Arkansas Warrant Search
Arkansas Warrant Search refers to the process of accessing information about active warrants issued by courts in the state.
An Arkansas warrant is a written order signed by a judicial officer that permits law enforcement officers to take a specific action in the interest of justice. Without this writ, the actions taken by the police would often violate a person's rights.
While warrants can have different types, they are usually issued to detain a person or search their property or premises.
Generally, a warrant search in Arkanasa will reveal the type of warrant issued by the court, the name of the subject in the warrant, the nature of the alleged crime, the issuing date, and the jurisdiction responsible for enforcing it.
By knowing if an arrest warrant exists for someone, employers can ensure the safety and integrity of their workplace, landlords can protect their property and other tenants, and concerned citizens can be aware of potential risks in their communities.
Additionally, conducting a warrant search allows individuals to confirm whether or not there is an active warrant issued for their arrest. It helps them understand their legal situation.
Knowledge of an active warrant allows individuals to take necessary steps to protect their personal and professional lives. They can take measures to address the situation promptly, which may minimize the impact on their reputation, employment, and relationships.
In this state, anyone can look at and get copies of warrants from state and local agencies under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, some parts of a warrant may not be available to the public. For instance, all the papers filed during a warrant request are private until a police officer carries out the order.
How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in Arkansas?
In most states, the active status of a warrant persists until law enforcement executes it or the court recalls it. Arkansas follows this general practice, and its laws do not impose a statute of limitation restrictions on warrants or no specific regulations dictate the exact duration of an active warrant.
Generally, the Arkansas courts issue three types of warrants: arrest warrants, bench warrants, and search warrants.
Among these warrant types, search warrants are unique in that they have a specific timeframe within which law enforcement officers must execute them; otherwise, they become invalid. In contrast, arrest and bench warrants remain active until the law enforcement officer apprehends the subject or the subject voluntarily surrenders or passes away.
It means that as long as the person named in the warrant is still free, these warrants will remain active and enforceable.
However, in certain situations, a warrant may become inactive or unenforceable. Suppose a warrant remains outstanding for an extended period without any progress or attempts to execute it. In that case, a defendant's attorney may argue that the delay violates their client's constitutional right to a speedy trial.
This argument can lead to a motion to dismiss the charges based on violating the defendant's rights.
What Are the Most Common Warrants in Arkansas?
During an Arkansas Warrant Search, individuals may encounter the following common types of warrants that the court issues for several reasons, including failure to appear in court, outstanding traffic tickets, and criminal charges:
Arkansas Arrest Warrant
In Arkansas, a powerful tool of law enforcement known as the arrest warrant serves as a legal instrument to apprehend individuals suspected of committing crimes.
Following Arkansas Code 16-81-104, this document, issued by a circuit court judge, district court judge, or magistrate, authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest and detain individuals believed to have violated the law.
When law enforcement officials gather sufficient evidence or receive credible information implicating an individual in a criminal offense, they can seek an arrest warrant. The process starts by submitting an affidavit to a judge or magistrate.
The affidavit outlines the facts and evidence supporting the belief that the individual has committed a crime. It provides the necessary foundation for the judge or magistrate to determine whether there is probable cause to issue an arrest warrant.
Judges and magistrates meticulously examine the information provided in the affidavit to verify if there is enough probable cause. They issue an arrest warrant if they are convinced that the evidence is valid and an arrest is necessary.
An arrest warrant in Arkansas usually includes the name or description of the alleged offense and the county where it occurred. It must also instruct the officer to arrest the person mentioned in the warrant as the offender and bring them before a judge or magistrate in the same county to face legal consequences.
If one discovers an outstanding warrant against them through an Arkansas Warrant Search, it is crucial to act promptly. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is valuable, as they can handle bail bonds, prevent arrest, negotiate surrender terms, prepare a strong defense, and protect an individual's rights.
Can a Law Enforcement Officer in Arkansas Arrest Without a Warrant?
As per Arkansas Code 16-81-106, there are situations where a certified law enforcement officer can arrest someone without a warrant.
If they have a good reason to believe that person has committed a serious crime, like a felony, they can make the arrest.
