Arrest Warrant Guide

Iowa Arrest Warrants

In the state of Iowa if an individual has a warrant for an arrest it means that law enforcement has permission from a judge to take that individual into police custody. Arrest warrants are normally issued when an individual is the main subject of an investigation or he or she was witnessed committing a misdemeanor or felony offense.

Before a judge a police officer or public citizen will swear that he or she witnessed an offense and a warrant for arrest will be issued. Upon an arrest the individual will be taken before the issuing judge to have bail and a future court date decided. If the individual cannot post a bond for bail, he or she will remain in police custody until his or her court date. If bail is posted there is the possibility of a future bench warrant.

Search warrants, on the other hand, are issued through a judge for the purpose of search for a specific kind of evidence in a certain place. Arrest warrants and bench warrants cannot expire, whereas a search warrant can expire after a specific time period.

Bench Warrant
Bench warrants are only issued under certain circumstances, where arrest warrants can be issued for almost any criminal offense. This kind of warrant can succeed a past arrest warrant or can stand on its own. If an individual on bail does not appear at his or her court date, he or she can be served a bench warrant. The presiding judge can issue a warrant to have the individual arrested and brought directly to the court. When the offender is brought before the judge a new court date will be established along with the possibility of a new bail amount.

In Iowa an individual cannot be taken into custody under an arrest warrant if he or she is only to be questioned by the police. Under questioning an individual can only be asked to appear at a police station and not by force of arrest. When an individual is arrested under an arrest warrant in Iowa, as well as other states, the arresting police officers must list the individual's Miranda Rights during the arrest. Following the reading of Miranda Rights and individual is technically in the custody of the police and cannot legally be released.

Unknown Warrants
It is possible for an individual to have a warrant for his or her arrest without his or her knowledge. This is sometimes the case in identity theft and fraud cases. Because arrest warrants are legally binding it is important to know where to find warrants of arrest. Each state, including Iowa, has many different websites on the Internet allowing the search for outstanding warrants. Some databases and search engines will divide each state into counties and each county into cities.

Many services are provided at no cost, where more specific searches can cost twenty-five to forty dollars. Criminal defense attorneys can also be hired to search for arrest warrants. While hiring an attorney will cost significantly more than an Internet search engine, an attorney can also provide services and advice if an arrest warrant surfaces.