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Berks County Arrest Records

Berks County arrest records document instances where law enforcement detains citizens. These records include the persons' personal information and details of the arrest. Law enforcement officers may perform an arrest to investigate or prevent a crime. After arrest, they are taken to the Berks County Sheriff’s Office Central Booking Center for "booking," a process that involves the documentation of the arrestee’s personal information, alleged crimes, and date of arrest. After booking, arrestees are held in the Booking Center Detention Facility until trial. The outcome of the trial determines if the arrestee is released or transported to the Berks County Jail. Arrest records are typically managed by county law enforcement, but if the arrest leads to a judicial proceeding, they become part of Berks County Court Records.

Are Arrest Records Public in Berks County?

Yes, Berks County arrest records are public per the Pennsylvania Right-To-Know Law. Therefore, they can be released to any legal resident of the United States upon request. Nonetheless, some records are exempted from public disclosure under the Right-To-Know Law. They include:

  • Juvenile records
  • Details of an ongoing investigation
  • Information that would deny an arrestee the right to a fair court hearing
  • Information that would compromise the physical safety of individuals involved in the case
  • Medical records and DNA records of the victim

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Public arrest records in Berks County contain the following information:

  • Arrestee’s personal information (full name, date of birth)
  • Arrestee’s physical description (height, weight, eye, and hair colors)
  • Date and location of arrest
  • Arresting agency and officer
  • Alleged crimes and charges
  • Fingerprints and mugshots
  • Bail amount

Note: If any of this information is believed to compromise an ongoing investigation or the safety of an individual, it will be withheld by the record custodian.

Berks County Crime Rate

Crime statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania UCR show that 8,133 offenses were reported to Berks County police departments in 2023. Larceny theft was the predominant crime, with 3,590 cases (44%). This was followed by simple assaults, which resulted in 2,639 (32%) crime reports.

Berks County police departments also received up to 584 reports for burglary and 519 reports for aggravated assault.

Berks County Arrest Statistics

According to the Annual SRS Summary Report compiled by the state of Pennsylvania, 7,391 adult arrests were made by law enforcement officers in Berks County. Of that number, 1,497 (20.1%) were made for cases of assaults. Berks County police departments also made 1,189 arrests (16.1%) for minor offenses (excluding traffic offenses) and 943 arrests (12.8%) for larceny-theft.

Find Berks County Arrest Records

Over 37 police departments, including the sheriff’s office, are responsible for the maintenance of law and order in Berks County. Officers of these departments have the right to arrest any individual caught committing or suspected of a crime in the county. Local, state, and federal agencies may also arrest individuals who disturb the county's peace by violating federal and state laws.

When arrests are made by any police department in Berks, the inmates are held in the Berks County Jail. To find inmates, one can contact the Berks County Jail System at (610) 208-4800 to inquire about the inmate. You should listen to the instructions and dial the associated extension as directed. You can also visit the sheriff’s office to inquire about the location of an inmate in police custody. Both measures require one to provide at least the first name and last name of the inmate.

When arrests in Berks County are made by federal/state agencies, the inmate may be detained in the Berks County Jail or any of the federal prisons in Pennsylvania. One can locate them via any of the following means:

  • For federal inmates, you can search the Federal Bureau of Prisons online portal to determine the federal prison where the inmate is detained.
  • The Central Booking Division of the Sheriff’s Office may provide details about the inmate's location, as they also handle booking for state inmates.
  • You can search the Inmate/Parolee Locator on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) webpage to obtain information on inmates under the custody of the DOC.
  • You can also contact the arresting agency to find an inmate or use their inmate locator tool, if available.

Free Arrest Record Search in Berks County

Per the Right-To-Know Law, residents of the United States can request Berks County Arrest records from police departments and law enforcement agencies. Requests to inspect arrest records attract no cost. However, requesters may be charged for duplication of arrest records.

Anyone can utilize the Sheriff’s Inmate Locator to obtain Berk's arrest records. The inmate locator is a free tool that provides arrest records of persons in Berks police custody. Searches on the portal can be done by name or ID number, and it provides details like the booking date and custody status of the inmate. Notably, requesters are required to sign up to obtain complete arrest details.

One can also approach the office of the Open Records Officer attached to the Sheriff's office to request Berks arrest records. You also opt to forward a complete Open Records Request Form to the OpenRecords Officer via email or mail to:

Chief Clerk,
CountyOpen RecordsOfficer,
13th Floor Services Center,
633 Court Street,
Reading, PA 19601

Residents may also be able to conduct arrest record searches on third-party websites. Though owned by non-government organizations, most third-party websites have a bank of public records compiled from different government agencies. They provide these public records to requesters; however, the services are not always free. You may be required to subscribe or pay a fee before arrest records are released.

