How To Find Out If Someone Is In Police Custody

If you are wondering how to find out if someone is being held in police custody, several options are available. The first step is to contact the police department with jurisdiction over the area where the person was detained and taken to jail. 

This information can be obtained by conducting an online search or calling the non-emergency number of the local law enforcement agency. 

Following receipt of contact information for the appropriate police department, you must provide them with the full name and date of birth of the individual in question. 

Afterward, the police department will be able to tell you whether or not that individual is currently in their custody. Let’s look at more ways to find out if someone is in police custody.

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Is This Considered Public Information?

Those living in the United States have a fundamental right to obtain access to public information. Citizens have the right to freely access information about their government under the Constitution’s First Amendment.

This guarantees them the right to know what their government is doing. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule, and one of the most significant of these is information obtained through law enforcement records. 

Police departments are not required to release information about people in their custody, and this applies to both criminal records and booking records. 

Because disclosing this information could jeopardize ongoing investigations and release dangerous criminals back into the community, the court has granted this exception. 

As a further point, police departments frequently assert that disclosing this information would violate the privacy of those who are in their custody.

How To Find Out If Someone Is In Police Custody?

Call The Local Police

If you think the police have arrested someone you know, your first step should be to call the local police department. Unfortunately, many times, the police will not release information about an arrest until after the person has been arraigned in court. 

However, you may be able to find out if someone is in police custody by calling the jail or detention center in the county where the person was arrested. 

You can usually find this information on the county website. Be prepared to give the name and date of birth of the person you are inquiring about and your own contact information. 

Once you have this information, you should be able to find out if someone is in police custody. If they are, you will likely be able to get more information about their case and the charges.

Contact a Local County Jail

It is best to contact the county jail in the area where you believe someone you know has been arrested if you have reason to believe that they have been detained. 

They will be able to tell you whether or not the person you are looking for is currently in the custody of the county jail’s staff. 

If you go to the county website and look for the inmate search page, you should be able to find the information you need in most cases. 

You will typically be able to search for an inmate by their name or booking number once you have found this page, so be sure to bookmark it. 

If the person you are looking for is currently in police custody, this is an excellent method of discovering their whereabouts.

Call a Bail Bondsman

With access to a nationwide database of arrest records, bail bondsmen can usually tell you whether or not someone has been arrested and where they are being held within minutes of speaking with one of them. 

Still, they may not be able to provide you with any information unless you are related to them or have power of attorney. 

If the person you are looking for has been arrested in another state, it may be more challenging to obtain information about them.

However, a bail bondsman will be a great option. It is possible to locate a bail bondsman in your area by searching online or looking through the yellow pages.

Check Arrest Records

When a person is arrested, their name is typically entered into a police database accessible to the public. This database is generally considered public information, which means that anyone can access it. 

There are a few different methods for looking up someone’s name in a police database. The most common method is to use a search engine such as Google to find what you’re looking for. 

Simply type the individual’s name into the search bar and press the Enter key. If the individual has been apprehended, their name should appear in the search results. 

Another option for finding out about someone’s arrest history is to go to the website of the local police department where the arrest took place and search for their name. 

Check Public Notices

Checking for public notices can be an excellent way to determine if someone is being held in custody by the authorities. These notices are typically posted in public places, such as the police station or the courthouse, to alert the public. 

The notice will typically include the name and address of the person who has been taken into custody and the reason for their arrest and detention. 

However, it is essential to note that not all arrests are announced in the media or on social media platforms. In many cases, arrests are made with little fanfare, and the only way to learn about them is through personal connections or news reports from the media. 

As a result, looking at public notices should only be one part of your investigation into whether someone is being held in custody.

Bottom Line

When it comes to determining whether or not someone is in police custody, several options are available. Beginning your search with the local police department where the individual was last seen or arrested is an excellent place to start your search for the individual. 

Also available are online databases and websites that keep track of this information, making it possible to look for it. 

The final option is to search for any individual mentions under consideration on social media platforms. It should be possible to determine whether or not someone is being held in police custody with a bit of investigation.


bryan rucker
Written by Brian Williams

Brian is an expert in security, privacy, and information. He has studied background checks, criminal, people search, and such topics over the last 5 years. He is also an avid writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge through this blog. Read more of Brian's articles.