Free Texas Arrest & Criminal Records Search: Every County in TX

Free Texas Arrest Records & Criminal Records Search
Access Texas Records: background checks, warrants, probation and parole, court records, and all criminal and arrest records.

Search Texas criminal records for free to find friends or family who have been incarcerated at anytime, or see the guide below on how to find recent arrests in every TX county through government repositories.

Due to the Freedom of Information Act, both arrest and Texas criminal records can be obtained in a matter of seconds if you know where to look for.

Additionally, this resource will show readers how to:

  • Get ahold of a Texas inmate and post their bail.
  • Check for criminal records, and probation and parole information in TX.
  • Find and obtain copies of criminal records in the state of Texas.
  • The best way to seal and expunge criminal records in TX.
  • Check for Texas state prisoners, as well as federal prisoners.
  • Perform a background check on anyone for personal or professional reasons.
  • Review and understand Texas laws surrounding public records.

No matter what you’re looking for, Texas Records Page is dedicated to make Texas state records and public records readily accessible.

Are Texas Criminal Records & Arrest Records Public Considered Public Record? What Records in TX Are Not Considered Public Records?

Criminal records in Texas are subject to the guidance in the Public Information Act, and the Texas Attorney General provides support and information to agencies that provide records either for personal or professional use.

Most criminal records are considered public records in Texas and can be released to anyone that requests them. These include arrests, convictions, and civil actions such as domestic violence orders or restraining orders for Class B misdemeanors or higher.1

Driving history is also public record and can include motor vehicle violations that are misdemeanor or felony charges.

Records that are not considered public include juvenile criminal records and those that have been sealed or expunged by a court in good standing in Texas. Investigative notes such as those for child abuse investigations are also not subject to disclosure to the public but may be accessible to other law enforcement agencies on a need-to-know basis.

Certain information is also removed from the record before it is released such as dates of birth, addresses or financial information.2

In addition, incident reports are typically not available for release until the case has been disposed of in court, and victim information is removed from the report before it is released, but accident reports can be provided by the state police or local law enforcement agency that took the accident report for use in insurance claims.

Withholding release of incident reports is covered in section 552.108(a)(1) of the Public Records Act.

The Texas State Attorney General provides a public information handbook that outlines the Public Records Act and helps individuals and agencies understand what records are accessible.

What Appears on a Texas Criminal Record vs What Appears on a Texas Arrest Record

Many refer to criminal records and arrest records as the same thing; however, there is a difference. Arrest records include charges that have been filed against the person, jail location, date the person was taken into custody and bond information.

Texas arrest records are not considered conviction records. An arrest report just shows someone has been accused of committing a crime.

Texas arrest records can be expunged in matters that result in acquittal or dismissal.

Criminal records are much more extensive, showing the disposition of the case and sentencing data if the person was convicted or entered a guilty plea. Criminal records, both convictions and non convictions can appear on a criminal history unless the matter has been expunged by the courts.

Driving history can also include criminal offense information if the individual has misdemeanor or felony driving offenses. A driving history can be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety in addition to full criminal history.

A screenshot from Texas Department of Public Safety, how to order a driver record page with an arrow pointing to the driver record request form.
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety12

The following official driving history can be obtained: all accidents and violations for the prior three years for type 2 and type 3 violations by submitting a Driver Record Request Form which can be downloaded from the DPS website and mailed to the following address:

Texas DPS
Driving Record Request
Post Office Box 149008
Austin Texas 78714-9008

While protective orders are not considered criminal records in Texas, they are sometimes included in a background check. The Texas Judiciary maintains an online portal to check for active protective orders against individuals.

A screenshot from Texas Online Public Information website showing a search bar for Texas protective orders.
Source: Texas Online Public Information – Courts (TOPICs)13

To run a protective order check, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Texas Court’s website.
  2. Select Protective Order Registry under Judicial Data.
  3. Click Protective Order Registry Public Access.
  4. Select Search Here under Protective Orders.
  5. Enter the subject’s first and last name, date of birth (if known) and county where the order was entered (if known), and click Search.

