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Worcester County Arrest Records

In Worcester County, Massachusetts, law enforcement agencies have the legal authority to arrest individuals who commit or are suspected of committing crimes. This authority is given to such agencies under Massachusetts law, particularly PART IV of the state’s General Law. Such crimes may be grouped separately into infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies on a case-by-case basis. Each offense will also bring about legal processes and consequences.

Generally, an arrest entails a suspect being taken to the nearest police department or jail to be processed. Processed information usually includes personal information, physical descriptions, photographs, fingerprints, biometrics, and possessions at the time of the arrest. The details of their alleged crime are also included in this information. After this, the suspect may be released on oath to appear or kept in a jail facility operated by the arresting agency. This will usually depend on the type and severity of the crime they are accused of.

Although arrest records are normally maintained by the law enforcement agencies that generated them, they are important pieces of criminal records. Hence, other (local and state)government agencies and the public are given access to such documents. For instance, arrest records in Massachusetts may be part of Worcester County Court Records maintained by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) and Massachusetts Courts.

Are Arrest Records Public in Worcester County?

Yes. Under the Massachusetts Public Records Act, the general public can access arrest records maintained by law enforcement in the state and its counties. The Massachusetts Public Record Act is the state law that governs the dissemination of public records including law enforcement documents such as arrest records.

Although arrest records are considered public records and can be accessed by the public, not all information on them may be accessible. The Public Records Act specifies certain types of information that are exempt from disclosure. Below is some information on an arrest record that may be exempt from public view.

  • Sensitive personal information, including medical records, social security details, and other sensitive information
  • Information about victims of the crime that could identify or endanger them
  • Information about the arrest that could prevent the suspect from having a fair trial
  • Arrest records of suspects who were minors or juveniles at the time of arrest are usually exempt.
  • Details of an arrest record are usually exempt if the record has been expunged or sealed by a court order.

It should be noted that although an arrest record may be exempt from access to the general public, some may still be able to acquire it. These may include the suspect on the record, their attorney, court officials, and government agencies for official duties.

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

In Massachusetts, public arrest records generally contain information about the suspect and the arrest. While the details may vary, the information on the arrest record will typically include the following.

  • The personal information about the suspect, including their full name, date of birth, gender, and ethnicity
  • The suspect's occupation, if available
  • Information about the particular arrest, such as the date and time of the arrest, the location of the arrest, and the arresting law enforcement agency
  • Details of the charges against the suspect at the time of arrest, including type of offense (infraction, misdemeanor, or felony) and the statutes or laws broken by the charge
  • Booking information at arrest, including the mugshot taken at booking, booking date and time, and booking number/identification number
  • Information about the suspect’s bail, if applicable, including the amount set for bail and any conditions attached
  • Court information is also typically included, such as the chosen court and its location, the case and docket numbers, plus any scheduled court dates.

Some arrest records will also include the current status or result of the case, such as whether it was dismissed or pending or whether the suspect was convicted or acquitted. As previously stated, not all information on an arrest record may be public. Sensitive personal information, juvenile/minor arrest records, victim details, and information that may prevent a fair trial are usually exempt from public access.

Find Worcester County Arrest Records

Worcester County Inmate records can be found by contacting the particular local law enforcement office in Worcester that made the arrest. These local departments will maintain arrest records for incidents within their jurisdiction.

As the county's main law enforcement agency, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office provides access to arrest records. Record seekers can directly request access to records in the sheriff's office's custody, including arrest records, from the Public Records Access Officer (RAO).

The RAO is in charge of receiving, tracking, and responding to record requests and can be reached at:

Public Records Access Officer
Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and House of Corrections
5 Paul X. Tivnan Drive
West Boylston, MA 01583
Phone: (508) 854-1927

To request an arrest record, the requester must provide the following information in their request.

  • The name of the subject of the search, including any known aliases
  • Their date of birth
  • The date of the arrest
  • The location of the town

The Sheriff's Office website also provides an Inmate Search page where visitors can search for individuals arrested and in custody at the county jail. State-level arrest records can be requested from the Massachusetts State Police through the Online Records Center. The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) also provides access to criminal records, including arrest records. Interested parties can obtain such records using the iCORI online database.

