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What defines a Criminal Record in Kentucky?

Criminal records contain an official compilation of an individual’s criminal history. They include a formal recording of convicted offenses (if any) compiled from local, county and state jurisdictions as well as courts and state correctional facilities. The amount of information available on varies with each individual. This is because different sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes for collecting criminal data.

Can Anyone View Criminal Records?

Most of the criminal records in Kentucky fall under the umbrella of open records. In compliance with Kentucky’s 1976 Open Records Act, interested members of the public can inspect or make copies of these records by submitting a request to the housing agency.  However, some records may be exempted from public view by law or court order.

What are Arrest Records?

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

Are Arrest Records the same as Criminal Records?

Not completely. 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.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant is an official document that authorizes law enforcement officials to arrest or detained 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 to convince the judge that probable cause exists, indicating the subject may have committed a crime.  

Can Arrests be made without an Arrest Warrant?

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 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 the state of 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 is a Sex Offender Listing?

A sex offender listing is a public registry that contains information on offenders convicted of committing a sex crime. 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). Rape is viewed by Kentucky law as a first-degree felony. The Kentucky State Police also provides online access to sex offender information via a sex offender registry.

What is a Serious Traffic Violation?

In the state of Kentucky, serious traffic violations are categorized as any offense that involves the willful disregard for public safety. Serious traffic violations may also involve serious bodily injury, damage to property, or death. In addition, having multiple minor traffic violations may lead to a serious traffic violation. Traffic ticket fines and court fees in Kentucky vary by offense and district court. Traffic violations may also lead to a suspension of license.

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.

What are 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, which maintains an inmate database that contains information like the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense and sometimes photos.

How do I Look Up a Prisoner in Kentucky Prison?

Public information on offenders held in Kentucky state prison can be obtained using the online search service managed by the Kentucky Department of Correction. It allows for searches by offender type, location and conviction information.

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, as a condition of parole that the parolee pays a monthly supervision fee. 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.


How Does Parole Work in Kentucky?

The decision of whether an inmate qualifies for consideration of parole is decided by the Kentucky Parole Board. 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 public preliminary list of inmates eligible for parole, arranged by county of conviction. It provides the inmate name, DOC number, location, indictment number and the offense for which the inmate was convicted of.

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.

Are Probation Records Public in Kentucky?

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. However, specific details of the probation, such as whether a person is complying with set probation conditions, remains 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 found to be “adjudicated delinquent”. These criminal records are often thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, 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.

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. As a result of this, the information provided on will vary from person to person.

Kentucky State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (502) 383-5741

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