If a person has an active protective order against them, the searcher will be able to view how long the order is active but does not provide details. If a criminal charge was filed from the same incident, it will appear on a criminal record report.

How To Search Texas Arrest Records for Free and Find Out Why Someone Is in Jail

When someone is arrested and placed in jail, it’s important to know how to locate the individual for purposes of posting bond. In Texas, the Department of Public Safety has an online portal for locating individuals arrested in the state on a Class B misdemeanor or greater charge.

Searchers must create an account online to access the statewide database.1

Another way to find recent arrests is to reach out to the local jail directly. Texas has 254 counties, most of which have their own jails.

There are also 350 city jails in the state that can be how to find recent arrests. When searching Texas arrest records, the person must know where the individual was arrested and which facility they are transported to.

Or at least have an idea of which county or city they were in.

A screenshot from Texas Department of Public Safety home page showing a search bar.
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety14

Checking with the local law enforcement agency for Texas arrest records is the quickest way to find out if someone is in custody. While the statewide search through DPS can generate the information, there may be a delay on when the report is uploaded from the local agency; however, the Texas Department of Public Safety is the public records repository for the state.

How To Locate County Arrest Records, Inmate Lookup and Mugshots in Texas

Texas has 254 counties, each of which has a sheriff’s office that is responsible for inmate processing and housing, or transporting to the nearest facility if the county does not have its own jail.

The table below lists the sheriff’s offices in Texas that have working online links to locate inmates in that particular jail. Some of these links also include mugshots of the person included in the record, but not every jail maintains a mugshot database.

County Inmate Search Link County Jail or Sheriff’s Office Phone Number Shows Mugshots?
Andrews County Sheriff’s Office 432-523-5545
Angelina County Sheriff’s Office 936-634-3332
Aransas County Detention Center 361-790-0168
Archer County Sheriff’s Office 940-574-2571
Bell County Sheriff’s Office 254-933-5402
Bexar County Sheriff’s Office 210-335-0200 X
Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office 979-864-2336 X
Brazos County Sheriff’s Office 979-361-4900
Brown County Sheriff’s Office 325-641-2481 X
Callahan County Sheriff’s Office 325.854.1444
Clay County Sheriff’s Office 940-538-5611
Cochran County Sheriff’s Office 806-266-5211 X
Coleman County Sheriff’s Office 325-625-3506
Collin County Sheriff’s Office 972-547-5100
Comanche County Sheriff’s Office 325-356-2333 X
Cooke County Sheriff’s Office 940-665-3471
Coryell County Sheriff’s Office 254-865-7201 X
Dallas County Sheriff’s Office 214-761-9025
Deaf Smith County Sheriff’s Office 806-364-2311 X
Denton County Sheriff’s Office 940-349-1600 X
DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office 361-275-0034
Ector County Sheriff’s Office 432-335-3050 X
Edwards County Sheriff’s Office 830-683-4104 X
Ellis County Sheriff’s Office 972-825-4931
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office 719-390-2151 X
Elrath County Sheriff’s Office 254-965-3221 X
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office 281-341-4665
Galveston County Sheriff’s Office 409-766-2315
Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office 830-303-4188 X
Hardin County Sheriff’s Office 409-246-5100
Harris County Sheriff’s Office 713-221-6000 X
Hays County Sheriff’s Office 512-393-7832
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office 956-383-8114
Hockley County Sheriff’s Office 806-894-9334
Hood County Sheriff’s Office 817-579-3333
Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office 806-274-6343
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office 409-726-2500 X
Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Office 361-668-0341
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office 817-556-6000
Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office 972-932-9736
Kendall County Sheriff’s Office 830-249- 4989
Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office 361-595-8500
Lavaca County Sheriff’s Office 361-798-2420
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office 936 336-9395
Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office 806-775-7009
McCulloch County Sheriff’s Office 325-597-0639
McLennan County Sheriff’s Office 254-757-2555 X
Martin County Sheriff’s Office 432-756-3336
Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office 979-245-5526 X
Midland County Sheriff’s Office 432-742-7777 X
Milam County Sheriff’s Office 254-697-7033
Mills County Sheriff’s Office 325-648-2245
Montague County Sheriff’s Office 940-894-2871 X
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office 936-760-5800 Extension 2
Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office 936-560-7794
Navarro County Sheriff’s Office 903-654-3001
Orange County Sheriff’s Office 409-883-2612 X
Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office 940-659-1293
Panola County Sheriff’s Office 903-693-0333 X
Parker County Sheriff’s Office 817-594-8845 X
Parmer County Sheriff’s Office 806-481-3303
Polk County Sheriff’s Office 936-327-6822
Randall County Sheriff’s Office 806-468-5752 X
Reagan County Sheriff’s Office 325-884-2424
Red River Sheriff’s Office 903-427-3838
Robertson County Sheriff’s Office 979-828-3299
Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office 972-204-7000
Runnels County Sheriff’s Office 325-365-2121
Rusk County Sheriff’s Office 903-657-3581
Shackelford County Sheriff’s Office 325-762-9500
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office 936-598-5601
Sherman County Sheriff’s Office 785-890-4835
Smith County Sheriff’s Office 903-590-2661
Stephens County Sheriff’s Office 254-559-2705
Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office 254-559-2705
Titus County Sheriff’s Office 903-575-5602
Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office 325-655-8111
Travis County Sheriff’s Office 512-974-0845 X
Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office 903-567-4133
Victoria County Sheriff’s Office 361-575-0651
Walker County Sheriff’s Office 936-435-2412 X
Washington County Sheriff’s Office ​979-277-7373
Webb County Sheriff’s Office 956-523-4500 X
Wharton County Sheriff’s Office 979-532-1550
Williamson County Sheriff’s Office 512-943-1300
Wood County Sheriff’s Office 903-763-1236 X
Young County Sheriff’s Office 940-549-1555 X

