This article explores the meaning of warrants in Indiana and how you can efficiently retrieve the information. Here you will learn how to perform an Indiana warrant search, and how you can find warrant data about yourself and about others.
What is an Indiana warrant?
Indiana state laws define warrants as legal orders issued by an authorized person, maybe a magistrate, grand jury, or judge, that permits the bearer to take a specific action. Without a warrant, this action may cause the bearer to infringe on a resident's rights or violate state laws.
The most common types of warrants issued in Indiana include arrest, bench, fugitive, and search warrants. And to issue every one of these warrants, establishing probable cause is crucial.
Not all warrants are initiated by the prosecutors; judges can instigate warrants at their discretion for specific offenses, such as contempt of court.
How to find out if you have an outstanding warrant
Here are some of the top ways to receive your warrant information in Indiana:
Check online databases of local courts and Sheriff's departments
To determine if there is an outstanding order for your arrest in a local Indiana area court or Sheriff's department, you can first access their warrants information webpage. Note that this tip may only be helpful if you are located in one of the many large cities and counties that provide online access to this information.
Smaller or less developed counties and jurisdictions may not offer this information online. Additionally, some details may not be accessible online due to non-public information or the departments being too small to maintain an online search system.
Hire a criminal attorney on retainer.
It is helpful to place a criminal attorney on retainer when you suspect you could have a warrant assigned to your name in Indiana. This attorney will be your legal advisor and regularly check for new warrants with your names.
While this may be a more expensive approach, it comes with a level of assurance that you will learn of any warrant immediately after they are uploaded in your name.
When you hire a criminal attorney, you gain access to their legal expertise and their connections to Indiana's local and state databases.
In addition to helping you determine if there is a warrant, an attorney can also guide your legal options and help you navigate the criminal justice system if you are facing charges.
What to do if I find warrant information assigned to my name?
Before we explore what you must do when you find warrant information assigned to your name in Indiana, it's crucial to discuss what you shouldn't do. First, it's essential not to panic or attempt to run from the state.
Doing so can result in severe consequences like even more complex warrants, further charges, and more punishments. Instead of fleeing, consider the following tips to prevent the warrant from negatively impacting your life and move forward with peace of mind:
1. Find out all you can about the warrant: Contact the issuing county court or the local law enforcement agency to know all the relevant information about your warrant.
2. Turn yourself in: Surrendering yourself to the authorities is another course of action. It passes a message that you are willing to take responsibility and face the legal consequences. By turning yourself in, you may also be able to negotiate better terms for your surrender, such as avoiding a public arrest or being granted bail.
3. Hire a lawyer: An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you negotiate a surrender agreement with the prosecutor, which may involve turning yourself in later or negotiating a reduced sentence. With a lawyer, navigating the legal system and negotiating favorable terms can be easier.
Distinguishing between an arrest warrant and a bench warrant
Arrest warrants in Indiana give the police the authority to apprehend and detain all suspects without infringing on their rights. In Idaho, a judge issues an arrest warrant when the police provide probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.
The court requests this "probable cause" because it wants to confirm the suspect to-be-named in the warrant is responsible for that crime.
In contrast, a judge issues a bench warrant when a person fails to show up in court or to comply with a court order. The Sheriff's department typically serves it but does not give the police the authority to detain the person.
What defines a 'failure to appear warrant' in Indiana?
If the law enforcement agency charges you with a crime in Indiana and releases you on bond, it is crucial to understand that you have a legal obligation to attend all subsequent court proceedings.
Failure to do so results in a warrant being issued for your arrest, with accompanying charges of "failure to appear" (FTA).
Other consequences of an FTA include the following:
● Hefty fines,
● Additional jail time,
● Forfeiture of your bond.
● More warrants
You must always show up in court; when you cannot, contact the court and explain your situation. Doing this allows the court to adjust your hearing schedule or make necessary changes to accommodate the needs of all parties at the trial.