The assimilation, maintenance and dissemination of crime history data has been entrusted to the state Highway patrol in Missouri. Active warrants, arrest records, information pertaining to case dispositions and more are all kept by the Crime Justice Information Service, a division of MSHP. Together these state departments have served as the central repository of fingerprints and crime history records since 1934.
Pursuant to the Revised Statutes of Missouri, section 435.500 all law enforcement and justice agencies along with state prosecutors, clerks of courts and police officers are required to submit information on crime history to the CJIS.In fact, the division acts as the sole liaison between state law enforcement and the FBI.
Information held by the Missouri State Highway Patrol
The Automated Fingerprint Identification System or AFIS was an initiative implemented by the MSHP in 1989. The first system of its kind in the state, the AFIS was launched with an initial database of almost 40,000 finger print records and it was designed to enhance the efficacy of fingerprint processing and criminal identification.
Today, the system comprises of almost 2.8 million ten print records, another 1.6 million palm prints and over 70,000 latent prints that remain unsolved. The AFIS and the CJIS together maintain both closed and open records in the state which are served for public consumption in accordance with the Sunshine laws of Missouri.
Seeking details on arrest warrants from the Missouri Highway Patrol
There are two ways to approach the MSHP for a warrant search; the inquiry can be initiated based on personal identifiers or through finger prints. While the former is available to all, the second option can only be availed by certain legislatively authorized parties such as state licensing authorities and other law enforcement and justice agencies and approved employers.
The personal identifier inquiry:These can be conducted by furnishing details such as the name of the subject along with his/her date of birth and social security number to the state department. Name based searches are deemed as possible matches since they bring back results on all criminals in the database who match the search criteria. Only open records are provided in response to such inquiries.
The term “open records” pertains to arrest records which are less than 30 days old, information on conviction and case disposition other than acquittal and dismissal, prosecutor filed charges for cases that are currently in trial, details on suspended imposition of sentences. An $11 fee is charged for name based searches and when the request is sent through mail, it takes the MSHP about 4 to 6 weeks to address it.
It is also possible to visit the agency in person or use their online service to access this data. You will need to use the form available at https://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/CRID/documents/SHP-158S.pdf and send this with the applicable fees in the form of a money order or business check to the MSHP.
Finger print based searches: You will need to submit finger print cards (FD-258) for launching fingerprint based inquiries into MO arrest warrants and records. The results of these searches are considered to be a “positive match” hence the department issues closed records in response to them. The cost for the inquiry is $20 and when the request form is sent through mail, it takes the same amount of time to receive a response as with the name based searches. Closed records include:
- All criminal history including details on MO outstanding warrants, arrests and cases where the charges have been filed or not
- Charges that have been dismissed and cases where the defendant was found not guilty
- Sentences that were imposed after the probation period
- All open records
A notarized response can be procured for the MSHP for an additional fee of $2.
Connecting with State Highway Patrol for a warrant search
You can submit your inquiries to the MSHP through the Missouri Automated Criminal History (MACH) website at http://www.machs.mo.gov/. The site is divided into two sections; one meant to address name based searches and the other for fingerprint based inquiries. To write to the agency or visit them in person, you can go to:
Annex Building1510 East Elm StreetJefferson City, MO 65101