Frequently Asked Questions - Criminal Histories
How do I enter a hyphenated or compound last name?
The growing use of hyphenated married names and increasing cultural diversity has made it necessary for the police department to apply consistent standards for name entry in our computer systems that may differ from custom or culture. For hyphenated Arabic surnames, such as Ali Mohammed Al-Barak, simply remove the hyphen and enter Albarakas the last name. For hyphenated compound surnames, such as Brenda M. Smith-Jones, enter the
last surname component only: Jones. For compound surnames without hyphens, such as Eduardo Miguel Santiago Avila simply enter the last surname component: Avila. If the name you wish to check is particularly unusual or you are uncertain, it is best to contact our Records Unit for advice.
Why are these records available to the public?
Nebraska law declares criminal history information to be a public record, and requires criminal justice agencies to provide such information to the public, subject to certain regulations. The applicable state law is contained in the Criminal History Information Act, Nebraska Revised Statutes 29-3501, et seq.
Why do I have to pay to obtain this information?
The law provides that criminal justice agencies may assess reasonable fees for criminal histories. The fee for criminal histories from the Lincoln Police Department is established by the Lincoln Municipal Code 2.32.110. The department allows anyone to review their own criminal history at no cost. You may do so in person at our Records Unit.
I don't have a credit card, how can I purchase an arrest history?
Internet access requires a Visa or MasterCard, however this report may also be obtained in person during normal business hours or by mail at our Records Unit. Payment is accepted by cash or check.
Is this a list of all arrests for the subject?
No. For various legal and practical reasons, this list does not necessarily include every arrest:
- First and foremost, this is only a list of arrests by the Lincoln Police Department. No arrests by other agencies are included.
- Second,this is only a listing of arrests contained in our computerized records. The Lincoln Police Department computerized arrest records beginning in 1980, so the list only includes arrests on or after January 1, 1980. We maintain hard copy of arrest records prior to that date, and these are available to the public, but not online. In order to obtain a criminal history including arrests before January 1, 1980, please contact our Records Unit.
- Third, arrests when the defendant was 16 years or age or older at the time of arrest are listed. As a practical matter, the police department's public records of anyone born after 1964 will be entirely available online, since he or she turned 16 after the police department's records were computerized in 1980.
- Fourth, this list does not include arrests when the defendant was age 16 through 18 years old but the case was either filed in or transferred to juvenile court. As a matter of policy, LPD treats juveniles aged 16 through 18 as adults, but prosecutors may sometimes decline to file adult charges and file in juvenile court instead. In addition, the defendant may petition to have the charge transferred to juvenile court.
- Fifth, this list does not include any arrests for which the disposition is unknown or not contained in our records. The exception is cases within the past year. When the arrest occurred within the past year and the disposition is still pending, it will appear on this list.
- Finally, arrests for minor traffic infractions are not included.
What do the abbreviations mean?
While most of the abbreviations and terms are self-explanatory, if you need help interpreting any of this material, you are welcome to contact our Records Unit if you need help interpreting any of this material. You may also email your questions and comments, and we will respond via email.
What can I do if there is information contained in the list that I believe is inaccurate?
We make every effort to insure the accuracy of criminal history information. Despite this, inaccuracies occur. One of the more common problems we encounter occurs when a defendant provides false information or identification at the time of arrest, resulting in a record for another person, often a friend or relative. Please notify us immediately if you believe any information is in error. We are committed to researching any records in dispute, resolving any problems, and maintaining criminal history information that is as accurate as possible.
How can I find out if someone has been arrested elsewhere?
In Nebraska, all criminal justice agencies are required by law to make criminal history information available to the public. The Nebraska State Patrol maintains one of the more complete criminal history databases available, however, not all arrests by local agencies are contained in the Patrol's criminal history, especially arrests when the defendant was issued a citation for a misdemeanor and released, rather than being taken to jail. There is no comprehensive national database of all arrests by all law enforcement agencies. The best way to conduct a thorough review is by contacting the state and local law enforcement agencies in the places where the subject has resided.
I have an arrest listed, but I was never arrested, I just received a ticket.
Although many people think of an "arrest" as meaning the subject was taken to jail, this term means that a subject was either issued a citation and released or taken into custody for a criminal offense. Most misdemeanor arrests by the Lincoln Police Department are handled with citation and release.
I see many arrests for this subject with a disposition of DISMISSED. What does that mean?
Generally, it means that the prosecuting attorney filed the charge following the police arrest, but dismissed the case in court at a later time. Cases are dismissed for a variety of reasons. Many cases are dismissed as part of a plea agreement in which the subject agrees to plead guilty to some charges in exchange for others being dismissed, or in exchange for agreeing to pay the court costs only. Many charges are dismissed when the defendant enters a pre-trial diversion program. In some cases, prosecutors dismiss charges because of evidentiary problems, such as a witness who fails to appear, or evidence that is suppressed. There is no way to determine from computer records why a given charge was dismissed; however, complete court records may reveal such information. Accessing court information requires contacting the clerk or administrator of the court where the charge was filed.
This doesn't work on my computer, I can't print the list, what's wrong?
We get many requests to troubleshoot specific problems customers are having with our online applications. Unfortunately, we cannot provide technical support to the thousands of variations of hardware, software, and connectivity issues our customers may experience. This is a straightforward application just like many other public and private internet sites. We appreciate your comments and feedback.