Free Arrest Record Search in Worcester County

Interested parties in Worcester County can seek free access to police reports, including arrest records, from local law enforcement agencies. Some agencies, such as the Worcester Police Department, offer access to police reports and other public records at no cost.

Record seekers can also look up Worcester County arrest records for free via some third-party record websites or online databases. Private companies and individuals who gather information from many sources, including law enforcement agencies, own such databases. While some websites allow a free name-based search to look up arrest records, others may require a fee for any copies or downloads of an individual’s arrest records.

Get Worcester County Criminal Records

Criminal records are a compilation of documents detailing an individual's known criminal history. It contains everything from arrest records to court case details with convictions or prison sentencing information.

There is no single repository for criminal records in Massachusetts. Criminal record checks/requests can be made at several county, state, and federal government agencies. Requests for different types of criminal records can be made at the municipal police departments, the county sheriff’s office, or the state police.

The best option is to contact the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, which offers two types of criminal record checks. These are a name-based criminal record check and a fingerprint-based record check. These checks can be obtained by registering on the online Criminal Offender Record Information system iCORI. A name-based criminal record check will require an individual’s name and date of birth and will return results based on checking Massachusetts court records for records on the individual. Results from name-based checks contain Massachusetts information only and are not supported by fingerprint identification.

On the other hand, a fingerprint-based check matches an individual’s prints against fingerprints collected in Massachusetts and other states. This is more comprehensive as it will return results on arrests and convictions made in Massachusetts and other states. For any questions, contact the DCJIS at:

Department of Criminal Justice Information Services
200 Arlington Street, Suit 2200
Chelsea, MA 02150
Phone: (617) 660-4600
TTY: (617) 660-4606
Fax: (617) 660-4613

Worcester County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Arrest and criminal records are two types of official documentation detailing an individual's criminal history. An arrest record is a document that details an individual’s arrest providing information about the event. It is less detailed than a criminal record and its main purpose is to record the fact that an individual was taken into custody for a crime. It usually contains only details of the arrest including the date of the arrest, location, charges brought, and arresting agency.

On the other hand, criminal records or criminal histories are more comprehensive records of an individual's criminal actions. It is more detailed, and its main purpose is to provide a complete history of an individual's interactions with the criminal justice system. It differs from an arrest record in that it has a wider range of details of criminal activity than arrests. Apart from the suspect's personal information, a criminal record will provide the following information

  • Details of all arrests
  • A detailed list of all charges the suspect has faced
  • Details of all court proceedings and outcomes of cases
  • Details of all convictions, including the offense and any sentences
  • Details of any rehabilitation measures, including prison time served, probation, and parole

Simply put, an arrest record will mainly detail information about a particular arrest, while a criminal record is a comprehensive history of an individual’s criminal history, including all arrests, court cases and proceedings, convictions, and jail/prison time.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

An arrest record in Massachusetts will usually remain on an individual’s record indefinitely. The arrest will be attached to the person’s record for life unless the record is sealed or expunged by a court order. This means that unless a court action is taken to remove it the arrest will appear whenever a background check is performed using the individual’s name.

To remove the arrest from a record, Massachusetts law allows the record to be sealed or expunged if the individual meets eligibility requirements.

Expunge Worcester County Arrest Records

To expunge an arrest record means to remove it from an individual’s record like it never happened. In Massachusetts and, by extension, Worcester County, an individual may qualify for two forms of expungement. These are a name-based expungement and a time-based expungement. A record can only be expunged if it qualifies for it under Massachusetts General Law c.276, § 100E-100U. Individuals may obtain a name-based expungement of their record if the arrest record was created based on the following.

  • The record was created based on false use of your identification
  • Unauthorized use of your identity
  • Theft of your identity
  • The offense(s) is/are no longer a crime (i.e. possession of small amounts of marijuana)
  • Errors made by law enforcement officers
  • Errors made by a civilian or expert witness(es)
  • Errors made by the court or its employees
  • Fraud perpetrated upon the court

To get a name-based expungement, the applicant must demonstrate to the judge that the record came about because of one of the above reasons. The applicant must fill out and submit the Petition for a Name-Based Expungement form. In the form, all charges connected to the expungement must be listed. If these are records from different cases, then separate forms must be filled out for each case. On the form select the option for a hearing, at which the applicant in person may explain why the petition fits the criteria and granting it would be in the interest of justice.

