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What Are Kentucky Criminal Records?

Kentucky criminal records, also known as rap sheets, are documents that detail an individual’s criminal history in Kentucky. They include a formal recording of convicted offenses compiled from the local, county, and state jurisdictions as well as courts and state correctional facilities. Criminal records are one of several police records created in the course of police activities in Kentucky. Others include arrest records, arrest warrants, incident reports, and police logs. Of these, criminal records are the most comprehensive. The others, however, contain supplemental information. Persons who obtain criminal records in Kentucky can expect to see the following:

  • The full name of the subject (including any aliases)
  • A photograph/mugshot of the subject and details of unique physical identifiers
  • Their full date of birth
  • A full set of fingerprints
  • Current and former addresses
  • Past, pending, and most current arrests, warrants, and indictments
  • Conviction and incarceration history
  • Post-conviction status

Are Kentucky Criminal Records Public?

Yes. Kentucky criminal records are open to interested members of the public under the Kentucky Open Records Act. Thus, anyone can inspect or make copies of these records following a request to the record custodian. However, the record custodian may sequester certain criminal records from public view by law or court order.

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.

How To Obtain Criminal Records In Kentucky

Kentucky criminal records are available to interested requesters through the state judiciary. The clerk of courts acts as the official custodian for these documents. Generally, there are three ways to obtain criminal records in Kentucky. These include online, in-person, and mail requests. Online case search is the fastest of these three.

To access Kentucky criminal records online, requesters must use the FastCheck portal. Record request protocol directs new users to create an account. Only then can a requester perform a name-based background check for criminal records. Each search costs a non-refundable $25.00 fee payable by credit card. The payment processor will also charge a $2.5 processing fee per transaction. The portal will process the request as soon as it arrives, but it may take several hours before the criminal record is available. A requester may print the search result from the FastCheck portal as soon as it is available.

Requesters making in-person requests for Kentucky criminal records must go to the Administrative Office of the Courts during business hours. Each request also costs $25.00 and is payable by check, money order, or credit card. Most requesters who make in-person requests get the criminal record that day. It is possible to perform a free public criminal record check by requesting a fee waiver from the record custodian. Alternatively, the requester may use free public databases for the criminal record search. However, the accuracy of information obtained from such databases is not guaranteed.

Meanwhile, persons sending mail-in requests for criminal records in Kentucky must complete the request form. Then, the requester must attach payment in the form of a money order or check. Next, the requester encloses the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mails it to:

Administrative Office of The Courts
Records Unit
1001 Vandalay Drive
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (800) 928-6381

Mail requests typically take ten (10) working days to process from the date of receipt. Making allowance for logistics and delivery, a requester can expect to get the criminal record requested within three weeks. Thus, mail-in requests are best suited for routine background checks that are not urgent.  

What Are Arrest Records In Kentucky?

Arrest records contain an official summary of an individual’s arrest history. It provides information about an individual’s detention, confinement, or arrest. Arrest records may also contain information about individuals who have been charged with committing a misdemeanor, felony, or any other offense. Some of the information included on a public arrest record includes:

  • Name of the individual
  • Date of birth
  • Physical descriptors (hair colors, skin tone, etc.)
  • Details of the charges leading to the arrest

Although arrest records and criminal records are slightly similar, criminal records contain a more extensive compilation of a person’s criminal history. In addition to details of an arrest, criminal records contain information about all possible charges and criminal convictions.

Are Arrest Records Public In Kentucky?

Yes. Kentucky arrest records are public information. Anyone may request and obtain arrest records from the arresting agency in the county or city where the arrest happened. Generally, this arresting agency is the Sheriff’s Department or the city police department. Per Kentucky’s open records act, the agency must release the public arrest record provided there are no statutory or security reasons to restrict access. Record custodians do not offer free arrest records—the requester must pay copy fees for the arrest records of interest.  

What Is An Arrest Warrant In Kentucky?

A Kentucky arrest warrant is an official document that authorizes law enforcement officials to arrest or detain the person(s) named on the warrant. Arrest warrants are issued and signed by a judge or magistrate. Before a warrant is granted, the arresting officer will convince the judge that probable cause exists, indicating the subject may have committed a crime. Kentucky does not have a central database for arrest warrants. Thus, individuals who wish to check active warrants in a county or municipality may conduct an active warrant search on the arresting agency’s website.

Yes, they can. In the state of Kentucky, the police can legally arrest a person for committing a crime even without a warrant. In most cases, this occurs when a person commits a crime in an officer’s presence or if the officer has reasonable cause to believe the offender is guilty.

What Are Jail And Inmate Records?

Inmate records provide information about an individual’s inmate status.  Like most states, Kentucky’s prison system is overseen by the Department of Corrections (DOC), which maintains an inmate database that contains information like the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense, and sometimes photos.

Public information on offenders held in Kentucky state prison can be obtained using the online search service managed by the Kentucky DOC. It allows for parties to perform an inmate search by offender type, location and conviction information.

What Is The Kentucky Sex Offender Registry?

The Kentucky sex offender registry is a public database of individuals convicted of sex crimes in Kentucky. Any individual may search this database with the name and address of a known or suspected sex offender. The database also has a sex offender map, so residents of a community can track all sex offenders in that neighborhood.

