The best way to find out if someone is in police custody is to call the local police department. They should be able to provide you with a number you can call to learn whether someone has been arrested. You can use a free online service to identify whether a person was recently arrested.
However, finding out if someone is in police custody can be tricky, especially if they were arrested a few hours ago. Since a period that spans just a few hours isn’t enough for any paperwork to be done, searching online databases won’t be of much help. Not knowing which jurisdiction the person might be held in custody can also make things more complicated.
5 Ways to Find Out If Someone Is In Police Custody
Here are 5 methods you need to consider if you suspect someone has been arrested:
1. Contact the Person
It may seem too obvious, but before contacting the authorities, you need to do the best you can to reach the person you suspect was arrested. Call them over the phone and maybe also use text messages or social media. Keep trying for at least a few hours before proceeding to the next step.
2. Call the People Who May Have Last Seen the Person
If the person won’t answer their phone for a few hours, the next step is to call the people who may have last seen the person. They could be their work colleagues, friends, or family members. If no one was able to provide any details about a possible arrest, you could proceed by contacting the authorities.
3. Contact Law Enforcement
If someone is in police custody or arrested, they might be moved to a local police station for interrogation.
If things go as usual, the person will likely be present to a commissioner in less than 24 hours from the moment the person was arrested.
Once the defendant appears before the commissioner, the commissioner will evaluate whether the person should be charged or not. If there’s a bail, the commissioner will give the defendant a choice to pay it. If the person refuses or can’t pay it, they’ll be kept in jail, and the case status remains pending.
If the person in police custody got arrested, you should be able to find out if you call the local jail or visit the jail’s website. There should be a directory somewhere that lists the inmate records. It could be labelled as “Inmate Information” or “Arrest Inquiries”.
Many government websites let you search for the person to find out if they were arrested or not. All you have to do is enter the person’s first and last name into the search box.
You might also be required to input additional information, like birthdate, information, address, or social security number.
4. Search for Public Notices
Based on the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, the local government is required to issue “Letter of Physical Custody of a Body,” which provides insights about the charges and whereabouts of the person arrested or in custody.
So, if you check the websites of the local government, you might be able to find information about the person in police custody under the section “Arrests and Bail.” Another option is to check some newspapers that still include a section with a list of arrests and crimes.
Long story short, if a person is in police custody, it’s not really considered a “secret”. The public has to know about it, but you’ll have to dig deep to find out if a person is arrested or in police custody.
5. Get in Touch With a Bail Bondsman
Bail bondsmen are well acquainted with the whole legal system, so if you contact one, there’s a good chance they might be able to tell you if someone has been arrested or is in police custody.
In most cases, you’ll need to bail them out, but it’ll definitely make the process of finding the person who might be in police custody much faster. What also makes this a good option is that you might be able to contact a bail bondsman even at unusual hours.
Should You Use a Paid Service or Hire an Attorney/Lawyer?
In most cases, it’s not worth using a paid service to find out if someone is in police custody. A paid service won’t offer much more than a free service or a thorough search. The best alternative is to use the local help and free search options on the local government’s websites. However, the tools may not always be accurate, so a free background check provider can provide a higher level of accuracy.
If it’s confirmed that the person you’re looking for is in police custody, you don’t need to hire a lawyer or attorney until the person is in the phase between the arraignment and the trial. During the arraignment, the person will be present before a judge, where it’ll be decided whether they’ll be held in prison or released until the trial is set.
Worrying that someone might be in police custody can be overwhelming, but as we’ve covered throughout this article, it’s not impossible to find out if your loved one really is in police custody or not.
There are lots of online background checking tools that make the process faster and easier. You can also check some newspapers and government websites for information.
If you couldn’t get any leads, the person you’re looking for could be facing something worse than being held in police custody, so you’d better try contacting as many of his close family members, friends, and colleagues as possible to help them if needed.