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Chatham County Arrest Records

Chatham County Arrest Records provide insight into arrests, bookings, and preliminary legal proceedings. Such records may include personal descriptors, photographs, possessions, and the alleged charges against suspects.

Section 17-4-20 of the Official Code of Georgia empowers Chatham County law enforcement officers to detain individuals accused or suspected of committing a crime. The state’s law broadly categorizes offenses as misdemeanors and felonies, with varying fines and imprisonment recommended.

In Chatham County, duly arrested persons undergo booking or "processing" at the nearest Chatham County Police Department (CCPD) precinct or jailhouse. Booking a suspect entails collecting and storing the suspect's information in a database. The information recorded comprises the personal description details, photographs, possessions, and details of the alleged charges against the suspect.

Due to the collaborative nature of practical law enforcement activities, the Sheriff's Office and the CCPD share arrest records with other local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies. For this reason, Chatham County arrest records are available in the Chatham County court records system and the Georgia Crime Information Center database.

Are Arrest Records Public in Chatham County?

Yes. Per the Georgia Open Records Act (GORA), records generated and stored during arrest and booking processes are generally available for public inspection and copying. Consequently, GORA guarantees the right of members of the public to tender public record requests with Chatham County law enforcement agencies.

Nonetheless, the Act gives law enforcement officials the discretion to exempt from public disclosure records that may jeopardize a pending investigation/prosecution or a person’s life or safety. Specifically, items exempted include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Identity of confidential informants
  • Child abuse reports (where confidential)
  • Credit reports
  • Federal records exempted by law
  • Juvenile records
  • Name/ID of rape victims
  • Social security number
  • Bank account details
  • Confidential tax information
  • Wiretaps (records/documents)

What Do Public Arrest Records Contain?

Under the Georgia Open Records Act, requesters have the right to view or inspect the following components of a Chatham County arrest record:

  • Suspect’s name, birth date, race, and sex.
  • Booking and Detention Details
  • Arrest Details (arrest date, arresting agency, and the monetary value of the bond)
  • Description of the charges against the arrestee.

Nevertheless, to protect suspects' privacy, the Act does not allow the display of booking photographs on law enforcement agency websites. Requesters looking for such records must sign an undertaking that they will not publish the pictures on any website that charges for the removal or expunging of the photographs.

Chatham County Crime Rate

According to 2022 crime statistics from the Georgia Crime Reporting Program, the total number of reported crimes in Chatham County stood at 1,970. Further analysis of the report revealed that the most reported crimes were property crimes, accounting for 87% (1,539) of the total crimes, while violent crimes comprised the remaining 13% (231).

The most common offenses within the property crime classification were larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and burglary, which constituted 75.95%, 14.29%, and 9.42%, respectively. Conversely, the top three violent crimes were aggravated assault, robbery, and rape, with 79.22%, 11.26%, and 7.79%, respectively.

Chatham County Arrest Statistics

According to a Jail Population Report from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, there were 10,674 bookings as of December 2023. Of the thirteen prime crimes tracked, 30.61% (3268) and 28.70% (3065) of the inmates were jailed for probation violations and contempt of court, respectively. Next to these were 24.33% (2598) inmates detained for driving under the influence (DUI) and 7.35% (785) jailed for aggravated assault.

Inmates jailed for crimes with the most minor frequencies were 0.72%, 0.48%, and 0.35% who were detained for murder, kidnapping, and rape offenses, respectively.

A breakdown of the racial composition of inmates showed that 74% (922) were black, while 21% (260) were white. The remaining 4% (55) were Hispanic detainees.

Find Chatham County Arrest Records

Most arrests and bookings take place at the local level. Therefore, requesters for Chatham County arrest records should consider visiting the police precinct nearest where law enforcement officers arrested a subject of interest. Prominent amongst these local law enforcement bodies are the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department (CCSO) and the Chatham County Police Department.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Department provides arrest booking and incarceration information on its website. Requesters can view bookings from the past 24 hours or 72 hours on their site.

Additionally, CCSO website visitors can search the Sexual Offender Registry database. Requesters can search by name (first and last name) and zip code or map sex offenders’ locations using zip codes.

At the state level, requesters can find offenders through the Department of Corrections search tool. This online search tool allows inquirers to look up offenders presently serving in correctional facilities across the state. Hence, interested parties can look up offenders by name, ID or case number, age, and other unique details. To verify the authenticity of the information received, requesters can email the Inmate Records and Information at P.O. Box 1529, Forsyth, GA 31029. They may also opt to call the Unit ((404) 656-4661) or send an email.

Requesters searching for the whereabouts of a federal inmate may wish to use the Federal Inmate Locator. The inquirer can search by name or inmate’s number.

Free Arrest Record Search in Chatham County

Requesters can conduct free arrest records searches using the Chatham County Detention Inmates Search or by visiting the jailhouse to inspect the roster. The arrest records provide details on detainees booked in the past 24 or 72 hours. Also, the jail roster typically comprises the inmate's full name, physical descriptors, and booking photograph. Other details include booking number, ID, jacket number, booking information (e.g., date and time), charges and offense, bail amount, and court date, if applicable.

