Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records
What Is a Criminal Record in Vermont?
Vermont criminal records, often referred to as a rap sheet, are the official documents which contain the criminal history information of persons within the state's jurisdiction. The information contained in these records are assembled from a variety of sources and organized in online record depositories that may be available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report. These records most detail all misdemeanor and felony crimes of a subject as well any consequent arrests, indictments and convictions following their alleged involvement in criminal activity.
Are Criminal Records Public in Vermont?
Yes. The Vermont Freedom of Information Act allows any individual to request information about a person's criminal history from the Police Department. In other words, criminal records are public in Vermont.
Vermont is a state where criminal records are specifically available to anyone who asks for them. In Vermont, the only restrictions on access to these records are found in the Vermont Crim inal History Privacy Act. In particular, Section 5 provides that an individual may not gain access to a public criminal record of another person if that person has not been convicted of a crime. In general, one must contact their local police department or court to request this information directly from the presiding officer in order to see a criminal record of another individual.
Vermont criminal records primarily include:
- The personal data of the subject - including their full name and aliases, birthdate, nationality and gender
- Current and former addresses of the subject
- A mugshot and full set of fingerprints
- Details of criminal offenses and indictments
- Relevant and non-confidential conviction information
- Details of any stand-out identifiers
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
How to Obtain Criminal Records in Vermont
Individuals can make requests to the appropriate law enforcement agency to obtain criminal records or make background checks on persons in Vermont. Requests can be made via phone, in-person, or mail. Keep in mind that the authorized agency in charge of keeping the criminal records may require payments to be made to obtain the requested document. A free public criminal record check may be available to interested parties, but the information provided may be incomplete. Even with a free criminal record search, however, copy fees apply.
The Vermont Crime Information Center (VCIC) is tasked with providing access to criminal records in the state.
Vermont Crime Information Center
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
Telephone: (802) 244-8727
Fax: (802) 241-5552
What are Arrest Records in Vermont?
Vermont arrest records are official documents which provide information regarding the apprehension and detention of a person following their alleged involvement in criminal activity. They indicate that the subject of the record has been held for investigation and/or questioning by any law enforcement or military authority. These records are generated by the investigating jurisdiction but do not constitute proof of the subject's involvement in the alleged crime.
Vermont arrest records typically include:
- The full name & alias of the subject of the record
- The gender, birthdate and nationality/ethnicity of the subject
- The place and date of the arrest
- The name of the arresting officer/issuer of the warrant
- The most current case status
- The address of the detention facility (where the arrestee was/is held)
Vermont police reports and police records differ from arrest records, but the terms are often used interchangeably. While arrest records are one of the components of police records, police records include incident reports and police activity logs.
Are Arrest Records Public in Vermont?
Yes, Vermont public arrest records are open to the public. Requesters can use the Public Records Ordering arrest search tool to find free arrest records in the state. There are certain restrictions on what information is available for public records. Judicial proceedings, mental health records, juvenile court petitions, probation and parole records, most domestic relations matters including adoption and divorce cases must remain confidential.
For most crimes unrelated to any of these matters the offender's criminal records are typically not sealed but are available for law enforcement purposes only. However, parties onvicted of a sex offense may face court ordered restrictions that limit access to criminal records.
What are Arrest Warrants in Vermont?
Vermont arrest warrants are court-issued orders which provide legal authorization for the arrest and detention of persons suspected of criminal activity. Warrants may also authorize the search and/or confistication of private property depending on the case. These are primarily issued by judges for local law enforcement agencies and often indicate the name(s) of the person(s) to be arrested, the alleged criminal offense as well as a validity period. Although there is no central database to perform a warrant search in Vermont, interested parties can search active warrants with the DEA Fugitive Search tool and the U.S. Marshall's Warrant Information System. Parties can explore local county sheriff's websites to perform a local active warrant search.
As per Vermont state law, local law enforcement officers may arrest persons without a warrant if the arresting officer is witness to the alleged crime or if the arrestee is suspected of a felony.
What are Inmate Records in Vermont?
Vermont jail and inmate records are official documents pertaining to persons who are incarcerated within the state and correctional facilities in which they are housed within the states jurisdiction. These records often detail the inmate-specific data such as the full name and alias, their birth date, nationality/ethnicity, gender, and other biological information as well as crime-related data such as their criminal indictments and sentences.
Generally, most inmate-related information can be accessed by the public. Vermont Department of Corrections maintains an inmate database which is searchable online and can provide both general and inmate-specific information such as an inmate's biodata and criminal charges as well as the detainee's incarceration date and prospective release date. Any information unavailable on the online database may be obtained by querying the facility where the inmate is housed.
Vermont Sex Offender Registry
Vermont sex offender registry refer to the various public registries which feature information regarding persons convicted of sex crimes. These registries are typically compiled by the law enforcement agencies of various jurisdictions which primarily list offenders in a specific locality. In addition to the local listings, the Vermont Department of Public Safety maintains the states central Sex Offender Registry which features information regarding statewide registered sex offenders. Contained in these listings are the personal data, addresses and criminal history of convicted sex offenders. Requesters can lookup the National Sex Offender Registry to find nationwide sex offenders.
