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Delaware Criminal Records

Delaware Criminal Records serve as a vital resource in maintaining public safety and upholding the principles of transparency within the state's legal system.

These documents, gathered and collated from correctional facilities, courts, and other municipal and state departments, provide a complete overview of the individual's criminal history in the state. By shedding light on past illegal activities, these records offer valuable insights that aid in decision-making processes related to public safety, employment, and various legal proceedings.

Even though the rules for collecting and storing criminal records vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, most criminal records in Delaware remain in a central repository managed by the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) of the Delaware State Police (DSP). These records, which hold important information, usually include the following:

  • The subject's details, such as name, date of birth, and sex
  • Any known aliases
  • Fingerprints
  • Mugshots
  • Physical description
  • Charges
  • Date of arrest
  • Court appearances
  • Sentence

Similar to other states, these records are available to the general public. The Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows individuals, including employers, landlords, law enforcement agencies, and the general public, to access criminal records in Delaware unless restricted by statute or court order.

However, it is crucial to recognize the importance of responsible use of criminal records. While the availability of such records provides significant benefits, it is equally important to exercise discretion and ensure that the information is used ethically and legally.

Misuse or misinterpretation of these records can have serious consequences, potentially leading to discrimination, defamation, or wrongful denial of employment opportunities. Therefore, it is essential to examine these records with integrity, adhering to legal and ethical guidelines.

What Are the Types of Crimes in Delaware?

Understanding the various types of crimes found in Delaware Criminal Records holds tremendous importance for legal awareness, public safety, fair administration of justice, rehabilitation efforts, and public education.

Similar to any other state, Delaware encompasses different categories of crimes. In essence, when accessing criminal records, individuals may come across the following types of crimes:


In Delaware, felonies are serious criminal offenses with severe penalties upon conviction. These crimes are considered more grave than misdemeanors, and they typically result in a criminal conviction with a sentence of more than one year in prison.

Delaware utilizes a classification system for felonies, categorizing them into different classes based on the severity of the offense. The classes range from Class A to Class G, with Class A being the most severe and Class G being the least severe. Additionally, felonies are further categorized as either nonviolent or violent.

The sentencing for felonies in Delaware considers several factors, including the defendant's criminal history, the type and classification of the crime committed, and the recommended level of supervision. However, there are prescribed maximum and minimum sentences for each felony class as set by the law.

To provide a better understanding of the sentencing framework in Delaware, below are examples of crimes and their corresponding classes, along with their penalties for each category:

Class A Felonies

At the top of the hierarchy, Class A felonies represent the most severe offenses in Delaware. Crimes falling under this category often involve heinous acts, such rape in the first degree and murder in the first or second degree.

In Delaware, the penalties for Class A felonies can be severe, with potential sentences of 15 years and up to life in prison.

Class B Felonies

Class B felonies encompass crimes that are still highly serious but carry slightly lesser penalties than Class A felonies in Delaware. This type of felony includes crimes like theft over $100,000, assault in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, and murder.

Delaware's shortest prison term for this type of felony is two years, and the highest is 25 years.

Class C Felonies

Felonies categorized as Class C in Delaware involve offenses of significant magnitude but of a lower degree of severity than Class A or B felonies. Examples of felonies under this category include:

  • First-degree driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Vehicular homicide
  • First-degree arson
  • Rape in the fourth degree

Anyone guilty of these crimes in Delaware could spend up to 15 years in prison.

Class D Felonies

In Delaware, Class D felony cover offenses less severe than those in the previous classes. Robbery in the second degree, drug dealing, second-degree burglary, and strangulation are examples of Class D felony.

While still serious, this type of felony generally carries shorter prison terms than higher classes, with a potential sentence of up to eight years in prison.

Class E Felonies

Felonies categorized as Class E represent offenses of a moderate level of severity that carries a penalty of imprisonment for up to five years.

Crimes under this classification include healthcare fraud, identity theft,  prohibited possession of a firearm, and certain computer offenses.

Class F Felonies

Class F felonies are considered less severe than Class E felonies but still encompass significant criminal conduct. This type of felony includes stealing guns, rioting, hurting animals, stalking, joining a gang, and making terroristic threats.

In Delaware, a conviction for these offenses carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.

Class G Felonies

At the lower end of the spectrum, Class G felonies represent the least severe felonies in Delaware. It involves crimes that are still significant but have less severe punishments.

Class G felonies include aggravated harassment, second-degree child abuse, and resisting arrest with violence or force. In Delaware, people who commit these crimes can go to prison for up to two years.


In Delaware, misdemeanors are any offense punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine, or both. While these crimes are not as severe as felonies, they still carry legal consequences and should not be taken lightly. Misdemeanors can impact an individual's personal and professional life, leading to potential difficulties in obtaining employment, housing, and other opportunities.

