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Durham County Arrest Records

In Durham County, arrests refer to the official process of restricting a person's right to movement. The county's law enforcement officers conduct arrests if there's sufficient evidence that a person violated state or federal statutes. Officers might also make arrests to prevent potential crimes and to protect people from harming themselves. Durham County jail temporarily holds arrested persons until the law enforcement agency dismisses the charge or files it with the county court for prosecution.

Durham County's law enforcement agencies record all arrest events as incidents or police reports. Furthermore, they release the records upon request from individuals or government agencies.

Durham County arrest records are also available in related public files. For example, criminal records contain arrest information. Durham County court records pertaining to criminal cases may also feature arrest information.

Are Arrest Records Public in Durham County?

Durham County arrest records are public documents, except they contain data that is exempt under state law. North Carolina's Public Records Act determines which records are publicly accessible. Furthermore, the law empowers government agencies to maintain the records and issue them to interested or eligible public members.

Not all arrest records are publicly accessible under state law. Records that contain sensitive or security-risk data are often exempt from public view. For example, crime victims’ information is not publicly accessible. Other exempt arrest records include the following:

  • Documents classified as confidential or exempt under state or federal statutes
  • Expunged or sealed arrest records
  • Criminal investigation records and intelligence information compiled by law enforcement agencies

Only legally eligible persons can obtain confidential arrest records in Durham County. The record subject and specific government agencies can obtain confidential records.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Per NC § 132-1.4, Durham County's public arrest records will contain information on the following:

  • The record subject's name, physical features, and employment status
  • The offense description, location, and time
  • Circumstances around the arrest events, including the possession of firearms, resistance during arrest, or items seized during the arrest
  • Transcripts of emergency calls received by or on behalf of law enforcement agencies. The transcript does not reveal the caller's name, phone number, or address.

Durham County Crime Rate

According to the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer, Durham County recorded 480 index crimes. The report covers the following index crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assaults, burglary, larceny thefts, motor vehicle thefts, and arson.

Per the report, aggravated assaults and larceny thefts were the most recurring violent and property crimes in 2022, respectively. The county recorded 50 aggravated assaults and 248 larceny thefts.

Durham County Arrest Statistics

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations maintains an arrest statistics report for the state counties. Per the 2023 arrest report, Durham County documented 1,279 arrests.

On the other hand, the state’s Department of Public Safety keeps incarceration statistics for Durham County. According to the report, the county housed 2,575 inmates in 2020.

Find Durham County Arrest Records

You can find Durham County arrest records in inmate information. That said, different state and federal-level agencies maintain inmate information and enable access to the records via searchable databases. For instance, North Carolina's Department of Adult Corrections (DAC) maintains an offender search portal for current inmates, parolees, and probationers.

Record seekers can obtain the record by inputting the offender's name, birth date, race, gender, age range, and ethnic group.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is an alternative resource for accessing Durham County's arrest information. Like the DAC, this agency also features an online inmate database. Record seekers can search using the offender's name or prison number.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office is also a custodian of inmate information. The agency keeps an online list of all people detained in the county jail. You can tweak the list to view inmates detained in the last 24 hours to one month.

Free Arrest Record Search in Durham County

There are multiple government-owned sites that provide free access to Durham County arrest records. The sites may include:

Alternatively, third-party search sites provide free access to arrest records. The sites may also provide related public documents, like criminal records and inmate information. Nevertheless, these sites are unregulated and may not provide accurate or complete arrest data.

Get Durham County Criminal Records

Durham County criminal records are official files about an individual's criminal history. The documents are also referred to as rap sheets or criminal history records. In Durham County, criminal records are accessible at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) and the county superior court clerk's office.

The NCSBI will only issue criminal records to record subjects. Furthermore, the record subject must follow these steps to get criminal records from the agency:

  1. Get fingerprinted at any local law enforcement agency. The agency must use a FD-258 card to take your fingerprints.
  2. Complete the other sections on the fingerprint card
  3. Download and fill out the Right to Review request form
  4. Attach a $14 fee to your request. For mail-based criminal records requests, you must use a money order or check that's made payable to the NC State Bureau of Investigation.
  5. Send the documents and fees in person or via mail to:

NC State Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Information and Identification Section
Attention: Civilian Services Unit — Right to Review
Post Office Box 29500
Raleigh, NC 27626-0500

Conversely, Durham County’s superior court clerk issues non-confidential criminal records to all record seekers. To get criminal records, eligible requesters must send a request form and a $25 search fee to the court clerk's office at:

200 East Main Street
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 560-0300

Record seekers can also search for criminal records by using Durban County's eCourt portal.

