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Louisiana Warrant Search

A Louisiana Warrant Search can reveal necessary information about a person's legal status in the state. In Louisiana, a warrant is a legal document that allows law enforcement officials to take specific actions, such as arresting a suspect or searching a person's property.

A judge, magistrate, or Justice of the Peace in Louisiana issues a warrant to law enforcement agents, usually peace officers. Under the state Code of Criminal Procedure (CCPR), Louisiana courts can issue different warrants, including arrest, search, bench, and governor's warrants.

For a judicial officer to issue a warrant, the affidavit presented by a peace officer must establish probable cause. It implies anybody who may lawfully execute this written order must give convincing evidence or substantial suspicion of continuing criminal behavior to support the warrant.

Any officer who illegally arrests or searches without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment and may be liable for damages.

To become valid, a warrant in Louisiana must have the essential information, such as the name and identifying information of the person named in the document, the reason for the order, and the court that issued the warrant.

In addition, the warrant will typically include the name of the law enforcement agency responsible for executing the order and the issuance date.

In Louisiana, the Public Records Law governs public access to government records, including warrants. The law generally provides that government records, including warrants, are open to public inspection, except for certain exemptions, such as records for ongoing investigations or personal information protected by law.

How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in Louisiana?

The duration of a warrant's validity varies depending on the type of warrant and the circumstances surrounding it.

For instance, under CCRP Article 572, a misdemeanor warrant can remain valid for two years, whereas a felony warrant can stay valid for six years. However, in cases where the statute of limitations is nearing expiration, a judicial officer may reissue the warrant to keep it active.

On the other hand, bench warrants or warrants for capital offenses punishable by life imprisonment or death do not expire. Bench warrants only become inactive if the individual dies, resolves the issue, or the judge recalls it.

Search warrants, which allow law enforcement officers to search a specific location for evidence related to a crime, are typically valid for up to 10 days under Article 163 of the CCRP. However, a judge can extend the warrant's validity if there is evidence that additional time is needed to complete the search.

It is worth noting that the expiration of a warrant does not necessarily mean that an individual is no longer subject to arrest or prosecution. If probable cause exists to support the charges outlined in the warrant, law enforcement officers can still make an arrest and pursue charges even after it has technically expired.

What Are the Most Common Warrants in Louisiana?

It's crucial to understand the types of warrants that exist to conduct a successful Louisiana Warrant Search. This knowledge allows individuals to navigate the legal system, safeguard their rights, and perform the search effectively.

Here's an overview of the most common warrant types issued in Louisiana:

Louisiana Arrest Warrant

A Louisiana arrest warrant is a legal document that a magistrate or judge issues allowing police enforcement in the state to hold and arrest someone they believe guilty of a crime.

The CCRP Article 202 permits the issuance of an arrest warrant by a magistrate once the complainant has sworn to an affidavit that includes the offender's name, the type, date, and location of the crime, and the magistrate has probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe that the specified individual in the affidavit committed the offense.

In addition, if an officer takes an oath over the phone and transmits a declaration supporting the probable cause or grounds of the arrest, magistrates may also issue an arrest warrant.

Generally, the written warrant must contain the state's name, the date and place of issuance (city or parish), and the name or some other distinctive description of the person to be arrested. Additionally, the warrant must specify the violation and the bail amount if the crime is not a capital offense.

In this legal order, the court instructs a peace officer to execute the warrant within the warrant subject's geographical jurisdiction.

A warrant of arrest is valid until the police officer carries it out. There are no time restrictions on executing an arrest warrant in Louisiana. Law enforcement officers can arrest at any time, day or night, and anywhere.

However, the peace officer must inform the suspect about the arrest warrant at the time of the arrest.

Arrest Without Warrant in Louisiana

Per CCRP Article 213, a peace officer may perform warrantless arrest in certain legitimate situations.

One of these circumstances is when someone commits a misdemeanor when a peace officer is present. For example, if a person is caught shoplifting, a peace officer can arrest them without a warrant.

Another situation where an arrest without a warrant can occur is if a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person committed a felony offense, even if the officer did not witness the crime.

Additionally, a peace officer can arrest a felony offender without a warrant if they have good information that another officer possesses the document. In this case, the arresting officer is acting on the authority of the other officer's warrant.

When peace officers arrest without a warrant, they must immediately present the arrestee with an actual one.

Louisiana Search Warrant    

A Louisiana search warrant is a formal legal document that authorizes a peace officer to search a particular person, place, or property and seize any evidence of a suspected crime. According to Article 162, a magistrate may only issue a search warrant if a credible affidavit establishes probable cause.

To obtain a search warrant, the peace officer must file an affidavit with the court that outlines the basis for the request.

The affidavit must describe the person or place that is the subject of the search. Additionally, it must include factual information supporting the belief that the items or persons sought in the search will be present in the specified location.

