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Buncombe County Arrest Records

Arrest records in Buncombe County provide insight into arrests, bookings, and preliminary legal proceedings. Such records are generally created and maintained by the arresting body. Law enforcement agencies typically make arrests if they see someone commit a crime or have probable cause to believe someone has or is about to commit an offense. Other instances where arrest may be necessary include:

  • Failure to appear when required in a criminal proceeding
  • When bailed, suspects cannot be reached
  • After probation violation
  • For material witness processing

Depending on their age, gender, and type of offense/charges, arrestees are usually detained in a holding cell at a local jail, detention center, or juvenile facility.

Typically, persons arrested in Buncombe County are held in the Buncombe County Detention Facility managed by the Sheriff’s Office. Individuals may obtain Buncombe County arrest records from this office or find arrest details in other public records, such as criminal records, sex offender profiles, inmate rosters, and Buncombe County Court Records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Buncombe County?

Yes, arrest records are public in Buncombe County in accordance with North Carolina Public Records Law (NC Gen. Stat. § 132-1.4). Anyone can inspect, examine, or obtain copies of arrest records containing information on the circumstances surrounding an arrest, the alleged offense, and the arrested person. However, juvenile arrest records and certain details like driver’s license numbers, SSNs, expunged records, and other exempted information are not available for public access.

To access the restricted information, requesters must satisfy any statutory requirement, such as being the record subject, the juvenile subject’s parent or legal guardian, or authorized by consent or court order.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

As per state law, arrest details available to the public include:

  • The arrestee’s full name
  • Arrestee’s age and sex
  • Alleged violation(s)
  • Arrest time and place
  • Arrest description (if it involved resistance, pursuit, possession, or use of weapons)

Additional information that may be included in a Buncombe arrest record includes physical descriptions, mugshots, booking agency, holding facility details, and bond or trial status.

Buncombe County Crime Rate

According to FBI crime statistics, there were 219 violent crimes and 1,830 property crimes known and reported by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in 2019. Violent crimes in the county comprised 178 aggravated assaults, 27 robberies, and 14 rape offenses. On the other hand, property crimes included 1,071 larceny thefts, 520 burglaries, 239 motor vehicle thefts, and 19 arsons.

Buncombe County Arrest Statistics

The FBI Crime Data Explorer provides data on arrests reported by law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions. According to the data, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office made 570 arrests for crimes against society, 320 drug abuse/sales crimes, 315 crimes against property, and 227 crimes against persons in 2022. There were also two arrests for crimes against family and children and 241 for other offenses (excluding traffic).

Find Buncombe County Arrest Records

To find records of persons arrested and detained or incarcerated in a state or federal facility, interested individuals may use the inmate search tool provided by the NC Department of Corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Users may search the database according to the inmate’s name or offender ID to find relevant results and arrest information.

Alternatively, record seekers may direct public record requests to the specific arresting agency. Requests should include the request subject’s identifying details, such as full name, date of birth, arrest date, or inmate number if known.

Free Arrest Record Search in Buncombe County

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office provides an online tool that record seekers can use to find arrest reports or lists of inmates in the Buncombe County Detention Facility. The jail houses male and female inmates who are awaiting trial, as well as state offenders. Users may search for an inmate’s name in the roster and sort results by date, name, charge, and booking agency. Available information may include:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Mugshot
  • Physical descriptions like weight, height, race, and body markings
  • Arrest date
  • Booking agency
  • Holding facility
  • Charges
  • Trial status, court date, and docket number (if any)
  • Bond type, amount, and status
  • Expected release date

Interested persons may also contact the Sheriff’s Office at:

60 Court Plaza
Fourth Floor
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 250-4456 (Records)

Interested persons may also access free Buncombe County arrest records through third-party sites. These sites are usually privately operated and have a wealth of resources and search tools that users can use to find public records. However, information obtained on these sites may not be verifiable.

