What is a Warrant in Idaho?
A warrant is a document that gives legal permission to execute a certain action against a person or entity. In Idaho, warrants permit arrests, searches, and property seizures, all of which would otherwise be illegal without the document. A magistrate, judge, or justice may issue a warrant against someone accused of a crime or contempt of court.
Legally, only a court-appointed judge, magistrate, or court justice is authorized to issue warrants. Law enforcement officers and other agencies can obtain a search warrant in Idaho as long as they can provide a clear and convincing reason (probable cause) for it.
There are different types of warrants, each classified by the purpose it serves.
- Arrest Warrant: Idaho arrest warrants grant police officers the right to arrest individuals for committing crimes.
- Bench Warrant: A court may issue a bench warrant against the accused in a civil or misdemeanor case. A bench warrant approves the arrest of a defendant who misses a trial or the arrest of a subpoenaed witness who did not come to court.
- Fugitive Warrant: An Idaho fugitive warrant is issued when a convicted felon runs away to avoid punishment. The court issues this warrant to enable the police to search for the felon in other states or regions.
- Search Warrant: Idaho search warrants are documents that authorize law enforcement officers to search people's homes and establishments.
- Tax Warrant: These are legal documents that the state's Tax Commission issues, granting law enforcers the permission to confiscate and sell a property to set off tax delinquency.
How to Find Out if You Have a Warrant in Idaho?
Anyone who wants to find outstanding warrants in Idaho will have to contact the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) to conduct a warrant search in their name. Most police departments have a "most wanted" list of offenders in the state or county. Individuals looking for general warrant information may start there. For more specific warrant searches, interested persons may use the BCI website to run background checks using fingerprints or names for a fee. The exact charge depends on the type of search requested. Individuals may also submit a completed request form, the necessary documents, and payment in person or by mail to:
Idaho Bureau of Criminal Investigation
700 South Stratford Drive
Meridian, ID 83642
Warrant searches can also be run via the clerk of the court offices. The clerk keeps the records on all court cases filed and heard in Idaho. Furthermore, individuals can use the Department of Corrections' website to search for warrants of criminals already in police custody.
In addition, some private websites offer public record databases that help users search police, court, and county records for Idaho warrants.
Records of warrants issued or executed in various jurisdictions are also maintained and by third-party websites. While third-party sites make accessing these records substantially easier, the information available on the sites may vary since they are not government run sources. To obtain warrant records from a third-party site, the requesting party may be required to provide:
- The personal information of the alleged suspect
- Information regarding the issuing officer
- The location where the warrant was issued.
How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in Idaho?
A warrant typically stays active until the reason for its creation is executed. Therefore, if the person named on the warrant has not been arrested or paid restitution to the court, the warrant will stay open.
However, sometimes the court will review and retract certain warrants. This can happen for several reasons, including when the subject of the warrant is late or when a new investigation exonerates the person from the former crime.
What is an Idaho Search Warrant?
According to Idaho Criminal Rule 41, Idaho judges may issue search warrants when they receive an affidavit stating the need to search a person or property. The affidavit must provide sufficient information and evidence (also known as "probable cause") that tells the judge why the search is required to find evidence of a crime. Probable cause may be derived from clear evidence and may also be from speculation. As long as there is a significant reason for the warrant, taking into account the facts and circumstances of the case, then the judge may issue a search warrant. A search warrant can be issued for a person, a building, an item, a car, or a warehouse. Below are some reasons why a judge may issue a search warrant:
- Evidence or eyewitness accounts suggesting that a crime has been committed.
- Proof that a building is housing stolen properties or items, contraband, or evidence of a crime.
- Evidence that a weapon used or about to be used in a crime is located somewhere.
- When a person with an existing arrest warrant is involved.
All Idaho search warrants must:
- Clearly define the name of the person or mention the property to be searched.
- Clearly outline the peace officer in Idaho that will carry it out and their assistants, if any.
- State a timeline for the law enforcement authorities to execute the search. The stipulated time is 14 days from the issuing date.