Like many other states, Delaware categorizes misdemeanors into Class A and B. However, there is also a classification known as unclassified misdemeanors, which includes offenses that do not specifically fall into these classes.

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors are the most severe type of misdemeanor offenses in Delaware. These offenses generally involve moderate harm or risk to public safety.

In Delaware, some of the crimes that fall under this category are:

  • Third-degree assault
  • Theft of property worth less than $1,500
  • Contravention of a domestic violence protective order
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Joyriding
  • Criminal trespassing

Penalties for Class A misdemeanors in Delaware are more severe compared to lower classes. The penalties may vary depending on the offense and the offender's criminal history. But typically, convictions may result in a maximum jail term of up to one year, fines not exceeding $2,300, or a combination of both.

Class B Misdemeanors

Class B misdemeanors are less serious offenses than Class A but entail legal consequences. These offenses generally involve less harm or risk to public safety.

Examples of Class B misdemeanors in Delaware include lewdness, prostitution, ticket scalping, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In Delaware, the penalties for Class B misdemeanors are typically less severe than Class A misdemeanors. Upon conviction, individuals may face a maximum jail term of up to six months, fines not exceeding $1,150, or a combination of both.

Unclassified Misdemeanors

In Delaware, certain misdemeanors are designated as unclassified due to their unique nature or because they don't fall under the established Class A or Class B categories.

Unclassified misdemeanors encompass a range of offenses, including underage gambling, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana, and public intoxication.

The penalties for this misdemeanor vary depending on the offense committed. But usually, if someone is guilty of these crimes in Delaware, they may have to pay a fine of $575 and spend 30 days in jail.

How Does Probation Work in Delaware?

Probation, as practiced in  Delaware, is a judicially ordered and supervised program allowing individuals convicted of a crime to serve their sentence within the community under certain conditions rather than incarceration.

In Delaware, Title 11, Chapter 43, or the Sentencing, Probation, Parole, and Pardons of the Delaware Code grants probation. This chapter serves as a framework for determining appropriate sentences for criminal offenses, establishing probationary terms, defining probation eligibility, and outlining the procedures for granting probation.

The process of probation in Delaware begins with the court's decision based on a pre-sentence investigation report. This report aids the magistrate's court in determining the proper term or order for the defendant's case.

Once the judge orders probation, the defendant must adhere to specific conditions outlined in their probationary terms. These conditions may vary depending on the nature of the offense, the individual's criminal history, and the probation officer's recommendations. But generally, the requirements of probation in Delaware may include, but are not limited to:

  • Mandatory drug testing
  • Regular reporting to the probation officer
  • Maintain employment or attend educational programs
  • Participate in rehabilitative treatments
  • Refrain from committing new offenses
  • Adherence to the curfew established by the probation officer

Failure to comply with these conditions can lead to consequences, such as increased supervision, additional requirements, or even revocation of probation, which may result in imprisonment.

Furthermore, the probation duration in Delaware varies depending on the offense committed and the individual's circumstances. Delaware law establishes maximum probationary periods for different types of crimes. 

For example, a misdemeanor offense may carry a probation period of up to one year, while a violent felony offense may result in probation for two years.

However, in Delaware, the length of probation can also be influenced by the individual's progress, compliance, and successful completion of rehabilitation programs.

What Are the Levels of Supervision in Delaware?

Unlike other jurisdictions, Delaware divides probation into levels of supervision ranging from Level 1 to 4, with Level 5 monitoring individuals placed in jail. These levels determine the intensity and frequency of control provided by probation officers from the Bureau of Community Corrections of the Delaware Department of Corrections (DDOC) and the judiciary.

Level 1 Supervision

Probationers at this level are considered low-risk and require minimal monitoring. They only need to meet with their probation officer if instructed. These meetings focus on reviewing their progress, ensuring compliance with probation conditions, and providing guidance when needed.

Level 2 Supervision

Probation officers for Level 2 supervision conduct more frequent meetings with probationers, often every month, to monitor their progress and address any emerging issues. Probationers at this level may also have additional requirements or conditions to meet.

Level 3 Supervision

At Level 3, probationers may have a higher risk of reoffending or more complex needs. They require closer monitoring and more frequent contact with their probation officer. Meetings can occur weekly to assess progress, provide support, and ensure compliance with probation conditions.

Level 4 Supervision

Level 4 supervision represents a higher level of intensity. Probationers in this category have stricter restrictions, such as being confined to an approved residence, and face additional conditions imposed by the court.

How Does Parole Work in Delaware?

Parole in Delaware is an essential component of the criminal justice system that allows convicted individuals to serve the remainder of their sentences in the community under supervision.