Additionally, an officer can arrest someone for a less severe crime, called a misdemeanor, without a warrant. For example, if they have a good reason to believe that person physically hurt someone, like in a fight, and they see evidence of injuries, they can make the arrest.
Furthermore, suppose an arrest warrant has been issued in another jurisdiction. In that case, law enforcement officers in Arkansas can arrest without a warrant if they know the warrant's existence and have reasonable grounds to believe it is valid.
In certain circumstances, private persons in Arkansas can also make arrests. The law permits any person to arrest without a warrant if they witness someone committing a crime or reasonably believe that a person has committed a crime. It applies to both felony and misdemeanor offenses.
Arkansas Search Warrant
A search warrant in Arkansas is a court document issued by a judge or magistrate that grants law enforcement officers the authority to search a specific location, person, or vehicle to gather evidence of a suspected crime.
Law enforcement uses a search warrant as an essential tool in criminal investigations to ensure that they conduct lawful searches per Article 2, Section 15 of the Arkansas Constitution and the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. These constitutional provisions protect against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the search warrant helps uphold this protection.
To obtain a search warrant in Arkansas, law enforcement officers must establish probable cause, meaning they must present sufficient evidence to convince a judge or magistrate that it is likely that the location or individual to be searched contains evidence of a crime.
The evidence can come from different sources, such as surveillance, witness statements, or other investigative techniques.
Once law enforcement officers have gathered enough evidence to establish probable cause, they must prepare an application for a search warrant. This application includes a sworn statement or affidavit that outlines the facts and circumstances supporting the request for the search warrant.
The judge or magistrate will review the application and issue the search warrant if satisfied that probable cause exists.
Once issued, law enforcement officers can enter the specified location and search. They must provide a copy of the search warrant to the person controlling the premise unless notifying the person could put the officers' safety at risk or interfere with the investigation.
What Information Must an Arkansas Search Warrant Have To Be Valid?
Arkansas Rule of Criminal Procedure 13.2(b) outlines that a search warrant must consist of the following:
- Identification of the judge or magistrate issuing the warrant
- The date and location of issuance
- The judicial officer's determination of reasonable cause
- The target of the search (individual or site to be searched and items to be seized)
- The timeframe for returning the warrant to the judicial officer, which typically must not exceed five days after execution
Law enforcement officers must search within the scope of the warrant. It means they can only search the areas or items specifically mentioned in the warrant unless they discover additional evidence or contraband in plain view during the search.
In Arkansas, a search warrant remains valid for 60 days from the date of issuance. Law enforcement can execute the warrant within this timeframe unless a judicial officer reissues it after determining that there is still probable cause.
In addition, Arkansas search warrants have specific execution hours between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM unless a judge or magistrate authorizes a nighttime search.
Can a Law Enforcement Officer in Arkansas Search and Seize Without a Warrant?
A law enforcement officer in Arkansas can search and seize without a warrant under certain circumstances. These situations include:
- Consent: If the officer obtains voluntary consent from the person controlling the target property or individual, they can proceed without a warrant.
- Emergency/exigent circumstances: Warrantless searches are permitted in cases such as the hot pursuit of a felon, stopping a suspect from escaping for jailable misdemeanor offenses, preventing the destruction of evidence, and preventing serious harm, death, or property destruction.
- Open fields or areas: Unlike searches conducted in private spaces, like homes or enclosed yards, which generally require a warrant, searches in open fields or areas are not subject to the same level of privacy protection. Thus, law enforcement officers can search these open fields or areas without a warrant.
- Plain view, smell, or hearing: If officers lawfully observe incriminating evidence in plain sight, smell, or hearing, they can search without a warrant.
- Automobile searches: Warrantless searches can occur when the object of the investigation is an automobile, especially if it has been abandoned in a public place, as obtaining a search warrant may result in the car being gone.
- Pat-down search: A pat-down search, also known as a frisk, is a limited search technique a law enforcement officer uses to ensure their safety during individual encounters. It involves physically examining a person's outer clothing and immediate surroundings.
- Incident to a lawful arrest: After making a lawful arrest, an officer may search the arrested person and the immediate surrounding area to prevent the destruction of evidence and ensure officer safety.
