According to the Illinois state court of Clerk's Act, warrants are public records, meaning that all warrants, criminal records, and court records are available to the public. The pursuant criminal information law allows anyone to access executed and outstanding warrants everywhere.
These vital records are maintained by Illinois state and local criminal records-keeping agencies as well as the judicial branches. This article introduces you to the ways in which you can execute Illinois warrant searches with the best tools available today.
Who issues warrants in Illinois?
Illinois judges and grand juries wield the power to authorize the issuance of a warrant in a court of law. As soon as a judge approves the writ, it becomes legally binding. All parties and entities named in the order must abide by it.
The state frowns against non-compliance with warrants, and provisions in the law ensure the defaulter is punished with further criminal charges and potentially more severe penalties. According to the law, public safety officials can obtain various types of warrants from the courts to perform legal actions that do not infringe on a resident's human rights.
The defenders can challenge its validity if a warrant does not meet the necessary legal requirements. Regardless of how convincing a prosecutor is when requesting a warrant, local courts in Illinois must follow specific standards when issuing any warrant, outlined in the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure.
Illinois warrants: general information
Prosecutors can obtain a warrant from an Illinois court in a relatively short period, typically just a few hours. In urgent situations where the suspect can flee as soon as possible, or evidence can be destroyed, an affidavit can be swiftly processed, and a warrant issued within two hours.
What does an Illinois arrest warrant entail?
An Illinois arrest warrant is an official order signed by a judge instructing law enforcement officers to arrest an individual and bring them to court to face criminal charges. Here is the information contained in an arrest warrant:
● The suspect's personal information
● Information regarding the alleged offense
● The location where the arrest may take place
● The date the judge approved the warrant
● The full name and title of the judge
● Any bond or bail requirement
● The warrant's expiration date (if applicable)
Once a judge issues an arrest warrant in Illinois, it becomes active immediately and can be executed at any time and location. Arrest warrants in Illinois remain valid indefinitely, enabling law enforcement to arrest at any time. Additionally, an arrest warrant grants law enforcement officers the right to enter any property or facility to apprehend the accused; they can arrest the suspect anywhere within the state borders.
What invalidates arrest warrants in Illinois?
Despite having the full backing of the Judiciary, an arrest warrant may get invalidated by some circumstances. Here are a few instances that destroy the authenticity of an Illinois arrest warrant:
● Fabricated evidence and facts were used as a basis for its issuance
● The issuing judge or magistrate who signed the warrant was not impartial or detached from the case
● Insufficient evidence to establish probable cause for the warrant
● The warrant regarding the subject's identity to be arrested was ambiguous or unclear
What does an Illinois search warrant entail?
Illinois search warrants are legal writs that grant the police the authority to search a location occupied by an individual or a business. It is typically used to search for evidence in objects or locations and can also be used to arrest residents suspected of criminal activities.
Like other state benches, Illinois judges grant search warrants after the police gather sufficient evidence to establish probable cause of illegal activity. Moreover, the officer must submit an affidavit explaining the evidence or contraband they anticipate discovering during the search. It also reveals why they believe it will be present at the specified location.
Other items expected in the affidavit include:
● Detailed information about the location to be searched,
● The requesting officer's personal information, including their name, badge number, and precinct
Restrictions on Illinois search warrants
The execution of a search warrant sometimes has the following limitations placed upon it:
● Search warrants could only occur during daylight hours, or a time limit could be imposed for the police to complete the search
● Law enforcement officers must knock and announce themselves at the location
● If the owner refuses to grant them entry after a reasonable amount of time, they may use force to gain entry
● If other illegal items, asides from those listed in the affidavit, are found on the property during the search, they can be seized and used as evidence against the property owner
How to find Illinois warrant information
You can conduct a search using the following routes:
Contacting the Illinois police department
Here is the easiest method for conducting an Illinois warrant search. You can contact a police station in the state and inquire about any outstanding arrest warrants in your name.
However, there is an inherent risk involved. It could lead to you being detained when you go in person to the station or being tracked via means of contact. Alternatively, visit the Illinois State Police website and review the wanted person list to determine whether there's a warrant issued in your name.
Search through the county court and Sheriff's website
Every county in Illinois's 102 counties has its criminal justice system. These also have fully functional websites that provide warrant information to the public.
For instance, Boone, Calhoun, and DeWitt counties have dedicated web pages bearing information on individuals' criminal records, including outstanding warrants.