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Idaho Warrant Search

A warrant search in Idaho refers to a public inquiry for records maintained by local and state criminal justice agencies to ascertain if someone is the subject of a warrant. 

In Idaho, warrants are legal papers that courts issue to law enforcement. They allow police or peace officers to perform specific actions to uphold or implement the law, such as arresting and detaining a person, searching a premises or thing, or seizing personal property. 

Notwithstanding, specific statutory requirements must be met before a warrant can be issued in Idaho. According to the United States Constitution, Fourth Amendment, "probable cause" is the basis for any warrant's issuance. Probable cause refers to the reasonable grounds or substantial evidence supporting an arrest, search, or other act to be permitted by a warrant.

A warrant search divulges a subject's name and date of birth, the issue date, county of issue, issuing magistrate, reason for issue, bond amount (if any), and a warrant's status. Consequently, it is a crucial component of criminal background checks. By leveraging the search, employers, licensing departments, landlords, and others can determine if a prospective candidate or applicant is wanted within a locality or state, thus ensuring one's suitability or eligibility for a role, position, or benefit. 

In addition, law enforcement agencies rely on warrant searches to administer justice and bring fleeing or absconding suspects to the court for legal proceedings. A warrant search is also an effective public safety mechanism, allowing citizens to flag outstanding or active warrants within their communities and recognize potential threats.

Are Warrants Public Records in Idaho

Yes. The general public can view most warrants in Idaho per the state's Public Records Law (I.C. §§ 74-101 - 74-127). Nonetheless, several exemptions apply to the public's access under federal or state statute, court rule, or court order. 

For example, under the Idaho Court Administrative Rule (I.C.A.R.) 32, unreturned arrest warrants (excluding bench warrants), search warrants, or summons in a criminal case are ordinarily sealed records and exempt from public release. However, the rule allows law enforcement agencies to disclose arrest warrants or summonses at their discretion. 

Sections 74-104 - 74-111 and 74-124 list exemptions to the Idaho Public Records Law, including where disclosure may interfere with enforcement proceedings.

Types of Warrants in Idaho

Although most frequently issued in criminal cases in Idaho, warrants can also be issued in civil cases, including child support cases. Below are some examples:

  • Bench Warrant: When a defendant posts bail and does not appear for a court hearing or trial, the presiding court may direct the clerk to issue a warrant to facilitate the defendant's arrest (I.C. § 19-1504). This warrant is called a "bench warrant." 

A bench warrant can be served within any county in Idaho; it directs law enforcement to arrest the named defendant and bring them before the court. Besides a failure to appear, a bench warrant can also be released for a probation violation, a violation of bail or release conditions, or failure to pay a court fine.

  • Arrest Warrant: This type of warrant authorizes law enforcement to apprehend and detain a person suspected of a criminal offense (I.C.R. 4).
  • Warrant of Attachment: A judge may issue this warrant to bring a person to court to answer a charge of contempt of court for failing to follow a court order. A warrant of attachment can be issued in civil and criminal cases (I.C. § 7-604).
  • Agent's Warrant: A parole or probation officer issues this type of warrant pursuant to I.C. § 20-227 to authorize the arrest of a parolee, probationer, or individual under drug or mental health court supervision. The law requires each parole or probation officer to notify the jurisdictional court when the warrant is executed (i.e., when the subject has been arrested) (I.C.R. 5.3).
  • Search Warrant: A search warrant permits the police to search a person, location, or thing for evidence of a crime and bring any seized evidence or person to the court (I.C.R. 41).
  • Coroner's Warrant: A specialized type of arrest warrant that a coroner may issue per I.C. 19-4308. It permits law enforcement to arrest a person believed to be involved in someone else's death and to bring them before a magistrate. The warrant aids the coroner in conducting a thorough investigation into the manner or cause of a death.

What is a Search Warrant in Idaho?

Idaho Code § 19-4401 describes a "search warrant" as a written order signed by a magistrate, judge, or justice that directs the police to search for and seize property or intangibles and bring them to the court. Title 19, Chapter 44 of the Idaho Code and Idaho Criminal Rule 41 govern the issuance and execution of search warrants in the state.

Per state law, no court may issue a search warrant in Idaho without the finding of probable cause supported by an affidavit. The affidavit (the written/oral application made by a law enforcement officer) must particularly name or describe the person, place, or property to be searched. Idaho Code § 19-4402 outlines sufficient grounds (probable cause) to issue a search warrant in Idaho:

  • To search for and seize property or intangibles that constitute criminal evidence.
  • To search for and seize the fruits of crime, contraband, or other things illegally possessed.
  • To search for and seize weapons or other things used or which may be used to commit a crime.
  • To search for and seize the subject of an arrest warrant.

In Idaho, a law enforcement officer (known as the affiant) may submit an affidavit for a search warrant in writing, orally, or by telephone or other reliable electronic means. Where an oral or telephonic affidavit is submitted, the oral statement (affidavit) and any sworn testimony made to the court will be recorded and transcribed. 

Upon establishing that probable cause exists, the magistrate will issue a search warrant that carries their signature and office. If the affidavit was submitted telephonically, the magistrate may verbally authorize the affiant to sign their name on a duplicate original warrant, and the verbal authorization will be recorded and transcribed.

An Idaho search warrant may be served by any officer mentioned therein in person, by mail, fax, or electronic mail (I.C. 19-4408). In executing the warrant, the law permits an officer to break open any window, door, or part of a house if refused admittance after due notice. 