Get Berks County Criminal Records

Berks County criminal records, better known as Criminal History Record Information (CHRI), is an official document that contains details of an individual’s contacts with the criminal justice system, including police departments, law enforcement agencies, and trial courts. These details include records of arrests, court dispositions, and pending warrants.

Per the Pennsylvania Criminal History Information Act, anyone can request criminal records. However, complete records are only released to criminal justice agencies. Criminal records released to individuals and non-criminal justice agencies are subject to edit in line with the Criminal History Information Act.

Pennsylvania criminal records are maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police Department. Therefore, Berks criminal records can be obtained from there. To achieve this, you can use the Pennsylvania Access To Criminal History (PATCH) system, which was designed to enable easy criminal record checks. With the PATCH system, you can send requests for criminal records online. Note that a fee of $22 must be paid via credit card before requests are processed. Record subjects can request for access to criminal history. Such requests should be submitted via mail with a valid government-issued ID and proof of payment of $20.

Record subjects can also request their criminal history information from the Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI only accepts written requests sent online or via mail. Requesters are required to pay $18 before requests are processed.

Berks County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Although many individuals tend to substitute the terms “arrest records” and “criminal records” for each other, they refer to distinct documents in Berks County.

In Berks County, arrest records are created by the Central Booking Division of the Sheriff’s office. They are also maintained by the sheriff’s office, other police departments, and other law enforcement agencies. Arrest records give details of an arrest and the arrestee, including the subject’s personal information, physical description, charges, incident reports, the arresting officer, and the arrest outcome. Arrest records do not contain details of court hearings or other crimes the subject has committed.

On the other hand, criminal records contain a compilation of records from different agencies in the criminal justice system. In Berks County, it is referred to as criminal history record information (CHRI). Berks CHRI contains details of a subject’s arrests and court convictions. Information found in the CHRI may include the subject’s personal history, mugshots, arrest records, active warrants, fingerprints, and court dispositions. Berks criminal records are maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police Department.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Pennsylvania laws do not provide a specific expiration period for arrests on one’s records. To remove an arrest from one’s records, you may have to request record sealing or expungement. The Berks County Rule of Criminal Procedure indicates that an arrest record becomes eligible for expungement after the subject has completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program or all charges have been dismissed.

Expunge Berks County Arrest Records

Arrest records can either be sealed or expunged. When sealed, they are no longer accessible to the public but remain accessible to government agencies. On the other hand, expungement refers to deleting an arrest from one’s records so that they are no longer accessible to the public and government agencies.

Per the Berks County Rule of Criminal Procedure, not all arrest records are eligible for expungement. For records to be expunged, you have to meet one of these requirements:

  • You have completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program (A.R.D).
  • Your charges were dismissed without convictions.
  • You were granted a summary conviction in court.
  • You have clocked 70 years and have not been arrested in the past ten years.

Eligible individuals are required to request an Individual Access and Review from the Pennsylvania State Police Department. The records should then be taken to the Berks County Clerk of Courts to petition the court for expungement.

Individuals who are not eligible for expungement can opt for record sealing. However, eligibility for record sealing varies among offenses per the Limited Access Law. Some records may be sealed five years after the completion of the sentence, while others may take longer. To seal a record, one can approach the Berks County Clerk of Courts to petition for sealing.

Berks County Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants are official documents issued by a judge or magistrate that authorize a police officer to arrest and detain individuals suspected of violating the law. Warrants are usually issued before arrests are made; however, Pennsylvania Law permits an officer to arrest without a warrant if there is probable cause.

An arrest warrant in Berks County must contain the following information:

  • The subject’s name
  • The reason for the arrest
  • Name and signature of issuing judge/magistrate

Berks County Arrest Warrant Search

Various options can be adopted in searching for active arrest warrants in Berks County. One can visit the Warrants Division of the Sheriff’s office to conduct a warrant search. Another option is to approach the Berks County Clerk of Courts to request a warrant search. You can also request criminal court records, as this will provide details of a court hearing, including the issuance of a warrant.

Berks County arrest warrant search can be conducted online on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s warrant search portal. This portal provides access to all Pennsylvania arrest warrants issued by judges in Pennsylvania. To use this portal, interested individuals typically need to sign up.

Do Berks County Arrest Warrants Expire?

Infinitely. Arrest warrants issued in Pennsylvania do not have an expiry date. Rather, they remain active until the subject dies, is apprehended, or turns himself in.

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