Other counties in Texas either do not publish a link to search the county jail, or they do not have a facility in their county and contract with other departments to house inmates.

A screenshot from Rusk County Sheriff inmate listing with the arrest #, inmate name, book date, and charges shown in the page.
Source: Rusk County, Texas15

The list below shows the counties in Texas that do not have online links to search for jail inmates, or the county does not have a working jail and contracts with other counties to house arrestees. To learn about inmates in any of these counties, the searcher would need to call the number listed for that county.

Texas also uses VINELink as a way for victims to find out where offenders are being held.

County Jail on Sheriff’s Office Website, No Inmate Search Link

County Jail not Listed on Website

Counties jails house the majority of pre-trial inmates in Texas; however, there are some cities with holding facilities as well.

A screenshot from the official website of Dallas County showing the Dallas County jail look up system search bars.
Source: Dallas County Online Jail Search16

Alternatively, anyone can take the following steps to find recent arrests within their county:

  1. Open a search engine such as google and type “[your county] inmate lookup.” Ex. “Dallas County inmate lookup”
  2. Next, check the first 1-3 results for a .gov, .us, or .org link. It may be .com on occasion. The first result leads to the Dallas County Jail Lookup System.
  3. Once on the county website, look for “jail roster”, “inmate finder” and other similar terms.
  4. Now enter in the person’s name to see if they’re in that county jail.

Search City Jail Arrests Texas: Look Up Recent Arrests & Mugshots in City Jails

Texas has 350 city or municipal jails or holding facilities. These are often used for very short-term detainment and booking of inmates until they can be transferred to a county jail.3

County jails should be checked first; however, if someone was arrested by a local police department and is not located at the county jail, calling the police department is the next step. Some of the larger departments also have online search portals to locate municipal inmates.

