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Indiana Warrant Search

Indiana warrants are legal documents authorizing arrest or search based on a likely crime, violation, or failure to appear in court. Warrants serve various functions depending on their type: arrest warrants, bench warrants, fugitive warrants, and search warrants. These warrants are issued, executed, and managed by the judiciary, state police, sheriff's offices, or local police. An Indiana warrant search can offer inquirers information about open criminal allegations against an individual. 

In Indiana, warrant search options include the judiciary's case information site, county clerk websites, and third-party platforms. Warrant search requests may also be made to the Indiana State Police, county sheriff's offices, or local police departments. Still, inquirers will face immediate arrest if they are the subject of an unexecuted arrest warrant.

Are Warrants Public Records in Indiana?

No. In Indiana, warrants are generally treated as confidential records and are made inaccessible to the public. Specifically, search warrants are restricted from public disclosure, as Rule 5 of the Indiana Rules of Court specifies. The confidentiality status of arrest and bench warrants depends on whether an agency has served them or if a trial court has officially declared them confidential, following the guidelines outlined in the Indiana Supreme Court Administrative Rule 9

Although fugitive warrants are typically considered public, exceptions arise if they are associated with ongoing investigations or pose potential risks to the safety of officers or the public. This precautionary measure is implemented to maintain the confidentiality of warrants, preventing individuals subject to arrest from having advanced knowledge before the warrant is executed.

Types of Warrants in Indiana

In Indiana, there are four primary types of warrants, each serving distinct purposes within the legal system: arrest warrants, search warrants, bench warrants, and fugitive warrants. 

  • Indiana Arrest Warrants: These judicial orders empower law enforcement officers to apprehend and detain individuals suspected of committing crimes. Issued by a judge or magistrate upon establishing a probable cause of the alleged offense, arrest warrants can be categorized into misdemeanor, felony, or fugitive warrants based on the severity of the crime and the suspect's legal status.
  • Indiana Search Warrants: These are official orders granting law enforcement the authority to search for and seize specific evidence of criminal activity in a designated location. Issued by a judge or magistrate after establishing probable cause that a crime has occurred or will occur and that the evidence is likely to be present at the specified location. Search warrants, however, are confidential records and are not open to public viewing in Indiana.
  • Indiana Bench Warrants: Similar to arrest warrants, these are issued by a judge when an individual fails to comply with a court order, such as attending court, paying fines, or adhering to a subpoena. Unlike arrest warrants, bench warrants are not based on probable cause of a crime but on the individual's contempt of court. Their confidentiality extends until served by an agency or officially declared as such by a trial court.
  • Indiana Fugitive Warrants: A fugitive warrant is a specific type of arrest warrant designed for individuals deliberately evading criminal charges by fleeing the jurisdiction where the warrant was issued. This warrant empowers law enforcement officers to apprehend the person in a different state and bring them back to Indiana for trial. Issuing a fugitive warrant is within the authority of a judge or magistrate, who can base it on a credible individual's sworn oath or affidavit accusing the person of committing a crime in another state and subsequently attempting to escape justice.

What is a Search Warrant in Indiana?

In Indiana, a search warrant is a legal instrument a judge or magistrate issued to authorize law enforcement officers to search for a designated location. This mechanism allows authorities to gather evidence related to a suspected crime while respecting constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.

To obtain a search warrant in Indiana, law enforcement officials must establish probable cause, which involves presenting compelling facts and circumstances to convince a reasonable person that a crime has occurred and that evidence is likely to be found at a specified location. The application for a search warrant is typically accompanied by an affidavit, a written document detailing the grounds for probable cause.

The process begins with submitting an affidavit/application to a judge or magistrate. The judicial officer reviews the presented information to assess the existence of probable cause. If satisfied, the judge or magistrate may issue the search warrant, outlining the specific location to be searched and the items to be seized.

Once the search warrant is issued, law enforcement officers are authorized to execute the search. This involves adhering to the terms and conditions specified in the warrant, ensuring that the investigation is focused on the designated area and the items outlined in the document.

During the execution of a search warrant in Indiana, certain rights and limitations are in place to safeguard individuals. Officers must announce their presence and purpose before entering a residence unless exigent circumstances dictate otherwise. The search scope is limited to the areas and items explicitly stated in the warrant, preventing a more extensive, general exploration. Searches are conducted during reasonable hours unless specific justifications necessitate deviation from this norm. Additionally, law enforcement must provide a receipt for any property seized during the investigation.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

The duration to secure a search warrant in Indiana is influenced by diverse factors, including the judge or magistrate's availability, the case's intricacy, and the urgency of the circumstances. Indiana law does not prescribe a fixed deadline or statute of limitations for obtaining a search warrant. However, general estimates indicate an average processing time of around 24 hours. Upon issuance, the executed search warrant must be carried out within ten days per Indiana Code § 35-33-5-7 unless the judge or magistrate specifies a different timeframe.

What is an Arrest Warrant in Indiana?