Search warrants are typically executed during the day (defined as the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.) unless a warrant authorizes nighttime execution. Any search warrant issued in Idaho has a 14-day deadline for execution and return to the issuing magistrate.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

An Idaho search warrant may be issued within the same day of an application or a few days later. The State of Idaho does not recommend a specific timeframe for the search warrant application process. The primary requirement for issuing any search warrant in Idaho is the "finding of probable cause." In determining probable cause, a magistrate may request additional evidence and witness testimonies. Moreover, a magistrate's availability and a case's elaborateness may further extend the timeline.

What is an Arrest Warrant in Idaho?

An arrest warrant in Idaho is a writ that a magistrate issues after receiving a criminal complaint. The warrant directs a law enforcement officer to arrest a suspect or defendant and bring them to court. Idaho arrest warrants are issued per Idaho Criminal Rule (I.C.R.) 4. (I.C. 19-503 defines a "magistrate" to include the magistrates of the district court, district judges, court of appeals judges, and supreme court justices.)

For an arrest warrant to be issued in Idaho, a magistrate must find probable cause for the complaint. This means substantial facts or evidence must be present to cause a reasonable person to believe that an offense was committed and the suspect/defendant committed it. To deduce probable cause, a magistrate may rely on information provided in a written affidavit or by sworn oral statement. The official may require the affiant to appear personally or examine the affiant and witnesses under oath. If satisfied that probable cause exists, the magistrate will sign and issue a warrant permitting a peace officer or any other officer empowered by law to arrest the suspect.

An arrest warrant in Idaho contains these details:

  • The defendant's name. If unknown to the magistrate, the defendant can be designated by any name
  • The time of issue
  • The county, city, or town of issue
  • The magistrate's signature and office
  • The charge

Police officers do not need to provide a physical copy of an arrest warrant to apprehend a named defendant. An officer need only inform the accused of the warrant's existence and the related offense. Consequently, a person who has an arrest warrant may be apprehended upon any contact with peace officers.

An arrest warrant issued for a felony charge in Idaho can be executed any day at any time, including inside a person's residence. In contrast, a misdemeanor arrest warrant cannot be executed inside a residence from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. unless otherwise authorized or where a person with real or apparent authority gave permission to enter the residence (I.C. 19-607).

It is recommended that any person who finds themselves subject to an arrest warrant seek legal counsel. A criminal defense attorney can advise the individual of their rights and options for surrendering.

Arrest Warrant Lookup in Idaho

Members of the public may conduct an arrest warrant lookup in Idaho through the following sources:

  • A county sheriff's office.
  • The clerk's office in the courthouse where a criminal case is open. (See Idaho's county courthouse directory.)
  • Online third-party databases that offer a warrant lookup feature. 

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in Idaho

Individuals seeking failure to appear, failure to pay, or other warrant types disclosable to the public under Idaho's Freedom of Information Act may reach out to a local sheriff's office. Usually, courts transmit all warrant information to the sheriff's offices. As a result, these offices are the primary destination for anyone who wishes to confirm if they have a warrant in Idaho. 

An interested resident may visit or contact a sheriff's records department or other designated unit to find outstanding warrants. Many sheriff's offices also provide online databases for warrant inquiries. However, the information one may obtain from a sheriff's office varies across the board, with some sheriff's offices only providing confirmation that a warrant exists and nothing else (no additional details about the warrant).

As a second alternative, one may check with the clerk of court where they have an active court case for existing warrants. The Idaho iCourt portal, maintained by the state judiciary, is also a convenient resource for searching cases filed in Idaho courts. Here's how to search the iCourt portal: 

  • Select the county and service (in this case, a "Records Search") from the dropdown menu. 
  • Select "Search" to open the search home page.
  • Scroll to select "Smart Search," which opens the main search engine.
  • Input a defendant's last name or case number into the search box and click "Submit." A first and middle name can also be used to search, and advanced filtering options are available.

Once the results come up, the inquirer can review the "Events and Hearings" tab to check if the court issued a warrant in the case.

Free Warrant Search in Idaho

Warrant searches through the Idaho sheriff's offices and courthouses are typically free of charge. Also, a requester does not have to provide an ID to verify their identity or justify the inquiry. However, any request for a printed copy attracts the associated fees for reproduction. 

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online

The public has multiple resources at their disposal for researching active warrants online. Besides the iCourt portal provided by the Idaho Judicial Branch (discussed previously), one may check a local sheriff's website for a warrant search tool. 

For example, the Ada County Sheriff's Office has a warrants search portal where the public can explore local warrants using a person's last or first name. Information retrieved from the website includes a suspect's name, age, bond amount, the warrant issue date, and the warrant number. On the other hand, the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office publishes a list of felony and misdemeanor warrants active in the county, and so on.

Another method to find out if someone has a warrant online is to search a third-party public records database. One advantage of a third-party website is that users can search different geographical regions simultaneously. Also, other public information related to the search subject can be retrieved upon a search. However, a fee is usually charged for the service.

Generally, civilians are warned against using warrant information obtained online as a basis for any legal action. Upon discovering that an acquaintance or other party is listed on a warrants database, a person is advised to contact their local law enforcement if they know the person's whereabouts. Where the researcher is the one listed, they may seek a lawyer's assistance in verifying that the warrant is active and taking the next steps to resolve it.

How Long Do Warrants Last in Idaho

Except for search warrants, warrants never expire in Idaho. Any warrant authorizing the search for and seizure of a person, place, or property has a 14-day validity period, after which it becomes void or invalid (I.C. § 19-4412). However, any warrant authorizing a person's arrest follows that person until served or withdrawn (quashed) by the court.

Idaho Warrant Search
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!