For example, the Austin Police Department has an online booking photo portal that can be used to see mugshots of individuals arrested in Austin and later transported to the jail in Travis County. Frisco City Jail inmates, on the other hand, can be located by calling the facility at 972-292-6001.

So if someone is in a city jail, use a search engine and type “[Name of City] city jail inmate lookup”. Or to find Austin’s city jail inmate roster, the search query would be “Austin City jail inmate lookup.”

A screenshot from Austin Texas police department website showing the database search page.
Source: AustinTexas.gov17

Local jails keep records of daily arrests or current arrests, and how to find out if someone was arrested and how to find out what someone was arrested for. Individuals can call the local police department to find out if someone is in custody after an arrest.

How To Conduct a Texas Public Arrest Record Search (Statewide Lookup)

A statewide search of arrest records in Texas can be completed online through the Department of Public Safety. Arrest records are provided as part of an overall criminal history search which is discussed under the heading How To Run a Statewide Criminal Record Search in Texas Through the Texas Department of Public Safety below.

How To Contact an Inmate and Post Bail in Texas

Posting a bond is at the front of the mind of the person that has been arrested. When a friend or family member has been taken into custody, information on how to bail them out of jail can be obtained by calling the jail where the person is housed.

Additionally, family and friends can appear in court during arraignment when a person is arrested in Texas to see what bond is set and how to post it.

A third option is to hire a bail bondsman in the Texas county where the person was arrested to get the individual released. A bail bondsman can also help locate an inmate if family or friends are having difficulty pinpointing where the arrestee is being held.

Many of the county sheriff’s office sites post a list of bail bondsmen in the area that can help post bail for a Texas arrestee.

Finally, family or friends can hire an attorney to help make contact with an arrestee and negotiate release. An attorney may be able to get a jail inmate released on his or her own recognizance, which simply means the person is released on a promise to appear in court at a later date without having to pay money or provide property to ensure the person will return for hearing.

The attorney can also how to find out if someone is in jail, or who’s in jail. An attorney is also how to find out someone’s charges in jail.

The tables outlined earlier lists a contact number for each jail or sheriff’s office that can be called to find out visitation and bond information for an inmate.

To research court records, individuals must go to the county clerk of court’s office and review records at the public terminals provided. The Texas Judicial Branch does not maintain a centralized online database that can be accessed by the public.

How To Use the County’s Court Case Access & County Courts To Conduct a Texas Criminal Record Search

A list of district courthouses and clerks can be found at the Texas Courts website. To locate a lists of county clerk’s complete the following steps:

  1. Open the Texas Courts’ website.
  2. Select Judicial Directory from the drop-down menu under Judicial Data.
  3. To access a list of court personnel and locations by county, click District, County and Justice Court Judges and Personnel by County. This will list all judges, district clerks and justices of the peace for each county in an alphabetical list for Texas.
  4. Scroll to the county where the record was generated to get the physical address of the courthouse. Go to the courthouse to request records from the District Clerk or use one of the public terminals available.
  5. Individuals can also visit each district clerk of court’s website to get information on how to access records, or can call the district clerk to ask about online record access. Some clerk’s offices do have an online portal for court records, but not all maintain an online database.

How To Run a Statewide Criminal Record Search in Texas Through the Texas Department of Public Safety

To get an official statewide criminal record check, searchers must go through the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Records Division. The division provides an online portal for individuals, businesses, agencies or organizations to request a criminal background check.

A screenshot from Texas Department of Public Safety, crime records division website showing the account creation page.
Source: Dps.Texas.gov18

The steps to making a request are listed below.

  1. Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website.
  2. Select Crime Records from the menu options at the top of the page.
  3. Select the type search needed (name-based, fingerprint search or sex offender search).
  4. Log into account for name-based criminal history conviction search or create an account.
  5. Schedule fingerprinting for a fingerprint-based search for the person and
  6. For a sex offender search, click Texas Registry Search on the page. Enter the registrant’s name and click search.
  7. Sex offender data is returned immediately. Criminal history search can also be returned within minutes of making the online request. Fingerprint-based searches include national data and can take several days.