- Arkansas Code 16-93-106: This law also allows for the search of individuals under supervised parole or probation in Arkansas without a warrant at any time, whether day or night.
Arkansas Bench Warrant
The bench warrant is one of the most commonly encountered warrants during an Arkansas Warrant Search.
An Arkansas bench warrant is sometimes called a "body attachment" since it stays with a person until they take care of the warrant or pass away. It is an order issued by a judge to arrest an individual who has failed to appear in court or violated a court order, like not paying a ticket or citation.
In addition to the immediate arrest, an Arkansas bench warrant carries other significant consequences. Usually, a person with a bench warrant can lose their government benefits and driving privileges and pay extra fines and costs.
Moreover, a bench warrant can have long-term consequences for an individual's personal and professional life. Background checks conducted by potential employers, landlords, or loan providers often reveal outstanding warrants, which can significantly diminish one's chances of securing a job, finding suitable housing, or obtaining credit.
So, people with these attachments should go to court willingly to avoid more problems. Sometimes, if a person goes to court on their own, the court can be more understanding and let them go with or without bail as long as they promise to return to court later.
What is Failure to Appear in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, the court issues bench warrants mostly when individuals fail to attend their court hearings, known as a Failure to Appear (FTA). As per Arkansas Code 5-54-120, missing a court hearing is a crime in the state, and individuals can face charges of a misdemeanor or felony if they cannot provide a valid reason for their absence.
Individuals guilty of an FTA offense may serve time in jail or prison, depending on the severity of their initial offense.
If someone misses court dates for a felony case, authorities can charge them with a Class C felony, which carries a prison sentence of three to ten years.
For misdemeanor cases, the charges for failing to appear generally match the original offenses. For example, if the initial crime was a Class B misdemeanor, the failure to appear charge will also be a Class B misdemeanor. A Class B misdemeanor FTA in Arkansas is punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
In probation revocation hearings, a defendant missing court dates can lead to a Class D felony charge. It has a prison sentence of up to six years.
In addition to incarceration periods, the court can impose a fine of up to $10,000, depending on the severity of the original court case, on the person guilty of an FTA offense.
What is Failure to Pay in Arkansas?
A Failure to Pay (FTP) is another common cause for issuing a bench warrant in Arkansas. It happens when an individual fails to pay a court-ordered fine, fee, or other monetary penalty.
In Arkansas, an FTP offense can have various consequences and legal implications. Suppose the court determines that the failure to pay was intentional. In that case, they may suspend the person's driver's license and impose additional fines, penalties, or interest on the outstanding amounts owed or even jail time.
It is important to note that individuals who genuinely face financial hardship and cannot meet their payment obligations should promptly communicate their situation to the court. In such cases, the court may consider alternative arrangements or options, such as establishing a payment plan based on the person's ability to pay.
How To Perform Warrant Search in Arkansas
Performing an Arkansas Warrant Search is a straightforward process that anyone can do through several methods.
The quickest way for an individual to determine if they have an outstanding warrant in Arkansas is to search the website of their local law enforcement agency. The Sheriff's Office typically makes this information publicly available.
Most county Sheriff's Offices in Arkansas have a warrant list or a warrant search tool on their websites that will often provide information like the full name of the person named in the warrant, their age, the warrant type, the offense or charge associated with the warrant, the warrant issuance date, and the warrant number.
Another method to perform a warrant search in Arkansas is through the CourtConnect of the Arkansas Judiciary. This portal allows users to search for public court records, including warrants, by inputting relevant information, such as the person's name or case number.
An individual's Arkansas criminal record may also include warrant information. Thus, qualified parties can request criminal history from the Arkansas State Police (ASP) through the Online Criminal Background Check System (OCBCS) or submit a completed ASP-122 form via mail or in-person delivery.
Lastly, individuals can consult an attorney to perform a warrant search in Arkansas. Attorneys have access to legal databases and resources that can facilitate a thorough search for active warrants.
They possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to navigate the legal system effectively. By engaging an attorney, individuals can receive professional guidance and support in conducting a warrant search, ensuring a comprehensive and accurate search.
Counties in Arkansas
- Hot Spring
- Little River
- Saint Francis
- Van Buren