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West Virginia Arrest Records

West Virginia Arrest Records serve as vital repositories of information related to individuals arrested and charged with criminal offenses within the state's jurisdiction. Despite being considered part of criminal records, these records do not indicate definitive evidence of a person's crime.

In West Virginia, these records contain essential information about an individual's arrest, including the date and time of the incident, the charges filed against them, the arresting agency, and any court dispositions or convictions. These records may also include details such as the location of the arrest, the arresting officer's name, and any bail or bond information. 

By compiling this comprehensive data, arrest records provide a comprehensive overview of an individual's encounters with the criminal justice system, offering a clearer understanding of their past behavior and potential risks.

The West Virginia Public Records Act governs the availability of arrest records in the state. Enacted to ensure transparency and accountability, it recognizes the public's right to access certain government records, including arrest records.

Under this law, public members can request and obtain copies of these records, subject to specific exemptions and limitations.

What Laws Govern Arrests in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, laws and regulations are in place to keep public order, safeguard individual rights, and ensure fair justice regarding arrests. These laws provide guidelines for law enforcement officers when initiating arrests, determining probable cause, and protecting the rights of apprehended individuals.

One of the fundamental laws that govern arrests in the state is the West Virginia Code, specifically Chapter 62, which encompasses the state's Criminal Procedure.

This chapter outlines the powers and responsibilities of law enforcement officers when making arrests. It clarifies the circumstances under which an arrest can be made, the employment of methods to effect an arrest, and the rights of the arrested individuals.

Under this law, officers can arrest with or without a warrant when they have probable cause to believe that an individual has committed or is committing a crime. Probable cause refers to the reasonable belief that an offense has been committed and that the person to be arrested is the perpetrator.

When making an arrest, law enforcement officers in West Virginia have the authority to use reasonable force if needed. However, the use of force must be proportionate to the circumstances and must not exceed what is necessary to effect the arrest or defend against resistance.

Furthermore, officers must inform the person being arrested of the reason for the arrest and promptly take them before a judicial officer for an initial appearance.

What Is the Arrest Booking Process in West Virginia?

The arrest booking process is a crucial component of law enforcement procedures in West Virginia. When officers take individuals into custody, they undergo a series of standardized steps to ensure accurate identification, collect evidence, and gather pertinent information.

The procedure for booking an arrested suspect varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, the standard process in West Virginia may include the following:

Police Interrogation

Upon arrest, the officer will question the suspect during the booking process to obtain basic information, such as the suspect's name, address, date of birth, and other relevant details.

This questioning aims to establish a preliminary understanding of the individual's identity and background, which helps generate accurate West Virginia Arrest Records and aid subsequent legal proceedings.


After the interrogation, one of the steps in the booking process in West Virginia is the capture of a mugshot. It involves photographing the suspect's face and profile, which serves as a visual record for identification purposes.

In West Virginia, the mugshot is typically taken against a standardized background, ensuring consistency in the images used for future reference and legal proceedings.


Following the mugshot, the suspect will undergo fingerprinting. In West Virginia, officers use specialized equipment to obtain unmistakable fingerprints from all ten fingers.

These prints are crucial for identification and are cross-referenced with existing databases to determine if the individual has any prior criminal records or outstanding warrants.

Officers in West Virginia conduct a full body search to ensure the safety of all parties involved and prevent the introduction of contraband into detention facilities.

This search, performed by trained officers, thoroughly examines the suspect's body, including clothing, shoes, and personal belongings. The goal is to detect and confiscate prohibited items that could pose a risk to the individual or others in custody.

Medical Examination

Officers will also conduct a medical examination as part of the booking process. This examination serves two primary purposes: assessing the suspect's physical condition and identifying any pre-existing injuries or health issues.

Additionally, this examination ensures that the individual is fit for detention and determines if they require immediate medical attention or specialized care.

Confiscation of Belongings and Inventories

The officer will confiscate and document the suspect's belongings during the booking process. It includes personal items such as wallets, cell phones, jewelry, and other possessions deemed relevant to the arrest or potential evidence.

The officer will secure these items to maintain a chain of custody and protect the suspect's rights and the investigation's integrity.

DNA Swab

In some instances, officers in West Virginia may collect a DNA swab during the booking process. This process involves using a swab to order a sample of the suspect's saliva or other bodily fluids for genetic analysis.

In West Virginia, officers commonly utilized DNA swabs to compare the suspect's genetic profile with evidence found at the crime scene, aiding in identifying and prosecuting the individual if necessary.

What Are West Virginia Mugshot Records?

Mugshot Records, part of West Virginia Arrest Records, provide visual documentation of individuals arrested and booked into custody within the state. These records serve various purposes, including assisting in investigations, identifying suspects, and promoting transparency within the legal system.

In West Virginia, mugshot records are accessible to the public, although the availability and ease of access may vary depending on the jurisdiction. These records serve as valuable resources for individuals who wish to conduct background checks, verify the identities of potential employees, or gather information for personal or professional reasons.

When searching for West Virginia Mugshot Records, there are a few key avenues to explore. One of the primary sources is the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority (WVRJA). 

The WVRJA operates regional jails throughout the state and maintains custody of pretrial and sentenced individuals. They are responsible for documenting and preserving the booking records, including the associated mugshots.