Fingerprint based searches can also be requested through the Texas Department of Public Safety. Fingerprint searches are scheduled through the FAST (Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas) locations which physically takes the fingerprints and processes them through IdentoGO.4

A screenshot from the Federal Bureau of Investigation website's rap sheet information page.
Source: FBI.gov19

Fingerprint searches cover both statewide records and national criminal history or FBI rap sheet.

How To Obtain a Copy of Criminal Records in Texas (Where To Look and How To Request)

As stated earlier, the Texas Department of Public Safety is the source for an official state background check. Follow the steps outlined above to complete and request criminal records in Texas.

The Texas DPS maintains the state criminal record repository, but it is not the only source of records in the state.

Records can also be requested at the local sheriff’s office or police department, and through the district clerk of court’s office in the area the person was charged or convicted. This is one way someone can find out how I know if I have been charged with a crime.

The tables above list contact information for each county sheriff’s department in the state and individuals can reach out to the departments to submit a record request. Many counties require filling out a form or making the request in writing to obtain a record.

How To Find Out if Someone Is on Probation or Parole in Texas

Parolees can be located using the Inmate Search/Parole Review Information link on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website. This name-based search will show if the person is still in custody at a state prison or has been released to community supervision by the parole board.

To search the parolee database,  individuals will need to open the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, click the Inmate Search link, and enter the individual’s name or TDCJ Number. The information will show if the person has been released, the date of release and conditions of parole.

Additional parole information can be located by clicking Parole Review Information on the inmate’s data page.

A screenshot from Texas Department of Criminal Justice website showing inmate information search page.
Source: Texas.gov20

To start a probation search in Texas, the searcher will need to contact the local district clerk of court with a record request to see sentencing information. Probation records can also be obtained as part of the criminal conviction report through the Texas Department of Public Safety online portal.

To get information directly from the courts, use the table posted above for the county of conviction and supervision.

Unless a matter has been expunged by the courts, it will show up on a criminal background check including community corrections such as probation and parole.

Steps To Seal or Expunge a Criminal Record in Texas (How To Seal Misdemeanors, Felonies and Non Convictions in TX)

Expunging records in Texas is outlined in Title 1-Code of Criminal Procedures of the Texas state statutes. The following matters are eligible for expungement in Texas:

  • Person was arrested for a felony or misdemeanor that subsequently resulted in a non-conviction. At this point, the individual can petition to have the Texas arrest records for this charge expunged. This also applies if the person was convicted and later pardoned or the conviction was overturned in an appeal or retrial.
  • Convicted of the crime of unlawfully carrying a weapon before 1 September 2021.
  • Person was charged and the matter was later dismissed or dropped and the individual was not placed on any community supervision.
  • The statute of limitations for prosecution has expired without the matter being brought to court. This will remove records of arrest and investigative notes from the record and cannot be used against the person.

House Bill 3016 allows for the expungement of first time misdemeanor convictions as well. This second chance law was designed to give non-violent, first-time offenders an opportunity to clear their record to decrease the negative impact a criminal conviction record can have on employment.

Felony convictions in Texas cannot be expunged from a person’s record at this time; therefore, any felony convictions will continue to appear on a criminal background check indefinitely.5

The procedures for expunging a non-conviction or a first time conviction are the same. The defendant must petition the court to request the expungement.

The court will look at the facts and weigh the matter. If an order for expungement is granted, the order is sent to the clerk of court’s office and law enforcement agency outlining what is to be destroyed and the deadline.

The defendant must appear in court after filing the petition. This hearing is usually set within 30 days of filing.

