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What are Vermont Criminal Court Records?
Vermont criminal court records include all case files and documents generated in relation to criminal court proceedings within the state. This consists of criminal records and case files including documents, reports, forms, and any other recorded information created during a criminal trial. In compliance with § 2056c Dissemination of criminal conviction records to the public, criminal conviction records shall be available for public access through a government site, third-party site, by mail, or in-person at the local courthouse.
What is included in a Vermont Criminal Court Record?
The content included in a Vermont criminal court record varies depending on how the case ends and whether or not it goes to trial. Generally, the record will contain:
- Arrest warrants
- Arrest reports
- All documents, letters, and forms
- Type of case and case number
- Probation orders
- Name of presiding judge
- Objections, etc.
Are Vermont Criminal Court Records Open To the Public?
Vermont State Law dictates that you cannot keep any criminal conviction records from the public. All criminal conviction reports in Vermont are accessible to anyone. A criminal conviction report allows you to see only conviction information that has been submitted by the court, although some records are kept sealed and private to protect those involved. These records can include criminal, domestic, and juvenile cases, or other types of cases in which someone has been abused. Other than these exceptions, all criminal conviction records that have been recorded and filed are made available. Members of the public can access these records by visiting the website of the county courthouse, other secure internet sites that provide conviction records, by mail, or in-person. Full criminal history information is only available to the party listed on the record. A criminal history report provides all arrest and disposition information, and allows you to see pending, acquitted or dismissed charges.
How To Access Vermont Criminal Court Records
There are three ways to access criminal court record in Vermont:
- Online through third party websites
- In person at the Vermont Crime Information Center
- By mail with a request form
How Do I Access Vermont Criminal Court Records Online?
What you will need to access Vermont criminal court records online:
- The name and date of birth of the party
- A valid payment method e.g. credit card
Note: No payment method is necessary if you represent a Vulnerable Populations Agency (entities that provide care or services in Vermont to children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities) or an Educational Institution (public or independent schools in Vermont)
To access Vermont criminal court records online, visit the Vermont Criminal Conviction Record Internet Service (VCCRIS) and fill out a request form. VCCRIS provides any member of the public with a criminal conviction report on anyone by providing a name and date of birth. Once finished filling out this information and making your payment, press submit. You will then be redirected to a page with a list of court records that match your search criteria. The report is instantly returned to the request or for review, printing or saving.
Note: Online criminal conviction records are subject to change as the case progresses, and they vary in length. Additionally, if there is a mistake in a court record because of identity fraud or clerical error, it will likely be duplicated in the online database.
Additionally, publicly available records are accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.
How Do I Access Vermont Criminal Court Records In-Person?
To access Vermont criminal conviction records in-person, fill out a request form with the necessary information, including name and date of birth of the party you are searching for, and visit the Vermont Crime Information Center. You will need valid identification to access these records, such as a driver's license, state I.D., birth certificate, or passport. Payment can be made in cash, check, or money order. Office hours of the Vermont Crime Information Center are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. You can call ahead of time at (802) 244-8727 or fax at (802) 241-5552.
How Do I Access Vermont Criminal Court Records By Mail?
In order to access Vermont criminal court records by mail, send a completely filled out request form to the Vermont Crime Information Center using the email DPS.RecordChecks@vermont.gov or by mailing the request form to:
Record Check Section
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-1300
Understanding the Vermont Court System
The Vermont Court System contains an appellate court, equal to the Supreme Court. It also has a trial court known as the Vermont Superior Court. The Vermont Supreme Court hears appeals from cases that have already been seen by state courts and state agencies. The Supreme Court takes on procedures that are used in state courts and manages the Vermont court system. It is also in charge of appointing attorneys, as well as enacting disciplinary measures for attorneys and judges.
The Vermont Superior Court has 5 divisions: civil, criminal, environmental, family, and probate. The criminal division of the Vermont Superior Court, also known as criminal court, is present in every courthouse in the state of Vermont. Through jury trials, court trials, and guilty pleas, a judge ultimately decides the outcome of criminal cases presented to them. The criminal division handles felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, along with approving or declining search warrants and arrest warrants.. A criminal case is formed when the state of Vermont accuses a person of breaking one or multiple state laws. This can include very serious cases like murder or trafficking, as well as traffic or fish and game violations. Within the criminal division, there exists different categories for different needs. For instance, cases which involve charges including adult drug, juvenile drug, mental health and driving under the influence have their own courts.
Are Juvenile Criminal Records Open to the Public?
Juvenile criminal records are not open to the public because they are confidential cases. This means they are only accessible to the victim of the juvenile crime, parents, attorneys, or any other parties involved with the case. Many juvenile’s file a petition for expungement because a juvenile criminal record can affect one’s employment, education, and housing qualifications. Expungement means that all documents related to the case will be detached from the rest of the file, essentially removing the offense from the party’s record.
How do I Expunge my Juvenile Record?
In order to expunge a juvenile record, the juvenile must be eligible. If the case did not go to trial, a juvenile can file for expungement anytime. However, if there was a trial, they must wait 10 years to file for expungement.
- Necessary information to file for expungement:
- All relevant dates
- Violated statute(s) and offenses(s)
- Complaint(s), reference number(s), summon(es).
- Conviction or dismissed charges date
- Court’s disposition, punishments
- Date of adjudication of delinquency, fine payment, dismissal, etc
Can Members of the Public See an Expunged Juvenile Record?
Once someone's record is expunged, all documents related to the case will be detached from the rest of the file and the physical copies are destroyed. Although these records won’t be available to the public, there are still some government entities that likely will be able to view a file that has been expunged. These entities include the military, the department of corrections, and law enforcement agencies.
Are Trial Transcripts Open to the Public?
Usually, Vermont trial transcripts are open to members of the public. There are however exceptions to this rule, and sometimes these transcripts maybe closed and the public is unable to access them. If the court finds that the confidentiality of the trial outweighs the importance of public availability, the court may close the documents to the public.
How do I Access Vermont Court Transcripts?
Any member of the public can obtain a copy of court transcripts as long as they pay the appropriate fees. The cost of transcript orders differs depending on when the requestor needs them. In Vermont, it is necessary to order the transcripts from a court-appointed vendor. You must also send a copy of the transcript order to all parties involved in the case.
To order a transcript, go to the website of the vendor or contact them by phone or fax, mail, or email using the following contact information:
700 West 192nd Street, Suite 607
New York, NY 10040