Durham County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Durham County arrest records are not the same as criminal records. The records differ in terms of how they are created, their custodian agency, and their content. For example, Durham County law enforcement agencies create arrest information, while multiple agencies contribute data to build criminal records. It's for this reason that you'll only find arrest-related information in arrest records. On the other hand, criminal records may contain not only arrest records but also court data and inmate records.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In Durham County, arrest records will permanently remain on your file. However, you can remove the arrest record from public view by petitioning the court to expunge or seal it. Note that you must meet the legal requirements before you can seal arrest records.

Expunge Durham County Arrest Records

In Durham County, you can seal or expunge arrest records by filing a petition with a county court. The court will then determine if you are legally eligible to expunge the record. Furthermore, the court will consider objections from relevant parties before granting your request.

Who is eligible to expunge arrest records in Durham County?

You can expunge arrest records for offenses or situations listed under North Carolina General Statutes 15A-145(a) to 15A-149. For instance, you are eligible to expunge arrest charges that were later dismissed or didn't lead to a court conviction. You can also expunge arrest or criminal records for crimes committed while under 18 years old. Note that there are limitations to arrest charges that you can expunge § 15A-145.5(a) covers a list of arrest charges that are not eligible for expunction.

When can I seal or expunge arrest records in Durham County?

In Durham County, there are set durations after which you can expunge arrest records. The offense type will determine the duration. For example, you can immediately expunge dismissed arrest charges. In contrast, to expunge one non-violent misdemeanor, you just wait five years after completing the court sentence or probation. The waiting period is seven years if you are convicted of more than one non-violent misdemeanor.

For one non-violent felony, you must wait ten years after serving the sentence. However, offenders must wait for 20 years if convicted of two of three nonviolent felonies.

How do I expunge or seal arrest records in Durham County?

Offenders can expunge arrest records through these steps:

  1. Create a petition that includes the following information:
    1. An affidavit stating that the petitioner has not been convicted of any crimes except for traffic violations. If the offender wants to expunge more than one arrest charge, the petition must state that the offender violated any state or federal law in the five years preceding the petition.
    2. A notarized statement from two persons that the petitioner has maintained good conduct in the community. The person must not have any blood or marriage relationship with the petitioner.
    3. A statement that the petition is a motion in the cause for the criminal case.
    4. A completed application form that authorizes a name-based criminal history records check. You may use the court-approved request form of the SBI's Right to Review Form.
    5. An affidavit stating that there are no pending fines or payments from civil case judgments
  2. Submit these forms to Durham County's superior court clerk. Upon receiving the petition, the clerk will send a copy to the county's district attorney. The DA has a 30-day deadline to object to the petition.
  3. The presiding judge will then appoint a probation officer to conduct investigations and verifications about the petitioner’s conduct. If everything checks out, the court will grant the petition to expunge the record.

Durham County Arrest Warrants

In Durham County, arrest warrants authorize the arrest of persons suspected of violating state or federal laws. The court judge may issue warrants after receiving an affidavit or complaint from law enforcement officers. They may also issue the warrant if the subject is a flight risk.

Arrest warrants issued in Durham County may include the following:

  • The record subject's name and aliases
  • Arrest charges and other details, like date of arrest
  • Court judge's name and signature

Durham County Arrest Warrant Search

You can search for Durham County arrest warrants by contacting the county sheriff's office at:

510 South Dillard Street
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 560-0897

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Court is also the custodian of arrest warrants issued in the county. The agency keeps an online arrest warrant database. Only court officials and law enforcement officers can access the records.

Do Durham County Arrest Warrants Expire?

In Durham County, arrest warrants do not expire and will remain on your records indefinitely. You can nullify arrest warrants by fulfilling the directives. The county court can also cancel or withdraw arrest warrants.

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