In the state of Iowa , the general rule of thumb is that the police cannot simply arrest a person without a warrant - unless the person is caught in the act of a crime, or there is a probability that the accused person committed a crime. However, law enforcement officers have the capacity to self-determine the element of probable cause.
When officers have an arrest warrant, or a bench warrant against an individual they have the authority to apprehend the suspect, place them in restraints, and detain them until they book them into the corresponding jail.
Once the arrest has been made it is up to the court system to grant a bail amount, deny bail completely or allow the defendant to be released upon their own recognizance.
Law enforcement officers have permission to:
- Break down the door if necessary
- Restrain the defendant with handcuffs
- Place the defendant in the police car
- Book the defendant into jail
Law enforcement does not have to give warning, wait until it is convenient for the defendant, or be gentle and courteous. When they apprehend a suspect, they are ready for action and will not risk safety.
If you believe that you or somebody that you know has a warrant, we recommend that you do an Iowa warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.
Outstanding Warrants in Iowa
An outstanding warrant, also known as an active warrant, is a warrant that has been issued against an individual that has not been executed. When a person has an active warrant in the state of Iowa they are subject to police action at any time.
Depending on the type of warrant and the reason why the warrant was issued in the first place the type of action that the police will take can vary. Sometimes warrants will order that a search be made upon the person and the property of the person named in the warrant.
Sometimes a warrant will specify that the person named within will be brought to court and tried for a crime.
A warrant is a document that:
- Contains information regarding the defendant
- Contains written-out stipulations regarding the execution of the warrant
- Is signed into activity by a judge or magistrate
Once a warrant is issued law enforcement can immediately take action towards the person named therein.
Types of Warrants in Iowa
Among all of the possible titles of warrants that are present throughout the United States, there are three basic types of warrants that are generally issued in Iowa:
- Search warrants
- Arrest warrants
- Bench warrants
Any type of warrant is a court-ordered declaration signed by a judge. The contents of each warrant will vary due to the nature of each case. However, a warrant will result in a person showing up for a court appearance, or a person’s property being searched…or both.
Warrant Records Search
Search Warrants in Iowa
A search warrant is a signed document that instructs law enforcement to conduct a search upon a person and the person’s property or residence. The warrant will include details such as the name of the suspect, the area where the police are to search, and what the officers might be looking for.
Typically search warrants are established and issued because a person:
- Is believed to be involved in criminal activities
- Is believed to be in possession of incriminating evidence
- Is believed to be in possession of stolen property
- Is believed to be in possession of child pornography
When law enforcement or a district attorney has evidence to show that there is probable cause that the defendant is involved with criminal activities they can go to a judge and request a warrant so that they can legally search the person.
There are laws in place that correspond with the Fourth Amendment to the US constitution that mean to protect citizens from unreasonable search and seizure practices. However, police have the authority to search and make decisions based on their own interpretation of probable cause.
Regardless of how much authority the police have when it comes to making their own decisions, it is wise for them to follow the rules to the tee, or a savvy defense attorney can make them dismiss all of the evidence that they find.
An arrest warrant does not become public information until after it happens and all of the necessary evidence is collected. Therefore, it is almost impossible for a person named in a search warrant to know it has been issued until after the fact.
Arrest Warrants in Iowa
An arrest warrant is usually issued against a defendant after the district attorney has officially filed charges. Once the charges have been set into action, the DA will approach a judge and request an arrest warrant to bring the defendant in front of the court to face the charges.
When there is an urgent need for a suspect to be arrested and the courthouse is closed for whatever reason law enforcement officers can contact a judge after hours and request an arrest warrant based on the factor of probable cause.
Law enforcement might find probable cause because:
- The defendant fled the scene of a crime
- The defendant left behind incriminating evidence of a crime
- An eyewitness saw a crime committed and identified the suspect
As soon as the judge signs the arrest warrant into action police have permission to apprehend and arrest the person named on the warrant. Felony arrest warrants never expire or go away on their own. As long as there is an active warrant against a person, they will be expected to answer to it at some point.
Bench Warrants in Iowa
A bench warrant is a lot like an arrest warrant. The biggest difference between the two is that a judge issues a bench warrant from the bench in the courtroom, and an arrest warrant is issued as a result of a new charge, or case.
A bench warrant is a result of a person failing to satisfy an order of the court. One of the most common reasons that a judge issues a bench warrant is because a defendant fails to appear at an appointed court date. This is also called a ”failure to appear” (FTA).
Other common reasons that a bench warrant is issued are:
- Failure to pay a fine
- Failure to complete a court-mandated sentence
- Failure to comply with jury duty
Many people are not even aware that there is a bench warrant out for them. Oftentimes they get pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic stop or some other issue and learn about the warrant on the spot.
In most cases, the officer will issue a summons or a promise to appear in court. Sometimes, however, a person with a bench warrant will be arrested and hauled off to jail. In any event, police officers have permission to arrest and detain a person with a warrant at any time and at any place.
Conducting Regular Warrant Searches
Everybody can benefit from conducting regular warrant searches. You never know if there is a warrant out for you until you search for it. One of the easiest and smartest things to do is get into the habit of checking for warrants that might be out for you, or the people that you care about. The difference between knowing for sure and not knowing at all could be a couple of days in the county jail and an embarrassing experience.
***Regardless of which state you live in it is always wise to contact an attorney for any questions that you may have when it comes to warrant laws or any other legal concerns. The content found on this website is only for informational purposes and is not to be mistaken for legal advice.