Buncombe County Arrest, Court, and Public Records
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) collates crime statistics for all counties in the state. Its latest crime data for Buncombe County are for 2017. In that year, the county recorded 774 violent crimes and 6,222 property crimes. Compared to the figures for 2013, the violent crime rate increased by 27.9% while property crime rate shrank by 20%. A closer look at the reported Part I crimes for 2017 shows that there were 14 murders, 69 rapes, 209 robberies, and 482 aggravated assaults. Buncombe County also recorded 1,376 burglaries, 4,362 larcenies, and 484 motor vehicle thefts in the same year.
In the latest five-year crime trend for the county, the following crimes recorded lower numbers in 2017 compared to 2013: murder (12.5%), burglaries (32.8%), larcenies (16.4), and motor vehicle thefts (5.1%). In the same period, rape, robbery, and aggravated assaultrates increased by 46.8%, 11.1%, and 36.2 % respectively.
The Buncombe County Clerk of Superior Court Office provides certified criminal record reports for the county. This background check costs $25 each. To make a request, complete the Form AOC-CR-314 and submit it to the clerk's office in person or send it by mail to:
Clerk of Superior Court
Buncombe County Courthouse
60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801-3519
While this background search only checks the criminal history search for the county, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) provides a non-certified statewide criminal record search. The Bureau provides this check at $14 each. To make a request complete a fingerprint card and the Right to Review form. Requests are only accepted by U.S. mail, hence send the completed card and form along with a certified check or money order for the fee to:
NC State Bureau of Investigation,
Attention: Applicant Unit-Right to Review
Criminal Information and Identification Section,
P.O. Box 29500,
Raleigh, NC 27626-0500
For further information, contact the SBI by calling (919) 582-8600 or via email at CIIShelp@ncsbi.gov. The public can also conduct free non-certified criminal record searches using the computers at the Clerk’s Office at the courthouse.
To obtain a police report in the county, contact the police department in the city, borough, or town where the event occurred. For example, police reports for Asheville city, the county seat, are provided by the Asheville Police Department. There are three ways to obtaining a copy of a police report from the Records Unit of the police department. Residents are allowed to print/download a copy of a report using the Police-to-Citizen tool. Otherwise, visit the Asheville Police Department’s Records Unit located in the lobby of Police Department Headquarters (also referred to as the Municipal Building) at:
100 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 259-5870
The Unit is open to the public from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It also accepts mail requests. Send one along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Asheville Police Department Records Unit
P.O. Box 7148,
Asheville, NC 28802
Buncombe County Sheriff's Office also offers a Police-to-Citizen app from which the public can download or print out incident reports for events handled by the Sheriff’s Office.
The North Carolina Sex Offender Registry maintains information about registered sex offenders in Buncombe County. To search for offenders near an address, by name and zip code, by latitude/longitude or by Sex Registration Number, visit the online registry on the SBI website. Information on sex offenders living in the county can also be obtained from the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
The Buncombe County Detention Facility is the main correctional facility for the county. The jail is managed by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and it is located at:
20 Davidson Drive,
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 250-4550
Friends and family can fund an inmate's account online at JailATM or via the kiosk located in the main lobby of the Detention Facility. For further information regarding deposit into an inmate's account, call (866) 933-6386.
In line with North Carolina's justice system, Buncombe County has a unified court system referred to as the General Court of Justice. This includes a Superior Court and a District Court, both of which are trial courts. Both courts are located at:
Buncombe County Courthouse,
60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 259-3400
The Superior Court handles criminal cases of felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions appeals from the lower court, and civil cases with claims above $25,000. The Buncombe County District Court, which is the lower court of trial, hold sessions in the same building. The District County has jurisdiction over misdemeanors,infractions, municipal ordinance violations, probate, family, and juvenile cases as well as civil cases with claims for $25,000 or less.
The Buncombe County Clerk of the Superior Court maintains all criminal and civil case records for the courts in the county. The public can access these records by visiting the office of the clerk at the Buncombe County Courthouse. Copies are made for a fee. Certified copies are provided at $3 per document and exemplified copies cost $10 per document. Contact the Clerk of Superior Court's Office for additional information at (828) 259-3400.
Buncombe County divorce records are provided by North Carolina Vital Records of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Divorce records from 1958 to the present are available at the office and cost $24 each. The fee is inclusive of charges for searching three years of records.
Copies of divorce records before 1958 can be obtained from the Buncombe County Clerk of the Superior Court. To request a copy from the office of the Vital Records, complete this application form and send it by mail or present it in-person. Include a money order, certified check, or business check (not a personal check) for the fee in the mail request to:
North Carolina Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1900
Requesters can also visit the office between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is located at:
N.C. Vital Records
(Cooper Memorial Health Building)
225 North McDowell Street
Raleigh, N.C. 27603-1382
North Carolina Vital Records office also provides marriage, death and birth certificates for Buncombe County. Available marriage certificates are from 1962 to the present while death certificates are from 1930 to the present, and birth certificates are from 1913 to the present. Certified copies of all these records are provided at $24 per copy. Use the same application form to apply for a marriage or death certificate from the office. When requesting a birth record, download and complete the birth certificate application form. The process of requesting these records is the same as requesting divorce records.
The Buncombe County Register of Deeds also provides birth, death and marriage certificates for events that occurred in the county. It costs $10 to obtain a certified copy of these records at the office whileuncertified copies cost $1 per copy. The office accepts cash, certified check, money order, or debit/credit card for payment. Request can be made online at Buncombe County Vital Records Request page. To make a request by mail or in person, download and complete the Vital Records Request Form. Submit the completed form in person at:
205 College Street,
Asheville, NC 28801,
Phone: (828) 250-4300
Fax: (828) 250-4333
The office is open to the public from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mail-in requests are also directed to the address above. A valid photo ID should also accompany the completed application at submission.