Once the matter is heard, the expungement can be ordered at the hearing, or it can take up to six months for the judge to decide on an expungement petition following the hearing.5

How To Locate Someone in Texas State Prisons & Federal Prisons

Texas has fifteen federal prisons in the state. To locate an inmate at these facilities, the searcher should follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Federal Bureau of Prison website.
  2. Select Find an Inmate from the Inmate drop-down menu.
  3. Choose Find By Name to do a name-based search on the online form that appears.
  4. Enter the inmate’s first and last name and click Search on the form. Race, age and sex can also be entered but are not required to conduct a search.
  5. From the list of inmates click on the one that matches. For more common names, the searcher may have to look through several records before finding the correct one.

The list will show the location of those inmates currently in custody. For Texas federal inmates, look for one of the Texas locations in the right-hand column in the list.

A screenshot from Federal Bureau of Prisons website showing the find an inmate search page.
Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons21

Search results will include the inmate’s name, location (or dates of release), age, race and register number.6

To locate a state correctional inmate in Texas, complete the following:

  1. Open the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website.
  2. Click on Inmate Information, then select Online Inmate Search from the drop-down menu.
  3.  Enter the person’s first and last name and click search  to see if they are currently in prison in Texas.

Information available on Texas prisoners includes name, race, age, gender, TDCJ number, where the person is housed, projected release date, projected parole hearing date, if the person can receive visitors, and offense history.7

How To Conduct a Warrant Search in Texas (Find Wanted Individuals in Texas)

When a warrant is issued in Texas, it may or may not be made publicly available. Federal warrants are maintained by the US Marshal’s Office and are not released to the public.

The Warrant Information System or WIN is only available to law enforcement, so the general public cannot access federal warrants. Individuals usually do not know a federal warrant out for their arrest has been issued until it is served on them.8

State warrants are those issued by Texas local or state law enforcement agencies and may be made available to the public on the agency’s official website. The sheriff’s department table that lists offender search portals can also be used to see if the department publishes warrants online.

A search of a local police department or sheriff’s department website is one way to see if a warrant has been issued in Texas. For example, the Austin Police Department has an online search portal for active warrants.

A screenshot from Austin Texas police department website showing the warrant search page.
Source: AustinTexas.gov22

Search results will show active warrants based on the alleged offender’s name, date of birth, race, sex, bond amount, charges and charges.9 Houston Police Department, on the other hand, does not publish warrant lists, but Harris County Sheriff’s Office where Houston is located does publish an online directory that can be searched using the person’s name.

For searching other types of records within the county, such as marriages, divorces, property ownership, court documents, and more, our resource on retrieving free public records in Harris County details everything you need to know.

A screenshot from Harris County Sheriff Office website showing warrants search page.
Source: The Harris County Sheriff’s Office23

Warrants are not convictions and should not be viewed as proof of guilt. Warrants are issued to secure someone’s appearance in court and is not an admission of guilt or a finding of guilt.

A Review of Texas Background Checks & Screening Agencies

There are several agencies and organizations in Texas that perform or require a criminal background check. The table below lists each of these agencies and what they cover regarding screenings.

Agency That Performs or Requires Background Checks Screening Reasons
Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Employment Screenings (pre and on-going)
  • Tenant Screenings
  • Licensure
Texas Medical Board
  • Doctors
  • Acupuncturists
  • Radiology Technicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Surgical Assistants
  • Respiratory Care Providers
Texas Board of Nursing
  • Registered Nurses
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
  • HVAC
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Architects
  • Auctioneers
  • Barbers
  • Behavioral Analysts
  • Code Enforcement Officers
  • Cosmetologists
  • Court-Ordered Education Providers
  • Dieticians
  • Driver’s Education Providers
  • Electricians
  • Elevator Safety Officers
  • Hearing Aid Providers
  • Housing Contractors
  • Licensed Breeders
  • Hair Removal Specialists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Midwives
  • Mold Assessors
  • Offender Education Providers
  • Orthodontists
  • Podiatrists
  • Property Tax Consultants and Professionals
  • Sanitation Workers
  • Service Contractors
  • Speech and Language Pathologists
  • Audiologists
  • Tow Truck Operators
  • Well Diggers/Installers
Texas Health and Human Services
  • Social workers
  • Foster and Adoptive Families
  • Child Care Providers
  • Nurse Aides
  • Long-Term Care Providers
  • Volunteers
Texas Education Agency
  • School Administrators
  • Teachers
  • Teacher Assistants
  • Teacher Aides
  • School Bus Drivers
  • School Support Staff
  • Volunteers

