The West Virginia State Police maintains the crime history center for the state, collecting information under the crime reporting act from various judicial and law enforcement agencies in the counties of the state. Cops are required by law to submit information pertaining to all arrests and the issue of active warrants to the central repository kept by the agency.
Crime History Reporting has been covered in section 15-2-24 of the West Virginia Code. This part of the state law designates the location where crime history records will be kept, the agency in whose charge the information will be held and the purpose of assimilating and storing the data. Pursuant to this section, the West Virginia State Police has been charged with not just maintaining crime history details but also with establishing the Criminal Identification Bureau.
The law further elaborates the basic criteria that ought to be used for accessing crime history records and the agencies that are supposed to follow the mandatory crime reporting procedures of the state. The code specifically states that fingerprints should be collected from all offenders who are charged in a criminal matter for which the penalty is confinement in any incarceration facility.
Also, the database is supposed to contain information on fugitives and habitual criminals. However, there is no mention of the kind of offenses that should be included in the repository such as felonies and misdemeanors. In the absence of such specification, law enforcement agencies are expected to report all arrests and even the issue of active warrants to the state agency. Furthermore, because people who have outstanding warrants from WV to their name and have not yet been taken into custody are considered fugitives, information on them is also to be held in therepository.
The state law also clearly mentions that arrest records ought to be maintained for all offenders regardless of their age; this means that the state database of crime history also contains information on juveniles as long as the penalty provided to them involves confinement in a correctional center. Apart from fingerprint based crime data, the State Police also maintain additional information such as the sex offender registry and details on missing people .
Accessing information on crime history and the other data kept by WVSP
Depending on the type of details, you seek, there are varying options for initiating contact with the State Police and accessing information pertaining to criminal matters. For instance, data pertaining to sex offenders and missing persons can be acquired through the website of the agency at http://www.wvsp.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
While pictures of people who cannot be found are displayed on the homepage, to seek details on sex offenders, you will have to go to https://apps.wv.gov/StatePolice/SexOffender/Disclaimer?continueToUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fapps.wv.gov%2FStatePolice%2FSexOffender and accept the terms of the agency. Then, simply use the last name of the person you are investigating to find information on him. The results will include the full name of the offender, date of birth and current contact information.
Although West Virginia follows the open records policy, they only offer third party crime history details when the applicant has the consent from the subject to seek such data. For launching such an inquiry, you will need to connect with the state designated identification data vendor, Morpho Trust. They offer both name based and fingerprint based warrant searches for West Virginia.
Another way is to seek information from local justice agencies such as the sheriff’s office, the department of the county clerk and the magistrate’s court. Although these state establishments will only be able to provide details on crimes that transpired within the geographical area that they cover, it can often be less cumbersome to launch the warrant search through them.