The state of Vermont (along with other U.S states) operates by the federally established Megan's Law which requires the creation and maintainance of sex offender registries in order to provide information on registered sex offenders to the public. Its establishment was motivated by the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon the passage of the first Megan's Law in the state of New Jersey, the federal government implemented a requirement that all states establish sex offender registries and provide the public with information about those registered.
What are DUIs in Vermont?
A DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, means that someone who drank alcohol or used drugs while driving can be arrested for this offense. The Vermont State Highway Safety Office is tasked with handling all serious traffic violations in the state. Serious traffic violations may refer to the most severe form of traffic-related infractions which often involves the willful disregard for public safety and typically results in damage to property, serious bodily injury, and death. They include offenses such as reckless driving, DUI or DWI, and moving violations of various kinds. Driving while intoxicated in Vermont is defined by the state's DUI laws. Individuals may be caught if the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level is above 0.08% or the drugs that the driver used are illegal under Vermont law.
The drunk driving laws of Vermont are not as strict as those of other states, but they do have some penalties. When a person is caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Vermont, he can be fined and may have their licenses revoked. If a person is convicted of a third DUI in a 10-year period, their license can be revoked for two years and they may also face jail time.
What are Misdemeanors in Vermont?
Vermont misdemeanors are non-indictable offenses generally considered to be less severe than felonies. In the state of Vermont, these crimes are typically punishable by less than two years in jail. However, while most states categorize misdemeanors using a number-based system which ranks crimes based on severity, the state of Vermont simply ascribes sentences on a crime-by-crime basis. However, most misdemeanors are considered to be criminal offenses of mid-level severity.
Some examples of Misdemeanor crimes in Vermont include:
- Possession of specific quantities of a controlled substance
- Violation of a restraining order
- Disorderly conduct
- Simple assault
What is a Felony in Vermont?
Vermont felony offenses refer to serious crimes which are punishable by a minimum of one year and a maximum of the death penalty or fines of up to $500,000. However, unlike other states which designate felonies by class (in increasing or decreasing severity), Vermont lawmakers do not operate a classification system. Rather, penalties are ascribed on a crime-by-crime basis, with more serious crimes receiving severe penalties. Generally speaking, felonies in Vermont are punishable by at least two years in state prison and the most serious crimes in Vermont are punishable by life in prison or death (for murder only). Common Vermont State felonies include:
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Possession of large quantities of marijuana
- Animal cruelty
- Criminal negligence
- Vehicular homicide
What is Probation and Parole in Vermont?
Vermont parole records refer to official documents that indicate that an inmate was released prior to the completion of their maximum sentence following their adherence to the requirements of the state parole board.
All Vermont parole information is generated and maintained by the Vermont Parole Board, which provides these records to interested persons upon request. In addition to providing online resources, the VPB also provides details of eligibility requirements and general conditions for persons who have been granted parole. Interested members of the public may query the board for view updates regarding the parole status of specific inmates and/or the conditions required. Offenders may be searched by their full name or designated parole number (if assigned). The board is at liberty to impose any conditions of parole it deems appropriate in order to ensure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Vermont are served.
Vermont probation records are official documents indicating that an inmate has been allowed to serve their sentences out of custody and under strict supervision. The nature of a probation may vary from one offender to the other and as such probation records are often unique to the offender. Generally however, these records feature the personal information of the inmate concerned as well as the required conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer as well as the length of the sentence. Probation sentences are typically issued in proportion to the crime committed and its conditions are also impacted by the severity of the crime as well as the individual’s criminal history.
What are Juvenile Criminal Records?
Vermont juvenile criminal records are official records pertaining to criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Unlike adult convicts, juveniles are not considered to be convicted but “adjudicated delinquents.” As per 33 V.S.A. § 5119, these records are confidential and members of the public have limited rights to attend hearings involving persons under legal age. Juveniles are not considered convicts but delinquents if proven guilty of a crime. Juvenile criminal records which often include arrest records, detention center records, and records of proceedings involving juveniles are confidential but remain accessible to landlords, school organizations and employers unless the individual petitions to have it expunged. Persons found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense by a Juvenile Court, may not respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless probed specifically regarding adjudicated delinquency.
What are Conviction Records?
Vermont conviction records are documents which provide information regarding the indictment, plea and judgement sentence of a person with regard to an alleged crime. They indicate that an indicted person was guilty following their plea or a court proceeding, and has been ascribed a suitable penalty following their conviction. Essentially, these records detail relevant information regarding the crime for which they were convicted as well as the final judgement delivered. It also includes details of adjudications, dishonorable discharges, probation, fines and paroles issued subsequent to the initial judgement. Criminal convictions are typically rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law and often excludes final judgments which were deleted by a pardon.
Vermont History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
Record keeping in Vermont depends primarily on each of the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record is generated. Most criminal records in the state go back as far as the 1970s when the earliest efforts to centralize and compile criminal and arrest data into an organized database were made. With the advent of technological advancements beginning in the 1990s, the quality and accuracy of record-keeping improved exponentially. These advancements have significantly improved the process of retrieval.