The WVRJA provides an online inmate search featured on the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDCR) website, which allows individuals to search for mugshots and other relevant information by entering the inmate's name.

However, the availability of mugshots on the WVRJA search tool may vary depending on the regional jail where the individual is held. Some provincial jails may not provide online access to mugshot records, requiring alternative methods for retrieval.

Another avenue to explore is contacting local law enforcement agencies or county Sheriff's Offices. These agencies often maintain their mugshot records for individuals arrested within their jurisdiction.

Individuals can inquire about their procedures for obtaining mugshot records by contacting them directly. It may involve submitting a formal request or visiting the agency in person.

How Long Does an Arrest Record Stay in West Virginia?

Individuals who wish to evaluate the potential impact of West Virginia Arrest Records on their personal or professional lives must be aware of how long these records remain on file.

In West Virginia, arrest records have no time limit. It indicates that these documents do not deteriorate over time. When a charge is made on an individual's arrest record, it will remain on their file for life unless specific legal actions are executed.

Fortunately, West Virginia law provides specific circumstances under which an individual may be eligible for expungement. Generally, individuals with acquitted and dismissed charges or completed a pretrial diversion program may qualify for expungement in this state.

How To Expunge an Arrest Record in West Virginia

In West Virginia, individuals can remove their arrest record through expungement.

In this state, expungement is governed by specific statutes and procedures designed to balance the interests of individuals seeking relief from their past arrest records with the need to maintain public safety.

However, the expungement law in this state is intricate, as each rule has different laws and requirements. For example, in West Virginia, there are distinct methods for removing criminal convictions after being found not guilty following a trial and having charges dismissed.

In addition, there is a time allotment within which individuals must petition for expungement. Individuals must wait two months before filing an expungement for dismissed charges. On the other hand, a person guilty of a crime cannot petition for expungement until they have completed their prison or jail term.

After filing for expungement, individuals must also show that the court should grant the request. The court will evaluate the evidence's significance before deciding whether to expunge a record from an arrest record.

Expungement Process in West Virginia

In West Virginia, expunging criminal records applies to individuals with criminal convictions and those facing criminal charges.

If an individual has a criminal conviction and wants to delete their record, they must submit an expungement form to the Circuit Clerk's Office in the county that handled the case. They can obtain this form from the Circuit Clerk's office or the West Virginia Judiciary website.

However, note that there are separate forms for misdemeanor and felony convictions, so individuals should choose the appropriate form carefully. Also, it is crucial to read the instructions thoroughly and follow any additional steps requested by the court, as failing to do so may lead to the dismissal of the case.

Once filed, individuals must serve these documents to the court that handled their case, the chief of the arresting agency, the superintendent of West Virginia police, and the county's prosecuting attorney where the conviction occurred. It is essential to ensure that all the relevant parties receive the necessary documents to proceed with the expungement process.

The expungement process for a criminal conviction is generally similar for individuals facing criminal charges in West Virginia. Individuals must also go to the county's Circuit Clerk's Office that handled them and file the appropriate form.

It is essential to make sure to choose the correct form that corresponds to their specific case. By submitting the form to the Circuit Clerk's Office, individuals can initiate the expungement process for their criminal charges.

How To Search West Virginia Arrest Records

West Virginia offers multiple avenues for obtaining arrest records. In this state, the WVDCR has developed an accessible and user-friendly online platform, the Offender Search system. This system allows people to search for information about offenders based on the facility they are in.

When searching for arrest records using the Offender Search (Jails), individuals must enter at least the first three letters of the offender's last name. After entering the required information, the system will process it and display a list of matching offenders based on the criteria.

Once the search results are shown, seekers can review the list of matching offenders. Each result typically includes basic information like the offender's name and location. By clicking "More info" next to an offender's name, they can access additional details about their arrest, conviction, and sentence.

Alternatively, individuals can use the Offender Search (Prisons) to find information about inmates in the state's prisons by entering the offender's full name or Offender Identification Number (OID).

For those who prefer a more traditional method, West Virginia allows individuals to request in-person arrest records. Interested parties can visit the local law enforcement agency where the arrest occurred. There, they can submit a formal request for the arrest record and provide a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license, to confirm their identity.

Another way to obtain West Virginia Arrest Records is by sending a request through mail. Individuals must write a formal letter to the appropriate law enforcement agency or county courthouse to access such records.

Lastly, interested parties can access someone's arrest records by conducting criminal background checks through the West Virginia State Police (WVSP).

Counties in West Virginia

Jails and Prisons in West Virginia

Charleston Correctional Center (CCC)1356 Hansford St., Charleston, WV
Martinsburg Correctional Center (MCC)38 Grapevine Road, Martinsburg, WV
Huntington Work Release Center (HWRC)1236 Fifth Avenue, Huntington, WV
Parkersburg Correctional Center (PBCC)225 Holiday Hills Drive, Parkersburg, WV
Wood County WV Jail401 2nd Street Suite 11, Parkersburg, WV
Beckley Correctional Center (BCC)111 S. Eisenhower Drive, Beckley, WV
Salem Correctional Center (SCC)7 Industrial Blvd., Industrial, WV
Mount Olive Correctional Complex (MOCC)1 Mountainside Way, Mount Olive, WV