Search Public Records
Please enter first name
Please enter last name
Please choose a state
Please enter a valid phone number
Please enter a house number
Please enter a street name
Please enter a city
Please choose a state

North Dakota Warrant Search

A North Dakota Warrant Search is a process wherein one investigates or inquires about warrants issued within the jurisdiction of North Dakota. Warrants in this state are legal documents issued by a judge or magistrate that grant law enforcement agencies the authority to arrest, detain, search, or seize individuals or properties mentioned in the warrant.

Information contained within a warrant can include the full name of the individual sought by law enforcement and their physical description, such as height, weight, and eye color. This detailed information helps to correctly identify and locate the individual in question, thus facilitating their arrest and promoting public safety.

Performing a warrant search in North Dakota is particularly important for individuals suspecting an active warrant against them.

If an active warrant exists, the individual can act proactively. They can seek legal counsel, voluntarily surrender to authorities, or prepare for impending legal actions. This proactive approach helps them avoid surprise arrests and shows a readiness to cooperate with legal processes, potentially reflecting positively in court proceedings.

For the public, it enhances safety by alerting them to potential fugitives in their vicinity. For interested parties, such as private investigators or those involved in legal matters, it provides critical information that could aid their research or case.

Furthermore, employers and housing agencies can perform this search to screen applicants. Warrant checks verify a person has no concerning outstanding legal issues.

Regarding legality, the disclosure of warrant information is made possible through the Freedom of Information Act and North Dakota Sunshine Laws. These laws grant the public the right to access certain government records, including warrants, unless specifically exempted by law.

How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in North Dakota?

Active warrants in North Dakota refer to legal directives issued by a judge or magistrate that are currently in effect.

In North Dakota, the duration that warrants remain valid and enforceable depends on the specific type issued. Many of these court orders have no expiration and stay active indefinitely until appropriately addressed. However, certain warrants have defined active periods set by statute or the court.

Arrest warrants and bench warrants for failure to appear typically have unlimited validity and can only be cleared by the subject being arrested or appearing in court. Even long after the related case statutes of limitation toll, the warrants remain actionable to discourage willful evasion.

Meanwhile, North Dakota search warrants have limited terms mandated by the court, usually ten days. Once a search warrant expires, law enforcement cannot execute the search under that warrant. However, the court may reissue an expired search warrant if probable cause still exists for the search.

Some other warrants expire on a defined timeline. Depending on the county, traffic violation warrants may automatically clear after a few years. While evading warrants is ill-advised, waiting for expiration could still incur driver's license suspensions.

Individuals named in warrants should resolve matters as soon as possible, as unexpired warrants can lead to unexpected arrests. Understanding a warrant's longevity and how to clear it properly is advisable. With no expiration, most warrants stay enforceable until addressed through the legal system.

What Are the Most Common Warrants in North Dakota?

When conducting a North Dakota Warrant Search, some of the most common types of warrants that may appear include:

North Dakota Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant in North Dakota is a court order commanding law enforcement to apprehend and detain the named individual to answer criminal charges filed against them. Judges or magistrates issue arrest warrants upon showing probable cause that the suspect committed an offense.

For an arrest warrant to be issued, a law enforcement officer must submit an affidavit alleging facts that establish probable cause to arrest the suspect. If the judge finds sufficient evidence of probable cause in the complaint, they grant an arrest warrant that names the person for arrest.

Valid North Dakota arrest warrants must contain specific details per Rule 4 of the North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure (NDRCP). It must include the magistrate's signature and office title, county/date of issue, defendant's name or description, alleged offense, bail amount if set, and command to bring the defendant before the court.

Once issued, North Dakota arrest warrants authorize any law enforcement agency's apprehension of the subject statewide. Typically, officers must show the warrant during its execution, if feasible. It becomes cleared once executed and the defendant has made an appearance before a judge.

Arrest Without a Warrant in North Dakota

While arrest warrants provide the typical legal process for detaining criminal suspects in North Dakota, state law also permits warrantless arrests under the following circumstances:

Direct Observation of a Public Offense

A warrantless arrest is permissible if a law enforcement officer directly observes a public offense being committed or attempted. In this scenario, the officer's firsthand account serves as immediate probable cause, thereby authorizing an instant arrest.

Reasonable Cause in Felony Cases

If an officer has reasonable cause to believe that an individual has committed a felony - a more serious crime - the officer can arrest the suspect without a warrant, even if the officer did not personally witness the alleged crime.

Felony Committed, Suspect Identified

When a felony has been committed, and the officer has reasonable cause to believe a specific individual perpetrated it, a warrantless arrest is justifiable. Again, this depends on the concept of reasonable cause, which requires substantial evidence or information suggesting the person's involvement.

Non-felony Public Offenses

Interestingly, the law in North Dakota also allows warrantless arrests for certain non-felony public offenses, even if the arresting officer did not directly observe them.

Driving Under the Influence

Warrantless arrests also apply to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. If an officer has reasonable cause to believe a driver is impaired due to alcohol, they can arrest the individual without obtaining a warrant.

Violation of Protection Orders

In domestic violence cases, or when there is a violation of protection or no-contact order, an officer can make a warrantless arrest. The aim is to provide immediate protection to potential victims.

Intoxication on Volatile Chemical Vapors

Finally, a warrantless arrest is possible if an officer has reasonable cause to believe an individual is intoxicated by volatile chemical vapors.

Aside from the specific circumstances above, law enforcement can make warrantless arrests when they already possess or know a valid warrant for the individual from another jurisdiction. There are also citizen's arrest provisions in limited circumstances.

