rendered by judges. In both cases, conviction records include final judgments stating whether convicted individuals were sentenced to prison/jail, placed on probation, fined, or paroled. A conviction record may be missing the final judgment if such judgment was reversed or set aside by law or the convict pardon.

History and Accuracy of Missouri Criminal Records

The accuracy of Missouri criminal records depends on when and how they were collected. Records prepared before electronic systems were in place tend to be less accurate. This is due to human error while entering those records and the fragility of paper records. Some Missouri law enforcement agencies, courts, and detention facilities have digitized some of their old paper records. However, some archived records are still on paper or not retrievable.

Find Missouri Criminal History Record for Free

Missouri criminal history records contain personally identifiable descriptions, arrest information, indictments, detentions, final dispositions, and other details about persons who entered the state's criminal justice system as suspects or offenders. The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division in Missouri maintains these records.

Per RSMo. 43.527, all entities requesting Missouri criminal justice information for non-criminal justice reasons must pay a fee to the CJIS. This fee amounts to $14 for a name-based search and $20 for a fingerprint-based search (except in a few situations). It is only when a criminal justice agency requests a Missouri criminal record for an official reason that the record can be accessed for free.

Individuals can review the CJIS Criminal Record Check page for guidelines on ordering Missouri criminal background checks.

Are Police Records Public in Missouri?

Yes, police records are public records in Missouri under the Missouri Sunshine Law. A police record is any record generated or acquired by a law enforcement agency while conducting public business. Examples include 911 recordings, arrest reports, traffic citations, photographs, investigation reports, body camera audio & video recordings, personnel records, and incident reports.

The Missouri Sunshine Law directs each law enforcement agency of a municipality or county to provide police records upon a citizen's request. However, some records are publicly unavailable because of their sensitive or confidential contents. For example, under RSMo. 610.100 (2), mobile video recordings and investigative reports of Missouri law enforcement agencies are closed until the related investigation becomes inactive. Similarly, 911 tapes are inaccessible to the public (RSMo. 610.150).

How to Obtain Police Records in Missouri

The public can obtain Missouri police records from the records unit of a law enforcement agency. Individuals may use the Sunshine Law Request Form to submit their police record requests. Requesters must include their contact information and give details on the information or record they are requesting in this form. Fees may apply; hence, one should contact the police agency to determine the relevant search or copy fees. The police division should also be contacted (or one can check their website) to find the different submission methods.

Some eligibility requirements may apply to access a police record. Under Missouri law, a law enforcement agency can withhold the disclosure of a police record under two conditions. The first is if the agency is concerned about the safety of a victim, witness, undercover personnel, or other individuals if the record is released. The second is when releasing the document would jeopardize a criminal investigation. Nevertheless, citizens retain the right to contest nondisclosures in a circuit court, as per RSMo. 610.100 (5).

Notably, a requester who is also a criminal defendant cannot request related police records from law enforcement agencies but must do so through the prosecuting attorney.

Are Missouri Police Reports Considered Public Record?

Yes, police reports are public records in Missouri. Police reports are documents containing information about an incident that required police involvement or response. Such reports can include the timeline and place of an incident, the name of a victim or witness, the responding officers, and other relevant case facts. Examples include investigative, arrest, incident, and traffic crash reports.

Although arrest and incident reports are public police records in Missouri, RSMo. 610.100.2 (3) carries an exception to the public's right of access. Accordingly, if an arrested person is not charged within 30 days of their arrest, the arrest report will remain a closed record. However, the law excludes the disposition part of the arrest report, which may still be accessed, and eligible parties with access to closed Missouri police records under RSMo. 610.120.

How to File a Police Report with Missouri Law Enforcement

Generally, Missouri citizens have three methods to file police reports with their local law enforcement agencies:

  • By visiting the police station at any time to report the incident;
  • Calling the non-emergency number of the local police department to file a police report (provided the crime is not an emergency that necessitates dialing 911); or
  • Filing the police report through a local law enforcement agency's online citizen reporting system. However, this reporting method is reserved for specific non-emergency incidents.

Each police jurisdiction has a separate list of incidents or offenses that citizens can report online. Common examples include stealing, vandalism, fraudulent debit/credit card use, graffiti, phone harassment, and identity theft. Likewise, a police division will have specific criteria that a person must satisfy to file a police report online. One standard requirement is that the incident must have occurred within the region that the police division serves. More information about online incident reporting (including submission guidelines) can be obtained from one's local law enforcement agency's website.

Besides filing non-emergency police reports online or via telephone, residents of Missouri can also file suspicious activity reports with local law enforcement, as explained on the Missouri Department of Public Safety's Suspicious Activity Reporting page.

The DPS also provides the Courage2Report (C2R) program to help make schools safer and assist law enforcement in learning about school violence. Listed below are some crimes committed on school property that can be reported via C2R:

  • Physical assault
  • Extreme terrorism threat
  • Sexual assault
  • School shooting
  • Human trafficking
  • Planned suicide
  • Planned school attack
  • Weapons

Parties that can file a confidential report through the C2R program include school personnel, students, parents, and concerned citizens. After submitting a report, the information is promptly distributed to the school and law enforcement. It is left to both parties to determine how to handle each report accordingly.

Where to Find Free Missouri Public Police Records

Missouri police records are public information per the Missouri Sunshine Law. As a result, interested members of the public can inspect such records freely, but they may incur copy costs (fees charged by an agency to reproduce records) on occasion. These fees vary by record custodian.

Generally, to view a police record for free, individuals should visit the law enforcement agency that maintains the record. While a person can walk in during normal business hours, some agencies require a requester to book an appointment.

Besides submitting record requests in person, individuals can also find free public police records online via databases provided by the different Missouri police divisions. Online records available for free often include sex offender registries, arrest/booking reports, and inmate records.

How to Find Mugshots in Missouri

A mugshot is a picture of an arrested individual. Also called a booking photograph, it comprises a suspect's front and side profile from the top of the head to the shoulders. The word mugshot derives from the informal "mug," which means "face". The latter word, "shot," refers to a snapshot of the face.

Mugshots are public records in Missouri. Even so, per RSMo. 407.1150, it is illegal for anyone who publishes or disseminates mugshots to demand/accept a fee or other compensation from a person to correct or remove a mugshot.

Missouri mugshots are available at local and state law enforcement agencies or through public police record databases. For example, the Missouri Department of Corrections provides online access to mugshots taken of prison-sentenced offenders via its Offender Search portal. Likewise, the Missouri State Highway Patrol maintains the state's Sex Offender Registry, where the public can find pictures of sex offenders residing in Missouri, plus other details.