In Indiana, an arrest warrant is a legal instrument a judge or magistrate issues. It empowers law enforcement officers to apprehend an individual suspected of committing a crime, provided there is probable cause to believe in their involvement. According to Indiana Code § 35-33-2-1, the issuance of arrest warrants is guided by the principles of probable cause, ensuring that constitutional safeguards against unwarranted seizures are upheld.

Members of law enforcement are authorized to execute arrest warrants in Indiana, including police officers and sheriff's deputies, per the Indiana Code § 35-33-2-3. Private citizens also can make arrests without a warrant under specific circumstances. However, this is limited to instances where they directly witness a felony or possess explicit knowledge that a felony has occurred. Private citizens must exercise caution to prevent the unnecessary use of force and adhere to Indiana law.

An Indiana arrest warrant typically includes information such as:

  • The suspect's identity
  •  A description of the alleged offense
  • Details about the issuing authority
  • The date of issuance
  • The jurisdiction where the warrant holds validity
  • Any specific instructions or conditions related to the arrest

Indiana Code § 35-33-4 outlines the requirements for the state's form and content of arrest warrants.

Arrest Warrant Lookup in Indiana

To perform an arrest warrant lookup in Indiana, individuals can explore several avenues, including online databases, direct contact with law enforcement agencies, and official channels:

Online Databases

  • Accessing the Indiana Courts website provides an online platform for searching court records, including information on arrest warrants. Users can input the individual's name to initiate the search. 

Contacting Law Enforcement Agencies

  • For a localized search, individuals can contact their local police department, providing the name of the person in question and asking about any active warrants within that jurisdiction.
  • County sheriff's offices are often repositories of arrest warrant records. Contacting the sheriff's office in the relevant county can yield information on active warrants.
  • To obtain statewide information, individuals can contact the Indiana State Police to inquire about arrest warrants and provide the necessary details for a thorough search.

Court Clerk's Office

  • Visiting or contacting the county clerk of the court's office in the relevant county is another warrant search. Court clerks typically have access to information on arrest warrants issued within their jurisdiction.

Individuals should note that they can visit local law enforcement agencies or the sheriff's office in person to inquire about arrest warrants, mainly if online options are limited.

When conducting a warrant lookup, individuals should ensure they have accurate information about the individual, such as their full name and any other identifying details. 

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Indiana

To find out if you have a warrant in Indiana, contact the local police department or sheriff's office to ask if they have public access to warrant information or online databases. Alternatively, inquirers may check court records by visiting the Indiana Courts website or the county clerk of court's office. Warrants typically serve different purposes, from addressing criminal suspicions to dealing with individuals who haven't followed court orders or probation terms. Thus, the ideal course of action subsequent to finding an active warrant on yourself will be unique to the type of warrant in question.

Free Warrant Search in Indiana

There are two primary options for a warrant search in Indiana: the Indiana Official Courts website and in-person queries to local law enforcement:

  • The official Indiana Courts website provides an online case search feature for warrant inquiries. Inquirers may use this tool by searching with the subject's name or related biodata. However, requestors may need to pay a fee to cover the cost of reproduction if copies are needed.
  •  The county sheriff's office and local police department websites often offer remote warrant search options depending on the jurisdiction. Alternatively, inquirers may visit the county clerk of court's office in person and request an Indiana warrant search onsite.

It's important to note that the availability of online resources can vary between counties, prompting individuals to explore resources based on their specific location within Indiana.

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online

To find out if someone has an active warrant online, visit the official Indiana Courts website. The website is a central repository for state-wide public records, including information on active warrants. Use the website's online case search, entering the person's name to uncover any associated warrants.

Inquirers may also extend the search to county sheriff's office websites within the relevant jurisdiction. These websites typically offer dedicated online tools for warrant searches, often found in sections labeled "Warrants" or "Most Wanted." Similarly, local police department websites provide online resources for searching active warrants, usually in sections marked "Warrants" or "Arrest Records."

How Long Do Warrants Last in Indiana

In Indiana, the validity period of warrants is influenced by various factors, and primarily depends on the type of warrant issued:

Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants in Indiana generally do not have a fixed expiration date. They remain active until the individual named in the warrant is apprehended.

The validity of arrest warrants is primarily influenced by the ongoing efforts of law enforcement to locate and arrest the individual. The warrant can be executed when the person is found as long as the warrant is active.

Bench Warrants

Bench warrants also do not typically have a fixed expiration date.

They remain active until the individual appears in court or takes appropriate actions to resolve the issues that led to the warrant. They are not automatically canceled and may persist until resolved.

Search Warrants

Search warrants in Indiana are generally issued for a specific period (not more than 10 days). The validity of search warrants is set by the issuing judge and is influenced by the nature of the investigation. Search warrants are typically time-sensitive to ensure their relevance to the ongoing investigation.

However, there are provisions for renewing warrants. Law enforcement officers can request a renewal from the judge who initially issued the warrant if the ongoing investigation requires additional completion time. Specific circumstances, such as changes in the legal status of a case, may prompt the issuing authority to withdraw or cancel a warrant. This flexibility allows for the adaptation of warrant status based on the evolving dynamics of the legal proceedings.

Indiana Warrant Search
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