North Dakota Search Warrants

In North Dakota, a search warrant is critical in the criminal justice system, acting as a legal tool that permits law enforcement to search specified premises or property. Issued by a competent judicial authority, such as a judge or magistrate, this warrant grants law enforcement officials, like peace officers, the power to conduct searches and seize evidence.

Under Rule 41 of the NDRCP, officers must demonstrate probable cause through an affidavit or sworn statement to obtain a search warrant. And the court must find grounds to believe the search will yield:

  • Evidence related to a crime
  • Contraband
  • Stolen property
  • A wanted individual

Once issued, a search warrant explicitly identifies the person or property subject to the search.

In the execution, an officer must prepare and validate an inventory of all seized properties. The officer must complete this in the presence of either the person who requested the warrant, the person from whose premises the property is taken, or another credible individual if the first two are absent.

The officer is then responsible for distributing a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the taken property to the person whose property has been seized or leaving the documents at the seizure site if the individual isn't present.

Search Without a Warrant in North Dakota

North Dakota law permits certain exceptions to the general rule requiring a search warrant, as is the case elsewhere in the United States. These warrantless searches are only legal under specific circumstances that involve an immediate need for action or protecting public safety.

Below are the circumstances where law enforcement officers can search and seize without a warrant:

Consent Searches

If an individual voluntarily consents to a search, law enforcement may conduct it without a warrant. Officers cannot coerce or intimidate consent, and individuals can revoke it.

Searches Incident to Arrest

After a lawful arrest, officers can search the arrestee and immediate surroundings without a warrant to secure evidence and ensure safety. But the search must stay within a reasonable scope.

Exigent Circumstances

Exigent circumstances allow warrantless searches when an urgent public safety threat or imminent evidence destruction overrides the warrant requirement.

Vehicle Searches

In North Dakota, police can search a vehicle without a warrant if they have probable cause that it contains criminal evidence, contraband, or illegal items. It is due to the mobile nature of vehicles and the potential for evidence to be moved or destroyed quickly.

Plain View Doctrine

Suppose a law enforcement officer is lawfully in a position to see evidence, contraband, or any illegal items in plain view. In that case, they may seize the item(s) without a warrant.

The officer must have a legal right to be in the position to see the item, and it must be immediately apparent that the thing is evidence or contraband.

While these situations allow for warrantless searches in North Dakota, the specific details of the circumstances can significantly impact the legality of the search.

Any evidence obtained unlawfully - without a warrant and not falling under these exceptions - cannot be used in court due to the Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful searches and seizures.

North Dakota Bench Warrants

While conducting a North Dakota Warrant Search, individuals frequently encounter bench warrants. Per North Dakota Rules of Court 6.6, the court dispenses bench warrants for individuals who disregard orders to appear in court, ignore subpoenas, or do not attend scheduled court proceedings.

Unlike typical arrest warrants, bench warrants originate directly from the court itself. Judges, magistrates, and even court clerks can issue these orders for severe and minor legal matters.

Once disseminated statewide, the warrants remain active until resolved. Those named in the documents are subject to detention at any time unless they promptly address the situation.

Seeking qualified legal counsel represents the most prudent path toward quickly revoking outstanding bench warrants. Otherwise, North Dakotans risk apprehension by law enforcement while going about their daily lives.

With restricted liberties and the threat of jail time looming, individuals should act without delay to have their warrants withdrawn. In many cases, proper legal representation can promptly resolve such unfavorable predicaments.

What is Failure to Appear in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, disregarding a court order to appear can potentially lead to criminal charges and jail time. While simply missing a scheduled court date does not necessarily constitute an offense, the court may issue a bench warrant if someone intentionally evades a summons, subpoena, or bail requirements.

The specific penalties depend on the circumstances surrounding the failure to appear. For instance, if an individual skips court after being released on bail for a felony, it becomes a Class C felony carrying up to 5 years imprisonment. However, failing to testify as a witness would only be a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum 1-year jail sentence.

What is Failure to Pay in North Dakota?

In North Dakota, disregarding court orders to pay fines or fees may result in criminal charges. While failure to pay alone does not constitute a crime, it can prompt the court to issue a bench warrant for nonpayment.

If the court determines someone has the means to pay but defiantly refuses, contempt of court charges could follow. Those facing financial hardship must properly communicate their situations to the court to avoid warrants.

The penalties for failure to pay depend on factors like the severity of the original case and the intent behind nonpayment. At a minimum, added fines and license suspension represent likely outcomes. But the court retains the discretion to impose jail time if the circumstances call for more severe punishment.

How To Perform Warrant Search in North Dakota

In North Dakota, the absence of automatic warrant notifications may leave individuals unaware of any standing arrest warrants issued against them. However, several pathways are available for those wishing to confirm whether such warrants exist.

One direct approach involves requesting criminal history records from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NDBCI). These records offer a comprehensive overview of a person's criminal history, including outstanding warrants.

To access this service, individuals must complete a Request for Criminal History Record Information form and submit it with the required fee via check or money order. The NDBCI typically responds to such requests within a 7 to 10-business-day timeframe.

Another helpful resource for conducting a warrant search is the North Dakota Courts Records Inquiry (NDCRI) portal. This governmental platform maintains a database of state active warrants and warrant records, searchable by county, case, date filed, or party names.

For assistance with a specific topic in using this tool, one can visit the "Public Access Help" page on the North Dakota Court System website. For broader queries, the "Help – FAQ" page serves as a helpful resource.

In addition to this statewide database, several local law enforcement agencies, such as county sheriff's and police departments, offer similar search capabilities through their respective portals. An instance of this can be seen in the operations of the Bismarck Police Department.

Lastly, individuals can directly approach the court clerk in their county of residence. The court clerk can provide information on any outstanding warrants against an individual, offering a localized approach to North Dakota Warrant Search.


Counties in North Dakota