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New Hanover County Arrest Records

In New Hanover County, law enforcement conducts arrests under the authority of arrest warrants, as specified in Subchapter IV Article 20 (§ 15A-401) of the North Carolina General Statutes. Arrests are made if there is a risk of escape, failure to appear, or an individual has committed an offense. In certain situations, arrests can be made without a warrant if there is reasonable suspicion and imminent danger.

The immediate aftermath of an arrest involves collecting the personal details of the apprehended person and collating information about the arrest into a database. It is during this "booking process" that arrest records are created. Arrest records are maintained by the agency that produces them in North Carolina. However, the state has a system of sharing information about arrests that occur in every city, county, or township in the state.

New Hanover Arrest records are also part of New Hanover County court records because they are used as evidence in court during any trial process. These records are available in manual and computerized formats for interested persons to access through a public records request.

Are Arrest Records Public in New Hanover County?

Yes, arrest records are public records in New Hanover County, North Carolina, per the state Public Records Act. This means that anyone, including the general public and media, can request and access these records. Typically, only law enforcement and government employees have full access to detailed arrest record data. Limited information versions are available to other individuals and organizations for purposes such as job background checks.

However, certain arrest records are exempt from public disclosure, including:

  • Confidential criminal investigation or intelligence records, per G.S. 132-1.4 of North Carolina law.
  • Juvenile arrest records.
  • Arrest records prepared for use in a trial.

Exempt records are usually accessible only to specific individuals, such as the subjects of the records, their legal representatives, or authorized persons or agencies with a court order.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

A New Hanover County arrest record contains information relevant to the arrest's circumstances. For example, an arrest for a DUI might include information such as the car registration number and alcohol levels of the driver. In contrast, an arrest for assault will contain the names of the victim and other relevant information. Generally, arrest records will include the following information.

  • Full Name of the arrestee, including any aliases
  • The fingerprints and mugshot of the arrestee as per § 15A-502 of the North Carolina statute.
  • Date and time Time of arrest
  • Reason for arrest
  • Bail amount(if available)
  • List Charges against the arrestee
  • Possible release date
  • Detention number

New Hanover County Crime Rate

The latest Crime statistics from North Carolina's National Incident-Based Reporting System show that larceny was the most frequently committed crime in New Hanover County in 2022. 2625 larceny incidents accounted for more than 50% of the crimes in Wilmington, Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach. Wilmington, the largest city in New Hanover County, had the highest crime rate. The least committed crime was murder, making up 0.5% (15) of the total crimes. Burglary was the second most common crime, accounting for 18% (1,081) of the crimes, while aggravated assault made up approximately 12% (488) of the crimes committed in New Hanover.

New Hanover County Arrest Statistics

Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that a total of 1261 arrests were made by various agencies in New Hanover County in 2022. The most arrests were for drug-related offenses, which accounted for just over 33% of the total arrests. Over 200 arrests were for traffic-related crimes, which made up about 24% of total arrests for the year. The least committed crime in the county is motor vehicle theft, with only one arrest in the county for the year.

Find New Hanover County Arrest Records

The first point of contact to find Hanover County arrest records is the Office of the arresting agency, where an individual was taken into custody and booked. The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office maintains arrest records in its records department, where persons can request them.

Every police agency in New Hanover has different policies and costs associated with requesting and receiving arrest documents. Nonetheless, a lot of them accept electronic, mail-in, and in-person requests; to search for arrest records, requesters will need to provide the following details:

  • Name of the person
  • Date of the arrest
  • Arresting agency
  • Booking number
  • Booking agency

Searching online for law enforcement jail inmate records is another way to locate arrest records. Usually, the county sheriff's jail division posts arrest records for people under custody online. Similarly, police departments in New Hanover County make arrest reports and information available online to the public. Although it is free to access these online records, the information is not as comprehensive as it may be when requested through other channels.

A federal or state agency will occasionally make an arrest in New Hanover County. Those looking for information on these situations might choose from the following options:

  • Arrest records for arrests made by the North Carolina State Capitol police or the North Carolina Highway Patrol can be requested from the Department of Public Safety. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation also provides access to arrest records that are part of a person's comprehensive criminal records upon request.
  • When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) makes an arrest, the subject is usually detained in federal custody until their arraignment. A search can be conducted using the Federal Inmate Locator by NameName or number to locate an inmate's holding facility.

Free Arrest Record Search in New Hanover County

Arrest records in New Hanover County are available online for free, and you can submit a public records request to the county police department or county sheriff's office that made the arrest. Certain arrest records are also stored in the New Hanover County Court database. These records are accessible through public access terminals in the court building.

Third-party databases are online resources that compile arrest records from various sources, organize them, and make them available for a nominal price or occasionally without charge. These third-party websites that provide these services away for free occasionally do so to increase website traffic. Some give a more expensive service that offers detailed arrest records that include every relevant detail in a single repository.

Get New Hanover County Criminal Records

A criminal record is a summary document, also known as a "rap sheet," with details regarding a person's interactions with law enforcement and their criminal history, as reported by the authorities.

