The Department of Public Safety supervises the Criminal History Records Dissemination Unit of the State. The unit was established in 1996 in response to the changes made to the criminal code of Iowa, which required the disclosure of information relating to criminal occurrences to the public. The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was set up on its heels; this is the central criminal arrest records repository for Iowa.
As such, all law enforcement and judicial agencies including offices of the county clerk’s and magistrates are legally bound to report the issue of all active warrants from IA, arrests made and criminal case dispositions to the DCI. Except for the most trivial of misdemeanors, the repository contains information on all crimes that have transpired within the geographical limits of the state.
How are the arrest records maintained by the DCI?
The criminal reports maintained by the DCI are based on fingerprints collected at the time of booking. These are stored in the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) the arrest records and AFIS databases are linked to offer accurate warrant search results to civilians as well as criminal justice agencies.
Fingerprints are used to verify the identity of the subject when an inquiry is initiated. All fingerprint based investigations return positive results; this means that there is no scope of the arrest records belonging to another person who may share personal identifiers with the subject. Of course, for the convenience of applicants, the DCI also offers name based warrant searches.
The service of investigating the arrest records and Iowa outstanding warrants against an individual is offered for a fee and it is possible to seek such inquiries in your own name as well as for third parties. The DCI routinely offers arrest records to businesses, hospitals, schools, licensing agencies, daycare centers, healthcare centers and law enforcement. Since its inception in 1996, the request for crime history reports received by the DCI has increased by a massive 500%.
What other tasks are performed by the crime history information center?
Maintaining criminal arrest records and the dissemination of information pertaining to the issue of active warrants and court dispositions are but two of the many responsibilities of the Criminal History Records Dissemination Unit. The agency also serves as the point of engagement for organizations that have the statutory authority to seek federal crime records. Apart from this, the DCI also keeps the state’s sex offender registry.
What you need to know about seeking arrest records from the DCI?
In the state of Iowa, anybody can seek arrest records from the DCI without a signed waiver from the subject. Criminal records are maintained by the DCI till the owner of the crime history file reaches the age of 80 or till his death when the crimes to the name of this person are serious. It should be understood that the agency maintains information only in cases where the fingerprints of the offender are available.
This means that if a person was accused of simple misdemeanors, charges arising from the violation of traffic or civic ordinances or other offenses in which a citation was issued before or after arrests were made and the detainee was subsequently released, the police will not have the fingerprints of the defendant in such scenarios. Hence, you will not find details on such arrests through the DCI.
Also, if the agency does not receive a disposition on a criminal matter in their database within 4 years from the date on which arrest was made, the case will be purged from the system. Furthermore, it should be noted that the arrest records offered by the DCI are restricted to the state of Iowa.