The petition must be filed in the court clerk’s office where the arrest to be expunged was tried. A copy of the petition and any supporting documents that were filed must also be provided to the District Attorney Office in Worcester that would have prosecuted the case. The judge overseeing the case will only order expungement if they agree the arrest was created because of any of the above reasons and expunging it would be in the interests of justice.

To apply for a time-based expungement of a record, the offense must meet the following criteria.

  • The requester must have no more than 2 records (but multiple offenses arising out of the same incident are considered a single offense)
  • The offense didn't result in death or serious bodily injury nor was the offense committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury
  • The offense wasn't committed while armed with or carrying a dangerous weapon
  • The offense wasn't committed against an elderly or disabled person
  • The offense isn't a sex offense, a sex offense involving a child, or a sexually violent offense
  • The offense isn't Operating Under the Influence (of liquor or drugs)
  • The offense isn't a firearms violation or a violation for illegal sale of a firearm
  • The offense isn't a violation of any restraining or harassment prevention orders
  • The offense isn't an assault or assault and battery on a household member; and
  • The offense must not be a felony violation of G.L. c. 265 (Murder)
  • If the offense to be expunged is a felony, you must have completed all parts of your sentence at least 7 years ago. If the offense is a misdemeanor, you must have completed all parts of your sentence at least 3 years ago.

If the applicant meets the requirements, they may fill out and submit the Time-Based Petition to Expunge Form. The form and any other available supporting documents must be mailed to the Commissioner of Probation at:

Office of the Commissioner of Probation
One Ashburton Place, Room 405
Boston, MA 02108

If the Commissioner determines that all the criteria have been met in the petition, the office will notify the district attorney of the county where the arrest was prosecuted. The district attorney has the right to respond and a hearing will be held if they oppose the petition. If they do not then a hearing may or may not be held.

When an expungement is granted, the court clerk will provide the applicant with a copy of the order. The applicant can also safely say they have no record without fear or perjury. It should be noted that there are no fees for the expungement process.

In Massachusetts, Sealing a Case Record is different from expunging a record. Sealing a record makes it inaccessible to the general public while expunging a record completely removes the record from the person's history.

Worcester County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant in Worcester is a form of legal documentation issued and signed by a court magistrate or judge authorizing law enforcement to arrest an individual. Typically, these warrants are issued by the judge when law enforcement m shows probable cause. This means that they show a reasonable cause to believe that the suspect named on the arrest warrant has committed a crime. This will usually be in the form of an affidavit to the judge showing that there is reasonable cause or officers/prosecutors presenting evidence of a crime to the judge.

If the judge agrees with the law enforcement, they will issue the warrant for the suspect's arrest.

The warrant must be issued by a judge or magistrate from the correct jurisdiction. In this case, it would be a judge from the district court in Worcester County. The arrest warrant contains information about the suspect and the crime. This will include the name and identifying information about the suspect, such as physical description. It will detail the specific charges and crimes the warrant covers. The warrant will also have the location where it was issued, the signature of the judge or magistrate who issued it, and the date it was issued.

Worcester County Arrest Warrant Search

Interested parties have a few options for searching for active arrest warrants in Worcester County, Massachusetts. They can obtain them using resources from local law enforcement agencies and the local trial courts.

As the main law enforcement agency for Worcester County, the Worcester Sheriff’s Office allows the public to request information on active arrest warrants. Record seekers can request information on arrest warrants by contacting the public records access officer(PRAO). The PRAO is responsible for answering requests for public records, including active arrest warrants and can be reached at:

Public Records Access Officer
Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and House of Corrections
5 Paul X. Tivnan Drive
West Boylston, MA 01583
Phone: (508) 854-1927

Municipal police departments, such as the Worcester Police Department, can also be contacted for information about active city warrants. The trial courts in Massachusetts, such as the Worcester County District Court, also provide resources and information concerning active arrest warrants for ongoing cases. You can obtain this information by addressing a request to the Clerk of the Court.

Do Worcester County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Arrest warrants in Massachusetts do not expire. They remain active until the suspect is arrested, turns themselves in, or dies. The local court judge or magistrate can cancel arrest warrants if deemed invalid or illegal.

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