Alternatively, interested persons can search third-party public records repositories for Chatham County arrest records. Visitors can search these third-party databases at no cost using a subject’s first and last name. However, these companies often charge a fee to obtain an extensive report on a person’s arrest history.

Get Chatham County Criminal Records

In Chatham County, a criminal history record is a comprehensive official document that details a person’s criminal offenses. The report usually consists of crime types, arrest dates, charges, and the conclusion of the cases, including convictions and acquittals.

Highlighted below are the law enforcement agencies where inquirers can obtain criminal history records:

Chatham County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO)

  • Requesters can conduct background checks with the Criminal History and Fingerprint Unit of the CCSO.
  • The CCSO undertakes name search criminal history checks for $15.00. Accepted payment methods include cash, cards, money, and certified checks payable to CCSO.
  • Requesters should download and complete a CHRI Release/Waiver Form to start.
  • Name search criminal history checks are statewide and may take 3 to 5 days to process.

Criminal history checks are available from the CCSO via mail only. Requesters must complete the request form and include their phone numbers if the Sheriff’s Office requires additional information. Applicants must also include a copy of their driver's license and a $15.00 money order or cashier’s check.

Chatham County Arrest Records Vs. Criminal Records

Although “arrest records” and “criminal records” are often used interchangeably, they are different reports. An arrest record is a document that contains information about an arrest. Typically, Chatham County arrest records consist of the arrestee’s personal information, the incident (location, nature of charges, arresting agency, and officer), and the outcome of the arrest. Possessing an arrest record does not imply a conviction, nor is it proof of criminal behavior.

On the other hand, criminal history records are comprehensive documents that detail a person’s criminal history. Unlike arrest records, criminal history records include details on convictions, sentences, and other legal actions against a person regarding criminal activity.

How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record?

Georgia’s laws do not stipulate a specific timeframe for deleting arrest records. Even if the Chatham County Police Department has a short records retention period, other state and federal justice agencies they share records with may have lengthier records retention schedules. Consequently, an individual’s records removed at the local level will remain in the system because they are still available at the state and national levels. Unless the courts expunge or seal such a record, it remains public.

Expunge Chatham County Arrest Records

Pursuant to O.G.C.A §35-3-37, a person may request that specific criminal history records be hidden or sealed from the public upon the prosecuting attorney’s approval. When approved, a person with such a records restriction can apply for housing, licenses, or jobs without their criminal record history coming up in a background check. However, approving a record restriction does not mean the criminal history will be permanently deleted or destroyed. The record will still be accessible to the courts and criminal justice agencies.

Criminal history records that are eligible to be sealed or expunged include:

  • Misdemeanors: An applicant can have a high or aggravated misdemeanor restricted after a two-year waiting period.
  • Felonies: A requester may have nonserious felonies or felony sexual offenses involving a victim under 16 years restricted after a four-year waiting period.
  • Nonserious traffic offenses: A requester may have any Title 40 violation that is not banned by Article 15 of Chapter 6 of Title 40 considered for restriction,

Please note that there is no application process for arrests that occurred after July 1, 2013. Requesters only need to contact the prosecutor to have their records restricted. On the other hand, the arresting agency must process the applicant’s request for arrests that happened before July 1, 2013.

Affected persons can apply to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to request the restriction or expungement of a record. Eligible requesters who obtain approval must forward the approved records restriction to the Georgia Crime Information Center to have the arrest removed from their record.

Chatham County Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is an official document issued by a judge that empowers law enforcement officers to detain someone accused or suspected of a crime.

The procedure for effecting an arrest with a warrant is as follows:

  1. CCPD officers must always serve original warrants. They must not serve copies.
  2. CCPD officers have the authority to conduct a warrant arrest anywhere in Chatham County. However, the CCPD must notify municipalities before they execute a search warrant within their jurisdiction.
  3. The CCPD must conduct a Threat Assessment Matrix before executing an arrest warrant if the suspect is not in the officer’s presence and entering a building is considered unsafe or high-risk.
  4. When CCPD officers encounter a suspect with a pending warrant, they must confirm the warrant and extradition with the issuing jurisdiction before proceeding with the arrest.
  5. All arrest warrants must be available to be served on a 24-hour basis.
  6. The Record Unit of the CCPD is responsible for inputting all criminal warrants received into its database.

Chatham County Arrest Warrant Search

Persons seeking information about an active arrest warrant in Chatham County can contact the Sheriff's Office for warrant information. Requesters can contact the Chatham County Sheriff's Office at 1050 Carl Griffin Dr, Savannah, GA, 31405. Alternatively, inquirers may call (912) 652-76001. Their office operates Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Do Chatham County Arrest Warrants Expire?

No. Like in most parts of the United States, Chatham County arrest warrants do not expire. They will remain active unless expunged or sealed by a court.

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