In the case that you have an outstanding arrest warrant or bench warrant in the state of Missouri, it means that law enforcement has permission to place you under arrest and take you to jail regardless of what time it is, or where you are located.
Depending on the severity of the circumstances of the warrant, police may even break your door down in order to apprehend you.
Although certain circumstances will merit an arrest without the need for a warrant, when there is an arrest warrant present, the police have more power over the situation.
With a warrant in place, police can come to your home, your place of business, your school, or even to your grandma’s birthday party to arrest you. In most cases, if the police are searching for you, you will be going to jail.
If you believe that you or somebody that you know has a warrant, we recommend that you do a Missouri warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.
Active Warrants in Missouri
Having active arrest warrants in the state of Missouri can mean various things. Depending on the type of warrant and the severity of the situation a person could be subject to immediate incarceration, or a promise to appear in court.
If the warrant that is active is a search warrant a person will find themselves subject to search and seizure at any time.
A warrant is an official document signed by a judge that demands an action to take place. Whether it is a search warrant or an arrest warrant the police are expected to execute the orders of the warrant as soon as possible.
Whether they show up to a residence to conduct a search, or they discover that a passenger in a car has an outstanding warrant for their arrest, the authorities will act on the warrant without question or regard to your situation.
Types of Warrants in Missouri
There is a long list of specific types of warrants in the state of Missouri. Alias warrant, capias warrant, criminal warrant, fugitive warrant…and so on. Although there are so many types of warrants, they all stem from one of these three types:
- Search warrant
- Arrest warrant
- Bench warrant
Warrants are all basically the same because of the way that they are written up and signed into action by a judge or a magistrate. However, each warrant will have its own origins and its own characteristics that will be unique to each case.
The origin of the warrant is key in determining the type of warrant that is issued. A warrant can originate from a fresh crime that has yet to be processed, or from a courtroom decision based on a case that is already in progress.
Warrant Records Search
Search Warrants in Missouri
If the district attorney or a police officer has established enough probable cause to justify the reasoning for a search warrant to be issued against an individual they can bring the information that they have to a judge that can write up the warrant and sign it into effect.
The United States has a law in place that is known as the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The reason for this law is to protect everyday citizens from unauthorized and unreasonable searches and seizures by police officers and other government officials. The state of Missouri has its own statewide search and seizure laws that they adhere to as well.
Although law enforcement comprehends the need for personal privacy, they have the authority to discriminate between the need for privacy and the need for public safety. If police can justify that there is a threat to the community that merits a search of the property or premises, they have the court’s permission to search without a warrant.
Whether or not the act can be proven justified later on in the court process is another story.
When there is a legal search warrant in place officers can:
- Search the personal property of the person named in the warrant
- Detain the named person if any incriminating evidence is found
Each search warrant will have its own orders and stipulations depending on the situation of the case. The warrant has to define, specifically, where the officers are allowed to search and what boundaries they are required to stay within.
If the search is executed in a way that conflicts with the orders of the judge, any evidence found can be thrown out of the case due to the premise of an illegal search.
Arrest Warrants in Missouri
When a judge issues an arrest warrant in the State of Missouri it can also be called a ”criminal warrant.” The reason for an arrest warrant is to bring a suspected criminal into the courtroom to be tried for a crime.
Common reasons a judge will issue a warrant for arrest are:
- Defendant was identified as a suspect in a crime
- Defendant was witnessed in the act of a crime
- Defendant left incriminating evidence at a crime scene
- The person has a federal indictment against them
In some cases, a judge will issue an arrest warrant before any criminal charges have been filed by the district attorney’s office. When this happens it is usually because the courtroom will be closed for a time for the weekend, or holiday.
Most of the time when an arrest warrant is issued it is because the district attorney had found sufficient evidence to officially charge the defendant with a criminal case. Once the charges have been filed, the DA will go to the judge and request a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.
Once a judge issues an arrest warrant and it becomes active the police can immediately act on it and make an arrest without warning. An arrest warrant for a felony will never expire or go away on its own.
Bench Warrants in Missouri
When a judge issues a bench warrant in the state of Missouri it can be called various other names, such as a capias warrant or a fugitive warrant. This type of warrant, however, is drafted and signed into action by a judge directly from the bench in the courtroom.
Bench warrants are issued because the defendant failed to comply with a court order. The most common reasons that a judge will issue a bench warrant are circumstances such as:
- Failing to appear at an appointed court hearing
- Failing to pay off a fine within the terms of the court
- Failing to commit to jury duty
- Failing to complete a court-appointed sentence
A bench warrant carries the same power as an arrest warrant in terms of the police having permission to arrest and detain the person that is named in the warrant and take them to jail to be processed.
Depending on the severity of the circumstances defined in the warrant law enforcement may diligently track down the person named in the warrant, or simply wait for them to be stopped in a traffic incident.
Knowing if You Have Warrants
The best way to know whether or not you have outstanding warrants is to do regular warrant searches and stay informed. Although you won’t find out about search warrants until after they happen, an arrest warrant or a bench warrant could be out for you without your knowledge. Do a quick check every week or so and you could save yourself a trip to jail.
***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.