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Missouri Court Records

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Missouri Warrant Search

A warrant is a legal document that authorizes the Missouri police and other members of state law enforcement to make an arrest, conduct a property search, or take other actions related to the administration of justice. Following a Missouri warrant search, inquirers will be provided information about any active or pending warrants in the state, as well as details of the subject's age, date of birth, physical description, nature of the offense and penalty as well as the warrant number, issuing court, primary charge, warrant degree, bail amount, and whether a court appearance is necessary.

Are Warrants Public Records in Missouri?

Yes, Missouri warrants are considered public per the State Sunshine Laws and the Freedom of Information Act. In Missouri, warrants are further made public information as per Section 610.010.6(6) of the Missouri Revised Statute. According to the state statute definitions, warrants "retained by or prepared for a public body" fall under this category. However, this law has several exceptions as provided by Mo. Rev. Stat. Section 610.021. Notwithstanding, most warrants are freely accessible through designated custodians and any of the state's public records websites. However, suppose law enforcement officials are certain some information could endanger an informant, victim, witness, undercover agent, or any other individual. In that case, they have the authority to block access to those warrants from the general public. Although warrants are usually considered court records, they could also be kept on file as a part of a person's criminal history in Missouri.

Arrest warrants in the state are considered public records and are made available to interested persons who request them from law enforcement. Missouri search warrants are open to the public after the authorities have finished their search. Sensitive details of a search warrant, such as the location, date, property owner, and things to be seized, can be made public after the warrant has been executed. 

Types of Warrants in Missouri

In Missouri, there are several different kinds of warrants for various circumstances and situations:

  • Arrest/Criminal Warrant: When someone is suspected of a crime, and there is sufficient reason to make an arrest, an arrest warrant is issued.
  • Search Warrants: When investigating suspected criminal behavior, law enforcement may use a search warrant to enter a person's home, place of business, car, or other designated location. 
  • Alias Warrant: Failing to appear for a court date before a plea has been filed results in the issuance of an Alias Warrant. It's also employed if a person neglects to reply to a citation via mail or in person.
  • Civil Capias Warrant: When a defendant constantly disobeys the judge's orders in civil court, this type of apprehension order is issued. 
  • A Governor's Warrant: A governor's warrant of arrest may be issued for an individual if they commit a felony in another state. They may be arrested by local law enforcement at a traffic stop, at their residence, or at work. They'll be detained in the community jail until they can be extradited to the location where the warrant was obtained.
  • Fugitive Warrant: When a defendant or criminal on the run is thought to be within a given jurisdiction, the state may issue a fugitive warrant. This is similar to a governor's warrant, with the primary distinction being that a fugitive warrant is issued in the state where the subject flees, not where the offense is committed.

What is a Search Warrant in Missouri?

The Missouri Revised Statutes, RSMo Section 542.266, defines a search arrest warrant as formal court order directing a search of a person, place, or thing and the seizure, taking a picture of, or making a copy of, any property found there.

RSMo Section 542.276 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri outlines the requirements that a search warrant must fulfill to be deemed legitimate. An important part is that a specific description of the area to be searched or the item to be seized must be included in the search warrant. An application for a search warrant in Missouri must be put in writing and contain the following information:

  • Indicate the day and hour the application was submitted;
  • Name the item, person, material, or property that is to be sought after and seized with enough specificity and description for the officer carrying out the warrant to identify it easily;
  • Clearly identify the subject of the search in enough depth and particularity to allow the officer carrying out the warrant to quickly determine who or what they are supposed to look for;
  • Provide information in the form of facts that establish probable cause to issue a search warrant;  
  • Be confirmed by the applicant's oath or affirmation;
  • Be submitted to the appropriate court;
  • Bear the signature of the county's prosecutor.

A legal search warrant must also be issued and executed in Missouri in a way that does not breach MO Const art I § 15 of the state's Revised Statutes, which protects its citizens from unreasonable searches. A search warrant granted in Missouri can be executed immediately upon issuance; if it is not executed, it expires 10 days from the date of the application, and the warrant must be then returned to the judge.

If the warrant is executed, it is returned and signed by the search officer and given to the court who issued it. When the warrant document is returned, it must state the date and mode of execution, the content taken, and, if known, the names of the possessor and the owner. A copy of an itemized receipt that details the items seized during the search must also be returned with the document. The individual whose property was seized is then given a copy of the receipt. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

Obtaining a search warrant in Missouri might take anywhere from several hours to a few days. The accuracy of the information presented before a judge during a request for the warrant is the primary determinant of how long it takes to get a search warrant. Another consideration is the judge's availability and how quickly law enforcement officers can persuade the magistrate that a warrant is required.