These agencies search applicant backgrounds to look for disqualifying offenses such as violent felonies or sex offenses.

Background checks through the agencies are looking for disqualifying offenses that would prevent a person from working a certain position in Texas. Some disqualifying offenses in Texas include the following:

  • Homicide
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual abuse of children
  • Injury to children, elderly or disabled persons
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Child endangerment
  • Arson
  • Robbery
  • Indecent exposure
  • Terroristic threats
  • Money laundering
  • Medicaid fraud
  • Cruelty to animals.10

How To Check the Texas Sex Offender Registry

The Texas sex offender registry is maintained by the Department of Public Safety. To search the registry, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Texas Department of Public Safety website.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Search Sex Offender Registry.
  3. Click the Texas Registry Search link in the description.
  4. Enter the person’s first and last name and click Search.
  5. Click the name from the list that appears to see details.

Texas sex offenders can also be searched using the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry; however, it is always best to start directly on the state site. When searching the national registry, the individual is directed to the state site listed above.

A screenshot from Texas Public Sex Offender website showing the registry search page.
Source: Texas Public Sex Offender Website24

Information on the state sex offender registry includes the offender’s name, statute for the charge of conviction, location, mugshot and photos for each time the individual re-registers with the local sheriff’s office, and identifying information about the offender.

Search the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program To Identify Prescription Drug Abusers

Doctors and pharmacists can access the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program website to search for individuals who are identified as prescription drug abusers. Approved law enforcement personnel can also access the database when a search warrant or subpoena is issued requesting the information.

A screenshot from Texas prescription monitoring program website showing a Youtube video and other useful information.
Source: Texas State Board of Pharmacy25

Information for law enforcement is strictly limited to what is outlined in the subpoena or warrant.

Understanding Texas Laws Regarding Criminal Records & Arrest Records and Public Access

All Texas background checks are subject to state and federal laws and must be in compliance. The Fair Credit Reporting Act limits the lookback period for credit history and non-convictions that have not been sealed to seven years.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission makes sure federal laws against discrimination are followed when criminal records are used for hiring decisions or tenant screenings. If someone feels a background check was used in a discriminatory manner, a complaint can be filed with the EEOC.

State laws also regulate what can be contained in criminal records in Texas and how they can be used. The following statutes outline how background information can be shared and used in Texas.

When individuals use people finder software or agencies, they need to make sure the entity adheres to laws, policies and code.

Texas Labor Code 52.031d makes blacklisting someone illegal in the state. Any statements provided by a prior employer must be factual.

The person making the reference should provide information in good faith and make sure it is not provided in an inflammatory manner.

Texas background checks can go back seven years for jobs that pay under $75,000. Positions that pay over that amount can look back to the person’s 18th birthday.

Dismissed or dropped charges or those that resulted in non-convictions do not show up on any Texas background checks.11

Texas currently does not have a Ban the Box statute meaning employers can inquire about criminal history at any point during the application or hiring process. Texas employers are, however, bound by the laws enforced through the EEOC that prohibit discrimination, meaning the employer cannot use a background check that is designed to target a protected population.

The Texas Public Information Act does make all criminal convictions and arrests public information unless the matter has been sealed or expunged by a court, or if the record pertains to a juvenile offender. Individuals and organizations can request records through official government agencies on the local, state or federal level, or they can hire a background check company to locate records; however, records pulled for professional use must be in compliance with state and federal laws.