To access New Hanover County criminal records, individuals can contact the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office or any of the local police departments. The Sheriff's Office maintains a local database of arrests, incidents, convictions, and court trials. Records can be requested online by filling out an online request form or by visiting the Sheriff's Office in person.

The following information should be provided to search for copies of a criminal record.

  • The individual's full Name
  • Offense(s) committed
  • Age

Criminal records can also be found by contacting any police department in New Hanover County. For example, the Wilmington police department in New Hanover County allows persons to visit their records room to find criminal records. A statewide comprehensive criminal record can be obtained at the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. To make a request, interested persons must fill out the criminal records request form and submit it along with their fingerprint and a valid I.D. via mail. The only accepted payment method for the written request is a $14.00 Certified Check OR Money Order made payable to the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.

Mail address

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

New Hanover County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

A criminal record (also known as a criminal history record) is an extensive file that includes details about any criminal behavior, civil dispute, arrest, conviction, sentence served, warrants, and any other information connected to the legal and law enforcement systems and related to a specific person. A person's criminal record is created upon their arrest and fingerprinting. The outcome of any charges resulting from that arrest is contained in this record, including conviction or not, acquittal, charges being dropped before trial, or any other consequence.

In contrast, an arrest record is a document that is made and updated to provide information about When an individual is taken into custody by law enforcement on the grounds of possible criminal activity. An arrest is made on the suspicion that a person has broken the law. It contains details regarding the incident, the time of the arrest, the arrestee's personal information, and the arrest's result (such as whether the suspect was freed). Unlike a criminal record, it excludes additional criminal data and the court disposition.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

In North Carolina, an individual's arrest and charges remain on their record indefinitely unless they file a petition with the court to have them removed. Even if the charges are dropped, or the defendant is found not guilty of the crimes they were tried for, the arrest remains on file.

Expunge New Hanover County Arrest Records

Arrest records in North Carolina can easily be expunged through a process. An expungement is a legal procedure that involves sealing or destroying the state's records of the arrest, charge, and conviction and removing a criminal conviction or charge from an individual's record. Explain how arrest information can be deleted, the eligibility requirements, and the expungement, removal, or sealing process.

Numerous statutes govern expungement in North Carolina. Expungement can apply to various crimes, from misdemeanors to minor drug offenses. Some examples of these statutes include

  • The North Carolina statutes § 15A-145.5 covers control of the expungement of offenses.
  • Section 15A-145.6 addresses the expungement of criminal records for individuals found guilty of prostitution.
  • Section 15A-149, which controls record erasure upon granting a pardon of innocence

Generally, cases dismissed by a court and persons whose charges are dropped are eligible to apply for expungement under North Carolina statutes. However, the common factor that provides eligibility for individuals to apply for an expungement are:

  • Persons who have never before been convicted of a crime or misdemeanor under federal, state, or local laws and have pleaded guilty to or are found guilty of a misdemeanor other than a traffic infraction.
  • A person with a Minor violation and an offense committed before the individual turned eighteen

Citizens in New Hanover County who want to file for an expungement can visit the county court clerk where they were charged or convicted. The court will provide the person with the appropriate forms to complete. The filing fee for an expungement petition is typically $175. Specific expungement statutes apply to those whose charges were dropped or resulted in a "not guilty" verdict and do not levy a fee. If the expungement is granted, agency organizations that hold the arrest records, such as the State Bureau of Investigation and the arresting police agency, receive copies of expungement orders from the Clerk of Court to erase the records.

New Hanover County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is an order directing that a person be arrested ortaken into custody, and made to appear in court for the accusations levied against them. A warrant in New Hanover County is combined with a statement outlining the crime for which the intended person is being held.

Arrest warrants in New Hanover County are issued if the law enforcement requesting the warrant can provide sufficient evidence to prove probable cause. When an individual is accused of committing a crime, a warrant may be issued by a court clerk, magistrate, or judge, along with evidence from law enforcement officers or civilians. The supporting documentation is then provided to the grand jury or judge who issues the warrant.

Arrest warrants in New Hanover County usually contain the following information:

  • The Full Name of the suspect
  • Statement of the crime committed.
  • A statement of probable cause that showed why the warrant was issued.
  • An order for the arrest.
  • The stamp of the judge, clerk, or magistrate that issued the warrant.

New Hanover County Arrest Warrant Search

A New Hanover County arrest warrant search can be performed online on the county sheriff's website. This webpage maintains a list of warrants for crimes committed within the county issued by the county court clerk's Office. A search on this website can be done using the person's name.

Police departments in New Hanover County also allow interested individuals to request information on arrest warrants from their warrant departments either in person or online.

Do New Hanover County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No, an active arrest warrant in New Hanover County remains valid for an indefinite period. Arrest warrants have no expiration dates, and there is no statute of limitations for arrest warrants. The only ways to render an arrest warrant null and void and remove it from the system are if the judge retracts the warrant in light of new information or if the warrant is carried out and returned to the court that issued it. Arrest warrants that are currently active remain so forever.

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