In Delaware, the Delaware Board of Parole (DBP) is the agency responsible for overseeing parole decisions and the supervision of parolees in the state. However, following the implementation of the Truth-In-Sentencing Act of 1989, the DBP has no longer awarded parole except to convicts condemned for offenses perpetrated before June 30, 1990.

Nonetheless, DPB may provide qualified individuals punishment adjustment consideration upon DDOC application. If the DPB receives an adequate reason for modification, they will make a positive suggestion to the sentencing court.

Upon approval, individuals are released under a Controlled Release Plan that combines the necessary level of surveillance concentration with the required treatment.

Delaware considers various factors for individuals sentenced before this law to decide if an individual qualifies for parole. Some of these factors include:

  • History of domestic violence
  • Criminal and traffic violations from the past
  • The nature of the present crime and the amount of time served
  • Community input and residence and employment plans
  • Rehabilitative efforts

How Does Expungement Work in Delaware?

Expungement, a legal process aimed at removing criminal records, is pivotal in offering individuals a chance to start anew after past mistakes. In Delaware, expungement serves as a mechanism to grant eligible individuals the opportunity to have their criminal records removed from public access.

There are two types of expungement in Delaware: mandatory and discretionary.

Mandatory expungement, which SBI handles, applies in cases where someone was arrested but not convicted or when charges were dismissed. This expungement automatically erases certain kinds of criminal records for eligible individuals.

To apply for mandatory expungement in Delaware, interested individuals must contact the SBI and request this type of expungement. If qualified, SBI will send a notification with directions and payments.

On the other hand, discretionary expungement is managed by the Family Court and Superior Court.

This method requires filing a petition and attending a court hearing and is used for cases where an individual has been convicted of a crime and wishes to have their records expunged.

In Delaware, interested individuals must petition the relevant court to pursue discretionary expungement. They must provide detailed information about their background, the specific charges or convictions they wish to remove, and any supporting documentation on their petition.

When the court receives the petition, it will evaluate it, considering factors such as the nature of the offense, the individual's criminal history, public safety impact, and rehabilitation. Once granted, the individual's Delaware Criminal Records will not be available for public viewing.

However, it's essential to understand that mandatory and discretionary expungement in Delaware has specific eligibility requirements and limitations. Certain offenses, such as violent felonies, sex offenses, and crimes involving children, generally cannot be expunged, regardless of the expungement type.

Additionally, individuals seeking expungement must follow waiting periods that vary based on the offense and conviction status.

How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Delaware

Obtaining criminal records in different jurisdictions is a process that involves specific methods. However, acquiring Delaware Criminal Records involves a particular way that primarily relies on visiting the SBI.

In Delaware, the SBI is responsible for maintaining a comprehensive repository of criminal records. To access these records, individuals must visit or contact one of the SBI's three locations: New Castle County, Sussex County, or Kent County.

Individuals must provide valid photo identification, such as a state identification card or a valid driver's license, to obtain a criminal record. Additionally, they must give the subject's fingerprint card, which is necessary for the search.

In the case of juveniles who wish to request criminal records, they must be accompanied by an adult who can authorize the search for their criminal history. Minors also need to present a valid school identification card.

When requesting these records, there is a required fee for each search conducted, and the payment is made directly to the DSP.

What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in Delaware?

In Delaware, criminal background check laws play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of individuals and communities. These laws establish guidelines for obtaining Delaware Criminal Records and impose obligations on employers and other organizations to conduct thorough background checks.

Apart from federal laws like Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), individuals performing a background check must follow various state laws. Among these laws, the Ban-the-Box Law for Public Employers and section 4372 of the Delaware Code play significant roles in shaping the state's approach to criminal background checks.

Just like in other places, Delaware has implemented the Ban-the-Box Law. This law prohibits public employers, including state agencies and local governments, from asking about applicants' criminal histories on job applications. Its purpose is to give individuals with prior convictions a fair chance by delaying inquiries about their criminal background until later stages of the hiring process.

On the other hand, section 4372 of the Delaware Code controls the state's release and usage of criminal records. It provides guidelines for obtaining criminal records and limits their distribution to authorized entities. Moreover, it places the responsibility on the requester to follow the law and establishes penalties for the unauthorized use or distribution of criminal records.

Failure to comply with these laws in Delaware may result in penalties and legal actions, including fines and potential lawsuits. Thus, adherence to these laws is crucial for employers and organizations to avoid legal repercussions.


Counties in Delaware

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Delaware

Sussex County Sheriff's Office22215 Dupont Blvd, Georgetown, DE
Kent County Sheriff's Office555 Bay Rd, Dover, DE
New Castle County Sheriff's Office800 N. French St., Wilmington, DE