Get Buncombe County Criminal Records

Buncombe County criminal records summarize a person’s criminal history, including arrest, prosecution, and conviction. Interested individuals may request criminal records with information limited to Buncombe County cases for $5 from the City-County Division of Identification (ID Bureau) by calling (828) 250-4665 or providing filled request forms to:

City-County Division of Identification
52 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

Alternatively, statewide criminal records are available with the NC State Bureau of Investigation, the state’s central repository of criminal justice information. Interested individuals or organizations can conduct broader background checks to review personal records or for licensing or employment purposes. These background checks are fingerprint-based and require record subjects to complete an application form and mail it along with a $14 fee in check or money order, proof of identity, and fingerprint card to:

NC State Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Information and Identification Section
Attention: Civilian Service Unit - Right to Review
P.O. Box 29500
Raleigh, NC 27626-0500

Residents may also request Buncombe criminal court case records from the Superior Court Clerk in the county.

Buncombe County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Buncombe County arrest records are official records that provide information regarding an arrest. In contrast, criminal records contain extensive information on an individual’s criminal history in the county, including arrests and convictions. The absence of disposition details in arrest records is why they cannot be a suitable substitute for criminal history records or proof of conviction.

However, note that the extent of information provided in a criminal record depends on whether the record seeker conducted local, statewide, or federal criminal background checks.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In North Carolina, how long an arrest lasts on one’s record depends on the disposition, offense date, and offense type. As per the 2020 Second Chance Act, arrest records get automatically removed or expunged from one’s record once the charges are dismissed or the individual is found not guilty on or after December 1, 2021. Apart from this, an arrest will remain in one’s record until the record subject files a petition for expungement/expunction (under applicable laws) and it is approved. The same is true for arrest information related to a conviction.

Expunge Buncombe County Arrest Records

Expunging an arrest record in Buncombe County means removing the arrest and charges - or ensuing conviction - from one’s record and sealing or destroying the state’s record. In line with the 2020 Second Chance Act, North Carolina public agencies automatically expunge records of arrests resulting in dismissed charges or not-guilty verdicts disposed of on December 1, 2021. For similar dispositions before this date, the record subject must file a petition for expungement/expunction at a court in the county where the arrest happened.

Conversely, expunging conviction records and the related arrest information from one’s record in North Carolina involves meeting strict eligibility criteria concerning youthful convictions, waiting periods, types of offenses, first-time offenders, and multiple expunctions. Therefore, individuals should consider hiring an attorney to know the types of expunction available to them and the statute under which they can file for expungement.

Filing an expungement petition for dismissed charges and not-guilty verdicts is free. However, other cases require a $175 filing fee, and the record subject may need to attend a hearing before the judge to review the petition. Once approved, the record subject will receive a copy of the expungement order, after which all related government records (including the order itself) will be expunged. On the other hand, denied applicants can appeal the decision.

Note that it may take some months for an expungement petition to be granted and implemented by government agencies. Additionally, an expunction order does not remove the records from the databases of private sources. Individuals have to contact these sources to inform them about the order.

Buncombe County Arrest Warrants

When investigating a crime, law enforcement agencies in Buncombe County can request a warrant for a suspect’s arrest from a court by providing evidence proving the individual’s probable cause for having committed the crime. Once the judge signs the arrest warrant, the police shall file the warrant in the system. This will make other officers aware that the individual should be taken into police custody should they ever run him through the system and authorize them to do so. Information contained in a Buncombe County arrest warrant may include:

  • The suspect’s full name
  • Case or file number
  • Driver’s license number or other identifying details
  • Statement of suspected offenses or case summary
  • Warrant issuance date
  • Issuing judge’s name
  • Warrant status

Note that any citizen or public officer in North Carolina can also request the issuance of an arrest warrant upon proving probable cause.

Buncombe County Arrest Warrant Search

Interested persons may find Buncombe County Arrest warrants with the NCAWARE statewide warrant check tool. The North Carolina Statewide Warrant Repository (NCAWARE) is a system that allows users to find orders for arrest (OFA) by providing the offender's details, such as name, SSN, file number, or process number.

Typical offender details provided by the system include:

  • Full name and date of birth
  • DMV ID
  • Image
  • Race, sex, and physical description
  • Offense(s)
  • Case Summary
  • File number
  • Warrant details and process type

Do Buncombe County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No, Buncombe County arrest warrants do not expire and remain active until the warrant is executed (served) by the police or recalled or quashed by the judge. The warrant authorizes police officers to arrest individuals in their homes or when they encounter the suspect. Even when served, the record shall remain in the system until the case is resolved, and the entire record is later expunged after due process.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
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