- Be served in the daytime between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. unless the authorities can provide sufficient grounds for executing it outside these hours.
What Can Make an Idaho Search Warrant Invalid?
An Idaho search warrant can be rendered invalid if it is discovered that the reason for its issuance was falsified, exaggerated, or misrepresented. If the affidavit for the search warrant is discovered to be false or to have been doctored in any way, then the search warrant can be rendered void. Also, if it is found that the witness mentioned in the affidavit is unreliable or falsified information, then the search warrant becomes invalid.
Lastly, if the affidavit does not properly justify the need for a search or if the affidavit document is fake, then the warrant becomes invalid.
What is an Arrest Warrant in Idaho?
Per Idaho Criminal Rule 4, when a criminal complaint is filed against an individual, an arrest warrant may be issued, provided a peace officer can present sufficient reasons to a magistrate. Once the warrant is issued, the officer can search for and arrest the suspect. While police officers may, without a warrant, detain certain persons of interest for questioning, they can not make any arrests without a warrant. The Fourth Amendment forbids warrantless arrests.
Usually, the judge will consider the following factors when deciding to issue an arrest warrant:
- The defendant's home.
- The defendant's job security.
- The defendant's relationships in society.
- The accused's history in responding to judicial proceedings.
- The defendant's criminal background and the type of crime.
- The defendant may try to escape trial or fail to appear.
If police officers want to obtain an arrest warrant based on information from the general public, they must show the magistrate that the information, or the person providing it, is reliable. In Idaho, a police officer can make arrests anywhere in the state with an arrest warrant. The police can also liaise with other law enforcement agencies to make arrests in other states.
What is a Child Support Arrest Warrant in Idaho?
An Idaho child support arrest warrant is issued when a parent ordered to pay child support defaults on payment. If the person liable for child support (the payor parent) defaults multiple times, the other side can report to Child Support Services (CSS). CSS will notify the court, which will then summon the defaulting parent for a hearing. If the person does not honor the summons and fails to show up in court, they will be held in contempt of the court, and a child support arrest warrant will be issued for their arrest.
What is an Idaho Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant can be released by a judge when someone fails to appear in court, pay court fines, or obey a court order. Law enforcement authorities are allowed to arrest the person cited on the warrant on sight. However, because a bench warrant is different from an arrest warrant, police officers are not required to search for the warrant's subject actively.
Persons interested in knowing if the court issued a bench warrant against them can initiate warrant searches in their localities.
In Idaho, What is Failure to Appear?
A failure to appear in Idaho describes one of three situations:
- A person failed to honor a court order and did not appear in court on the day slated for a particular case.
- A person neglected to pay certain fines or charges ordered by the court.
- A person failed to appear in court for a court case after being granted bail or did not attend the second or subsequent hearings after the first trial.
According to Idaho Criminal Rule 11, failing to appear in court after a court order can make the court clerk issue a bench warrant for a person's arrest. Such a person could also have additional fines or a default judgment imposed on them by the court.
Failure to appear warrants can easily be discovered through an online or in-person warrant search.
How Long Do You Have to Stay in Jail for a Warrant For Missing Court in Idaho?
A person can stay in jail for days or months after a warrant is issued against them for missing court. This is because the court can keep a person in jail without bail until the new trial date if it is proven that the individual purposely missed the initial trial date.
In Idaho, What is Failure to Pay?
When the court orders a person to pay a fine and that person defaults on the payment, it is referred to as a failure to pay. An example is when a parent fails to pay child support or when a ticketed individual owes a fine for a traffic offense. Apart from issuing a warrant for the defaulter's arrest, the court may also suspend a driver's license.
What is a No-Knock Warrant in Idaho?
Per the Fourth Amendment and Article I, Section 17 of the Idaho Constitution, police officers must notify occupants before entering a building. However, a no-knock warrant is one exception to this rule. In Idaho, this warrant allows law enforcement officers to enter a building without first announcing their presence. Generally, the no-knock warrant is issued when law enforcement agencies have reason to believe that the suspect will destroy evidence, harm others, or run away if the police announce their presence.