It is important to understand how to find and use background reports, and understand the laws that govern these reports. No matter the reason, this guide can be used to search criminal records in Texas, including arrest records, and both can help make informed decisions on personal or professional matters.


References

1Home. (n.d.). Texas Dept. of Public Safety. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://publicsite.dps.texas.gov/ConvictionNameSearch/>

2Confidential Information under the Public Information Act | Office of the Attorney General. (n.d.). Texas Attorney General. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/open-government/members-public/confidential-information-under-public-information-act>

3Grissom, B. (2010, September 17). City Jails Unregulated Despite Deaths, Complaints. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://www.texastribune.org/2010/09/17/city-jails-unregulated-despite-deaths-complaints/>

4IdentoGO Centers are the United States’ leader in identity solutions. (n.d.). Identogo. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://www.identogo.com/locations>

5Silva, J. (2022, February 14). Crimes That Can Be Expunged in Texas | J.D. Silva & Associates. J.D. Silva & Associates | Law Firm for Personal Injury and Criminal Defense. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://jdsilvalaw.com/blog/criminal-defense/crimes-that-can-be-expunged-in-texas/>

6Federal Inmates By Number. (n.d.). BOP. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/>

7Home. (n.d.). Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://inmate.tdcj.texas.gov/InmateSearch/viewDetail.action?sid=06590340>

8Warrant Information System. (n.d.). U.S. Marshals Service. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://www.usmarshals.gov/freedom-of-information-act/reading-room/warrant-information-system>

9Austin PD. (2012, October 29). Austin PD Warrant Search. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://services.austintexas.gov/police/warrants/warrantresults.cfm>

10Appendix I, Criminal Convictions Barring Employment | Texas Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Texas Health and Human Services. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://www.hhs.texas.gov/handbooks/consumer-directed-services-handbook/appendix-i-criminal-convictions-barring-employment>

11LABOR CODE CHAPTER 52. MISCELLANEOUS RESTRICTIONS. (n.d.). Texas Constitution and Statutes. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from <https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/LA/htm/LA.52.htm#52.031>

12How to Order a Driver Record | Department of Public Safety.” Texas Department of Public Safety, 29 September 2020. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.dps.texas.gov/section/driver-license/how-order-driver-record>

13Texas Online Public Information – Courts (TOPICs). Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://topics.txcourts.gov/ProtectiveOrdersPublic/>

14Welcome to the Texas Department of Public Safety | Department of Public Safety, 19 February 2020. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.dps.texas.gov/>

15Rusk County, Texas. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.co.rusk.tx.us/page/rusk.Sheriff>

16Dallas County Online Jail Search.” Dallas County Online Jail Search. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.dallascounty.org/jaillookup/search.jsp>

17APD Booking Photo Database Search.” AustinTexas.gov. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.austintexas.gov/police/mug_shots/mug_shots.cfm>

18Dps.Texas.gov. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://publicsite.dps.texas.gov/ConvictionNameSearch/>

19Rap Sheets (Identity History Summary Checks) — FBI.” FBI. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/more-fbi-services-and-information/identity-history-summary-checks>

20Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmate Search.” Texas.gov. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://inmate.tdcj.texas.gov/InmateSearch/start.action>

21BOP: Federal Inmates By Number.” Federal Bureau of Prisons. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/>

22Austin Police Department Warrant List.” AustinTexas.gov. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://services.austintexas.gov/police/warrants/warrantsearch.cfm>

23Misdemeanor Warrants.” Harris County Sheriff’s Office. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://apps.harriscountyso.org/JailInfo/warrants_search_results.aspx>

24The Texas Public Sex Offender Website. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://publicsite.dps.texas.gov/SexOffenderRegistry>

25Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).” Texas State Board of Pharmacy. Accessed 2 May 2023. <https://www.pharmacy.texas.gov/PMP/>