Washington State Criminal Records
The Washington State Patrol is responsible for maintaining the statewide central repository for Washington State criminal records. All information stored in the Washington State criminal record database is based on fingerprint reports filed by local law enforcement departments and criminal justice agencies. This means that the criminal history record information (CHRI) or the Washington State criminal records only contain reports accompanied by fingerprint cards. If there are no fingerprint reports available, the records will not be included in the database.
Ways to Obtain Washington State Criminal Records from the State Patrol
There are two ways that you can obtain Washington State criminal records from the CHRI database. First is you can go online and search for Washington State criminal records using WATCH or Washington Access To Criminal History. In order to start using WATCH, you need either a credit card or a pre-established account with them.
WATCH was established by the Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section (WASIS) as the official Internet source for Washington State criminal records. This database provides you with criminal history conviction records for the state of Washington. The records found here were sent to WASIS by courts and criminal justice agencies throughout the state. Thus, the information you get include conviction information, arrests that are less than one year old with dispositions pending, dependency proceedings, and information regarding registered sex and kidnap offenders. The Washington State criminal records archive also contains additional information such as arrest records that is not open to the general public.
Another way for you to access Washington State criminal records besides the Internet way is to get forms available from WATCH. You can visit the site first and then download the forms provided there. Return the completed background forms to the State Patrol through the US Postal Service. If you’re setting up an account, print and fill out an application packet and submit by mail or the fax number on the form.
Who are the People that may access Washington State Criminal Records?
It is specified in the Criminal Records Privacy Act that conviction data may be released without restriction. However, the guidelines have stressed that non-conviction information may not be released to the public. With this in mind, only certain people can have full access to Washington State criminal records.
Certified criminal justice agencies may request and receive unrestricted CHRI from the Identification and Criminal History Section for criminal justice purposes. The public may request and receive Washington State criminal records from the CHRI database for non-criminal justice purposes but it is limited to conviction information only.