North Dakota Warrant Searches

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North Dakota law states that ”If it appears to the magistrate from the complaint, and from any affidavit filed with the complaint, that there is probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has been committed by the defendant, a warrant for the arrest of the defendant upon the complaint shall issue to any officer authorized by law to execute it.

What the above statement means is that if a magistrate, or a judge, believes that there is probable cause to suggest that a person committed a crime they will issue a warrant for their arrest and expect law enforcement to execute the warrant as soon as possible.

If the police have a warrant for the arrest of an individual they have permission to:

  • Restrain the defendant in handcuffs
  • Place the defendant in the police car
  • Transport the defendant to jail
  • Identify, fingerprint, and book the defendant

Sometimes the warrant will specify a bond amount and allow the defendant to bail out of jail, sometimes a warrant will be without bail so that the defendant has no way to be released before they go to trial.

Once a person is arrested and booked into jail they might:

  • Be released on bail
  • Be released on their own recognizance
  • Remain in jail for the duration of their trial

It is a common occurrence that people have warrants out for them without being aware that they exist. The best way to avoid unexpected arrests and detainment is to always be aware of any warrants that could be active.

If you believe that you or somebody that you know has a warrant, we recommend that you do a North Dakota warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.

Active Warrants in North Dakota

When a person has an active warrant , also known as an outstanding warrant , in the state of North Dakota it means that a warrant has been issued against them and has not yet been executed.

As long as a person has a warrant out for them they will always be at the mercy of law enforcement and could be incarcerated at any time. Whether the police aggressively seek the defendant, or simply wait for the defendant to get pulled over in a routine traffic stop, sooner or later the person named in the warrant will have to face the court system.

Peace officers can discover people with warrants during:

  • Routine traffic stops
  • Raids of drug dealer homes
  • Traffic violation stops

In simple terms, a warrant is merely an official document that demands a specific action to be taken against an individual. The orders within the document will determine how the execution of it will be carried out. The document will remain active until the warrant has been executed.

Inactive Warrants in North Dakota

An inactive warrant is when a warrant can not be executed because certain circumstances will not allow it to happen. For example, if the defendant is incarcerated in another state.

Although the warrant is officially has been transferred to inactive status, if the defendant is pulled over by police they can still go to jail.

Depending on the type of warrant, law enforcement will handle each situation differently.

Types of Warrants in North Dakota

The court system has countless types of warrants that can be put into place throughout the United States. Depending on the type of case and the laws that surround a certain location the judge or magistrate will determine what type is best for which situation.

The criminal court in North Dakota, however, has three basic warrant types that are commonly put into action:

  • Search warrant
  • Arrest warrant
  • Bench warrant

Each one of these types of warrants has the power to order a person to be brought into the presence of the court, but each is unique depending on the reason why the warrant is issued in the first place.

Search Warrants in North Dakota

A search warrant is necessary in order for law enforcement officers to legally search and seize the property of a defendant. The Fourth Amendment is part of the United States Constitution, and it states that civilians shall not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure practices by law enforcement officials.

Certain circumstances have a need for officers to conduct a search in order to produce key evidence that can lead to a conviction in court. When law enforcement convinces a judge that there is probable cause to issue a search warrant, the judge will execute a search warrant and allow officers permission to search and seize any property that is listed in the warrant.

Search warrants can be issued in response to:

  • Probable drug dealers
  • Probable illegal firearm sales
  • Probable possession of stolen property
  • Probable possession of illicit material involving children

Search warrants are constructed behind closed doors and are not available to the public. The only time a search warrant will be considered public information is after it has been executed and the defendant has already been searched.

Failure to comply with the demands of a search warrant can lead to the defendant being charged with additional crimes.

Arrest Warrants in North Dakota

Most of the time when an arrest warrant is issued in North Dakota it is after a district attorney has filed charges against the defendant. Once the DA has collected enough evidence to charge the person with a crime they will file charges, then approach a judge to request a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.

An arrest warrant must:

  • Be in writing in the name of the State of North Dakota
  • Be signed by the issuing magistrate with the title of the magistrate’s office
  • State the date of issuance and the county it was issued out of
  • Contain the defendant’s name, or description of the defendant
  • Describe the charges
  • Command the defendant be arrested

Once an arrest warrant has been signed it can be immediately executed by law enforcement, and will not be satisfied until the defendant has been apprehended and brought in front of a judge or magistrate.

Bench Warrants in North Dakota

In the event that a person fails to appear at a court hearing, or fails to satisfy an order of the court in any other fashion the judge may order the clerk to issue a bench warrant.

The decision to issue a warrant of this type is made directly from the bench of the courtroom. When a bench warrant is issued in the state of North Dakota it will instantly be directed to all police officers in the state to instruct them to bring the person to court to face the judge immediately.

In addition to a failure to appear, bench warrants can be issued towards a defendant for other reasons such as:

  • Failure to pay a fine in the required amount of time
  • Failure to report to a work project sentence
  • Failure to act on a jury duty summons

A bench warrant can be issued without the knowledge of the defendant. The judge does not need to notify the person that the warrant exists. An active bench warrant is likely to end up with the arrest and incarceration of the defendant.

Warrant Searches are Necessary

The court of law can be unforgiving and relentless. If a person has a warrant they can be subject to the terms of that warrant at any time. The best way to avoid a traumatic arrest and a visit to the jail is to be aware of the warrants before they catch up to you. Conducting regular warrant searches is a risk-free way to determine if you have warrants, and what they are for. Stay on top of the court system by defending yourself with information.

***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.