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San Mateo County Arrest Records

San Mateo arrest records document the narrative about arrests. Such records may contain the date and time of apprehension, charges, the arrestee's name, and other information such as the arresting officer's name and signature. However, arrest records do not provide end-to-end documentation on all criminal cases.

For instance, an arrest record may not explicitly indicate whether a person was convicted of the alleged crime. Therefore, inquirers may need to access the San Mateo County Court Records to determine if a suspect was convicted. These records, along with other public records like inmate records, provide a comprehensive overview of criminal cases in San Mateo County.

In San Mateo County, California, law enforcement officers have the legal discretion to arrest a person caught in connection with a crime or when there is reasonable cause to believe that an individual has committed or might commit a crime. However, these individuals typically remain suspects until they are prosecuted and pronounced guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Note: Before trial, local suspects are typically held in county Correctional Facilities, such as the Maguire Correctional Facility and Maple Street, under the oversight of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department.

Are Arrest Records Public in San Mateo County?

In California, citizens' access to public records is considered a fundamental and necessary right, per the Public Records Act. As a result, San Mateo arrest records are generally public records, meaning anyone can inspect and copy them.

However, while arrest records are generally accessible, records containing sensitive or confidential information are typically exempted from public access. These records include:

  • Records containing information relating to an ongoing investigation
  • Sensitive information relating to a minor
  • Sealed or classified information
  • Information that may endanger the safety of a witness or other person. For example, a home address or telephone number

The law establishes these restrictions to protect the recorded individual's privacy and preserve the integrity of law enforcement institutions. Nevertheless, law enforcement officers, individuals with court approval, and persons with a legitimate interest in the case are often eligible to access these records.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

While the exact content of public arrest records varies, San Mateo arrest records typically contain the following information:

  • The summary of the arrest
  • Date and time of the arrest
  • The full name of the arrestee
  • The signature
  • Full name of the arresting officer
  • The arresting agency
  • Place of arrest
  • The case number and related information
  • Where a warrant was issued, details of the arrest warrant

San Mateo County Crime Rate

In 2017, San Mateo County had 12,823 misdemeanor arrests and 3,758 felony arrests, showing a slight increase in felony arrests (2.5%) and a significant drop in misdemeanors (9.5%) from the previous year. Violent offenses accounted for 1,415 of the felony arrests. That year also saw 1,928 violent crimes and 15,142 property crimes, with aggravated assault being the most common violent crime (1,029 cases). Property crimes were led by larceny (11,055 cases), burglary (2,481 cases), and motor vehicle theft (1,606 incidents). There were significant increases in rape (30%), robbery (21.9%), aggravated assault (13.6%), larceny (7.8%), and arson (23.4%) compared to 2016. The annual crime rate in San Mateo County increased by almost 10% in 2019, with over 3,500 reports, up from 3,150 in 2018. This included around 3,250 property crimes and 325 violent crimes.

San Mateo County Arrest Statistics

According to the California Department of Justice, local law enforcement agencies recorded 12,823 misdemeanor arrests and 3,758 felony arrests. The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program also highlighted an increase in certain types of arrests, particularly felonies.

The breakdown of felony arrests includes 1,415 for violent offenses, followed by 950 property-related arrests, 303 drug-related offenses, and 100 sex offenses. For misdemeanors, the numbers indicate a diverse range of less severe crimes being addressed by law enforcement.

Find San Mateo County Arrest Records

Although the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office is often the first stop for obtaining arrest records, interested parties can look up arrest-related records using state and federal resources.

For instance, the California Incarcerated Records & Information Search Tool allows enquirers to look up individuals in the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Center (CDCR) custody. The search results include the incarcerated person’s name, CDCR number, age, current location, commitment counties, admission date, Board of Parole Hearing dates, and outcomes.

The federal resources are also a reliable alternative for obtaining arrest-related records in San Mateo. For instance, the Federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator tool allows an enquirer to locate the whereabouts of a federal inmate incarcerated from 1982 to the present.

Free Arrest Record Search in San Mateo County

Requesting public records through government-sponsored platforms often comes at little to no cost. Therefore, individuals seeking free access to public records are advised to make the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office their first port of call. The Office maintains up-to-date records of all persons arrested and booked in the county’s jails. Enquirers can find specific inmates using the locator tool on the Sheriff’s website. Entering the inmate's first and last name and then clicking the “find inmate button“ gets the results. Other alternatives include requesting the records via emailmail, or in person at any of the Department’s counters.

In addition, third party websites may provide access to San Mateo County public records, including arrest records. These third-party websites are far-reaching and typically accessible from anywhere around the world. However, it is important to note that it is not uncommon for the information contained in these records to vary from the official source.