What is an Arrest Warrant in Missouri?

A warrant for the arrest and detention of a person is known as an arrest warrant. According to Missouri Supreme Court rules 22.05, a Missouri arrest warrant must be issued by a judge or magistrate and be accompanied by a signed and sworn affidavit demonstrating probable cause that a particular crime has been committed and that the person(s) mentioned in the warrant committed the offense. A Missouri warrant must also:

  • Include the suspect's name, or in the event that it is unknown, any name or description that allows for a reasonable and specific identification of the defendant;
  • Describe the offense that is the subject of the indictment or complaint;
  • Indicate the county and the date of issuance;
  • Order the defendant listed or described therein to be taken into custody and brought immediately before the court specified in the warrant, either in person or via interactive video technology;
  • If applicable, list the condition or set of conditions for release; which is mandated by Rule 33.01(b) and permitted by Rule 33.01(c).
  •  For a specific warrant, it must be signed by the court or the clerk acting on the court's instructions.

Under Mo. R. Crim. P. 22.06 of Missouri court rules, any law enforcement official can execute a Missouri arrest warrant anywhere in the state. Although the warrant need not be present at the moment of the arrest, the officer must provide it to the defendant when they ask to see it.

The officer must notify the defendant of the crime they are being charged with and the existence of a warrant if they are not in possession of it when they make the arrest.

Arrest Warrant Lookup in Missouri

There are several options for performing an arrest warrant lookup in Missouri. The easiest way is to call or visit any County Sheriff's office or City Police Department to request a search. Through their criminal data-sharing network, law enforcement agencies in Missouri have information on all active arrest warrants in the state. Although arrest warrant lookups are usually done for free, the department might charge individuals to make paper copies of warrant information. Other methods for looking up active arrest warrants in Missouri are as follows:

  • Information about warrant rulings in the state can be found by visiting the automated case management system of the Missouri State Courts. Searches can be performed using a name, filing date, or case number.
  • Online portals maintained by County Sheriff's Offices and City Police Departments: Missouri arrest warrants can be located by looking through the online arrest warrant database of the applicable sheriff or police department. While some of these resources are published as lists, others are searchable databases that may be accessed by name. Some examples include the Boone County Active Warrants database and the Springfield Municipal County Warrants Database.

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Missouri

Law enforcement in Missouri occasionally decides to notify individuals about active warrants; this is by no means mandatory. It is the individual's responsibility to get this kind of information. To find out if a person has a warrant, inquirers may start by calling law enforcement agencies in the state. An excellent place to start is the local County Sheriff's office where a person is located. City Police Departments can also be contacted to inquire about any arrest or bench warrant. However, information on search warrants that have not been executed are not available through these offices.

An alternative option for finding out about warrants in Missouri is by calling the county clerk of courts in the county in which it was issued. The court clerk's office can provide valuable information regarding active warrants, including information on how to resolve them.

A Missouri warrant search can also be performed by checking the websites or online resources provided by various county sheriffs. These offices usually provide listings of arrest orders, especially for fugitives. Inquirers may also use the court dockets database on the judicial administration office website. The database offers additional information on arrest warrants and bench warrants in Missouri, especially where they are relevant to an ongoing or concluded judicial proceeding.

Free Warrant Search in Missouri

Members of the public interested in conducting a warrant search in Missouri also have the option of employing third-party websites, which offer both free and paid services. However, users are advised to verify information obtained from these sources by contacting the sheriff's office or other official channels. It's important to note that third-party websites and other authorities also maintain records of warrants issued in different jurisdictions. While these websites make accessing warrant records easier, they are unlike government-owned resources, so the information they provide may vary. When using a third-party website for a warrant search, inquirers may need to provide private details of the suspected individual, information about the issuing officer, and the address where the warrant was obtained.

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online in Missouri

 To find out if a person has a warrant online in Missouri, inquirers may contact their local County Sheriff's Office's record departments. Most local law enforcement agencies maintain files of active warrants arranged alphabetically by last name. Several counties, including Boone, Douglas, Greene, and Cass, also publish warrant and wanted lists that include information about the offenses and the age of the suspects. However, as most warrant information is exempt from public disclosure before execution, eligible persons are advised to obtain the most recent warrant information by contacting the agencies directly since internet databases may not have the most recent information.

How Long Do Warrants Last in Missouri?

In Missouri, most warrants have no expiration date. These orders are in effect until the subjects of the warrants are apprehended by law enforcement, the criminals die, or the judges recall the warrants for other reasons. However, there are a few exceptions to this. For instance, Missouri search warrants typically have a 10-day validity term, after which it needs to be renewed or it expires.

Missouri Warrant Search
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