The state of Kentucky has specific laws against rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. Together, these laws criminalize sexual battery (sexual activity by force or without the other person’s consent). An individual convicted for any of these offenses must register as a sex offender in Kentucky. Generally, the period of registration depends on the circumstances surrounding the sex crime. Thus, lower-tier sex offenders register for ten (10) years, while felony sex offenders often register for a lifetime.

Regardless of the registration period, the registered sex offender must regularly report to local law enforcement for identity verification. The Kentucky State Police makes information collected during this periodic verification available on the sex offender registry.  

What Is A DUI In Kentucky? 

A Kentucky DUI is a serious traffic violation, which means driving under the influence. Here, a driver controls a motor vehicle or attempts to control a vehicle after consuming a substance that impairs driving ability. Generally, police officers identify impaired drivers following a field sobriety assessment and a chemical test to determine breath or blood alcohol content (BAC).

A driver whose BAC is more than the legal limit of 0.08 will lose driving privileges pending court trial and administrative review by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The penalties for a DUI depend on the offender’s status. Generally, first-time DUI offenders face a $200 fine and four months of license suspension. The driver may also spend at least 48 hours in jail if the DUI is serious. From here on, the penalties for a DUI become stiffer.

Furthermore, a conviction for DUI in Kentucky is permanent on the individual’s driving record. Although difficult, it is possible to expunge a DUI conviction in Kentucky. However, a rule of thumb is to avoid the conviction in the first place. Most drivers will need to get an experienced DUI lawyer in Kentucky to avoid a drunk driving conviction or improve the chances of getting an expungement.

What Is A Misdemeanor In Kentucky?

A misdemeanor in Kentucky is a non-indictable offense that is legally considered to be less severe than felonies. They’re punishable by up to 12 months in the county or local jail. In Kentucky, misdemeanors are classified by an alphabet-based system designed to describe the severity of the alleged crime: Class A and Class B.

  • Class A misdemeanors are punishable by 90 days to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $500
  • Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days’ penalty

Common examples of misdemeanors in Kentucky include:

  • Burglary
  • Violation of a restraining order
  • Property theft of less than $500
  • Public lewdness
  • Unlawful possession of a weapon
  • Criminal mischief
  • Criminal trespass

What Is A Felony In Kentucky?

A felony offense in Kentucky refers to any serious crime punishable by a minimum sentence of more than 1 year. They’re served in state prison or county jail. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. Kentucky law designates felonies as capital offenses or Class A, B, C, or D felonies. Murder is a capital offense. Capital offenses are punishable by death, life without parole, 25 years to life in prison, or 0 to 50 years’ imprisonment.

What Are Parole Records?

Parole records contain the official details of a released prisoner who is out on early release on the promise of good behavior. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board requires that the parolee pay a monthly supervision fee as a condition of parole. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems right to make sure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Kentucky are served.

The Kentucky Parole Board decides whether an inmate qualifies for consideration of parole. Some of the factors that affect the board’s decision include:

  • The inmate’s past criminal records
  • The severity of the offense
  • Statements from prosecuting attorney and the sentencing judge
  • Conduct of the inmate
  • Any prior history of probation or parole violations
  • Arguments from victims or persons affected by the offender
  • History of alcohol or drug use

The board also publishes a publicly available preliminary list of inmates eligible for parole, arranged by county of conviction. It provides the inmate’s name, DOC number, location, indictment number, and the offense convicted.

What Is A Probation Record In Kentucky?

Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Kentucky to serve their sentences out of custody as long as they follow probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation may differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case.

Probation terms are open to the public. Members of the public can obtain information by contacting the clerk of court at the courthouse where the judgment was given. Interested persons may also peruse the publicly available parole eligibility list in Kentucky. However, specific details of the probation, such as whether a person is complying with set probation conditions, remain closed to the public.

What Is A Juvenile Criminal Record?

A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information about criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not convicted of a crime like an adult but instead are “adjudicated delinquent.” These criminal records are often thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. Suppose a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense. In that case, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.

What Is A Conviction Record?

A conviction record is an official document providing information that a person was found guilty, pleaded guilty, or pleaded no contest against criminal charges in a civilian or military court. The criminal charges may be classified as a felony, misdemeanor, or other offense. A conviction also includes when a person is delinquent, honorably discharged, or placed on probation, fined, imprisoned, or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment deleted by a pardon, set aside, reversed, or otherwise rendered inoperative.

Kentucky History And Accuracy Of Criminal Records

The accuracy of the data of criminal records depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Kentucky criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s, when criminal and arrest data were first centralized and compiled into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past. However, by the 1990s, the quality and accuracy of record-keeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer.

Kentucky State Archives

State Archives

Search Includes

  • Arrests & Warrants
  • Criminal Records
  • Driving Violations
  • Police Records
  • Sheriff Records
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies & Misdemeanors
  • Probation Records
  • Parole Records
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Marriages & Divorces
  • Birth Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Personal Assets
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • Political Contributions
  • Unclaimed State Funds
  • Relatives & Associates
  • Address Registrations
  • Affiliated Phone Numbers
  • Affiliated Email Addresses

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Criminal Record

Criminal Record

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