Get San Mateo County Criminal Records

San Mateo County criminal records are official documents detailing an individual’s criminal history. Often referred to as rap sheets, these records include the subject's name, arrest reports, indictments, convictions, and sentences. The California Department of Justice handles background checks for all counties. San Mateo County residents can request criminal records by filling out the Live Scan Form, which is available in English and Spanish. Select and write “Record Review” in the area titled “Type of Application” and “Reason for Application”. Take the filled-out form to one of the Live Scan Locations in the County or the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office for fingerprinting. The locations of the Sheriff’s Office are below:

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department
500 California Avenue
Moss Beach, CA 94038
(650) 573-2801

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department
400 Co. Center
3rd Floor Hallway
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 599-1570

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

An arrest typically remains on the arrestee’s record until they get the record expunged or sealed. Accordingly, if the arrest or conviction is not expunged or sealed, it remains on the arrestee’s record forever. Record sealing and expungement typically wipe an arrestee’s criminal record slate clean, making it seem like the individual has never been arrested or convicted.

Under California law (Penal Code 1203.4 PC), an expungement is a post-conviction relief that frees an arrestee or convict of the infamy arising from a conviction.

It is important to note that certain felony offenses can never be expunged. These include serious sex offenses committed against children, such as:

  • Penal Code 286 PC, California’s law against sodomy with a child,
  • Penal Code 288 PC, California’s lewd acts with a child law, and
  • Penal Code 287 PC, California’s law against oral copulation with a child.

Expunge San Mateo County Arrest Records

State laws typically differ in these areas:

  • Matters related to eligibility to file for an expungement and sealing of a record
  • which offenses can be expunged and sealed, and
  • particular procedures required for an expungement or the sealing of an arrest record.

Note that under California law, the sealing and destroying of arrest records and expunging records of criminal convictions have their respective processes.

A person is entitled to have a California arrest record sealed and destroyed if:

  • The prosecutor never filed criminal charges after the arrest
  • The court dismissed the case
  • The suspect acquittal by the jury at the trial
  • The conviction was overturned and dismissed on appeal
  • The suspect completed a program of diversion, such as Prop 36 drug diversion or Penal Code 1000 deferred entry of judgment.

Sealing an arrest record generally allows the person on record to state that they have never been arrested for a crime. This is because to seal a record, the judge must declare you factually innocent.

Nevertheless, a person can have their records expunged for a misdemeanor or felony offense under California law provided they:

  • completed probation (either felony probation or misdemeanor probation), and
  • are not currently charged with a criminal offense, on probation for a criminal offense, or serving a sentence for a criminal offense.

Persons applying for PC 1203.4 relief must have completed probation in its entirety (or obtained an early termination of probation).

San Mateo County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is an official court order issued by a judge authorizing law enforcement to detain the individual named in the document. It ensures that arrests are conducted lawfully and by constitutional guidelines.

In San Mateo County, the Superior Court of California oversees the issuance and management of arrest warrants. If you miss a court appearance after being cited for a crime, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.

To secure an arrest warrant, a police officer must submit an affidavit to a judge or magistrate. This document must provide sufficient factual information to demonstrate probable cause that a crime was committed and that the individual named in the warrant is responsible. Probable cause exists when the facts and circumstances known to the officer are sufficient to lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been or is about to be committed.

Courts issue arrest warrants based on probable cause and in urgent circumstances, such as a suspect fleeing or an officer having probable cause to believe a felony has been committed.

An arrest warrant typically includes the following details:

  • The identity of the person to be arrested
  • A brief description of the alleged crime
  • The specific section of the criminal code under which the person is charged
  • A clear explanation of the reasons for issuing the warrant

Enquirers can contact the relevant authorities in San Mateo County for more detailed information.

San Mateo County Arrest Warrant Search

Certain circumstances may cause law enforcement authorities to issue a warrant for an individual’s arrest. These include missing a court date or being charged with a crime. Individuals who wish to find out if there is an active warrant for their arrest in San Mateo County can visit the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office website and search the arrest warrants database.

They can also call or visit the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office in person using the information:

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office
400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 363-4911

Keep in mind that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office may be unable to provide information about warrants issued by other law enforcement agencies. In such cases, individuals may need to check with the local police or court that issued the warrant to obtain the necessary information. Furthermore, they can consult third-party resources if the official sources are inaccessible.

Do San Mateo County Arrest Warrants Expire?

Arrest warrants in San Mateo County do not expire and remain active until the person named is arrested or the warrant is quashed. However, several factors can affect the execution of an arrest warrant:

  • Untimely Execution: Untimely execution may result in the dismissal of the case.
  • Statute of Limitations: Statute-barred cases may be dismissed despite an active warrant.
  • Right to a Speedy Trial: Violating a defendant's right to a speedy trial can lead to case dismissal.
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