Once the court issues this warrant, it must specify the subject person, place, or property and describe the items peace officers can seize during the search.

Article 161 outlines the circumstances in which property may be seized, including if the owner has used or intends to use it to commit an offense, if it has been stolen, or if it can provide evidence of a crime.

While executing a search warrant, a peace officer may also seize items not listed in the warrant according to Article 165, but only if such things provide evidence of the commission of the offense.

Under Article 163, Louisiana search warrants are valid for ten days, after which peace officers may not execute them again unless the law allows it. Furthermore, peace officers may not implement warrants at night or on Sundays unless expressly authorized by the order.

After executing the order, peace officers must furnish the owner of the confiscated property with a list of all the items seized as per Article 166. If the owner is absent, the peace officer may leave the list in a place where the officer took the property.

Louisiana Bench Warrant

The bench warrant is one of the most frequently encountered warrants when conducting a Louisiana Warrant Search. In Louisiana, a bench warrant is a judge's written order for a peace officer to arrest or bring a defendant to court.

Unlike a Louisiana arrest warrant, a peace officer is not actively pursuing the individual in this warrant type. However, if the officer encounters the person and discovers that they are the subject of an active bench warrant, they may be arrested. This written order remains active until the individual is apprehended or the court withdraws it.

Louisiana courts may issue bench warrants for several reasons, including:

  • Failure to appear in court
  • Nonpayment of a court-ordered sanction
  • Failure to appear for trial
  • No-contact violation
  • Failure to respond within a specified time frame to a traffic citation
  • Violation of a custody arrangement
  • Missing jury duty
  • Violating the terms of the separation agreement
  • Nonpayment of child support

The consequences of having an active Louisiana bench warrant can be severe. Individuals apprehended on a warrant may be held in custody until they can be brought before the court, resulting in lost wages, damage to personal relationships, and other negative consequences. Additionally, a bench warrant may result in increased penalties, fines, and other legal matters.

What is Failure to Appear in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, "failure to appear" refers to a criminal offense when a defendant fails to appear in court on the scheduled date and time for a criminal proceeding.

Failure to appear in court can occur in any type of criminal proceedings, such as a felony, misdemeanor, or traffic offense. When a defendant fails to appear in court, a judge can issue a bench warrant for their arrest.

The penalties for failure to appear in Louisiana can be severe.

For instance, Louisiana Revised Statute (LA RS) 14:110.1 states that if a defendant deliberately absconds while on bail in a felony case, they may face imprisonment for up to two years. Similarly, for a misdemeanor case, such individuals may face a maximum fine of $500, a sentence of up to six months in jail, or both.

Defendants who fail to appear in court may also face additional consequences, such as a suspension of their driver's license, a revocation of their probation or parole, and the forfeiture of any bond or other security they posted to secure their release pending trial.

What is Failure to Pay in Louisiana?

Failure to pay a court-ordered fine on time is failure to pay. Depending on the severity of the default, the court may charge this person with an infraction or misdemeanor. This charge can result in further legal action against the debtor, including being held in contempt of court or facing other penalties and fines.

However, it is essential to note that the court may exclude destitute people from failing to pay. Destitute people are those financially challenged individuals who cannot pay the court-ordered fine due to limited resources.

In such cases, the court may consider alternative forms of payment, such as community service or a payment plan, to help the individual meet their obligations without facing legal consequences.

How To Perform Warrant Search in Louisiana

The first step in performing Louisiana Warrant Search is to gather information about the person for whom the search is conducted. This information includes the full name, birth date, and other relevant identifying information.

Once the information is gathered, the individual can contact the local police department or Sheriff's Office, where the person may have a warrant. They can provide information about the process for obtaining warrant information and may be able to search themselves.

Certain Sheriff's Offices maintain public records databases, such as the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, which has a warrant list database accessible to the public, allowing anyone to search for individuals with active warrants in the parish.

Another way to access outstanding warrants is to request a criminal history check from the Louisiana State Police (LSP). Alternatively, individuals can access the LSP Internet Background Check (IBC) system online to conduct a name-based criminal history check and obtain information on active warrants.

Interested people may also request a criminal history check at several Sheriff's Offices throughout different parishes. For instance, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office provides a background check service online that may reveal outstanding warrants.

Use this directory to contact the appropriate Sheriff's Offices for other parishes and inquire about their methods for obtaining access to warrant records.

Lastly, a person may search on the website of their local court. For example, an East Baton Rouge Parish resident may use the City Court Warrant Lookup to look for a warrant.

Visit or contact the courts in different parishes to inquire about the methods available for obtaining access to state warrant information.

Individuals can utilize the Louisiana Judicial Branch website to find the court in each judicial district. Additionally, users can access Clerk of Court information through the District Court and City or Parish Court pages.

Counties in Louisiana