Illinois Arrest Records and Warrant Search

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What is an arrest warrant?

According to the Code of Criminal Procedure for Illinois, “A warrant of arrest is a written order from a court directed to a peace officer, or to some other person specifically named, commanding him to arrest a person.” This differs from a summons which is an order issued by a court that commands a person to appear before the court at a specific time.

When is an arrest warrant issued in Illinois?

An arrest warrant is issued upon a complaint to the court charging that an offense has been committed. The court must examine under oath the complainant or any witnesses. The complaint must be in writing and state the name of the accused person, if known. If the name of the accused person is not known, then any name or description may be used that will identify the suspect with reasonable certainty. The warrant must also state the offense that is charged, the time and date the offense was alleged to be committed and be signed and sworn to by the complainant.

What does the arrest warrant have in it?

After review of the complaint and any testimony from the complainant and/or any witness, the court may issue an arrest warrant if it appears that the person against whom the complaint was made has committed the crime. The warrant has much of the same information as the complaint.

To be valid, the arrest warrant must be in writing and specify the name, sex and birth date of the person to be arrested or if the name, sex or birth date is unknown, the warrant must designate such person by any name or description by which he or she can be identified with reasonable certainty. The warrant must set forth the nature of the offense, state the date when it was issued and the municipality or county where issued. It has to be signed by the judge with the title of his office and command that the person against whom the complaint was made be arrested and brought before the court issuing the warrant. The warrant must also specify the amount of bail and specify any geographical limitation placed on the execution of the warrant.

Does an officer need a warrant to arrest someone?

The short answer is “no” an officer does not need an arrest warrant to arrest someone. However, the officer must witness the crime being committed to arrest someone without a warrant. Pursuant to Article 107-16 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for Illinois, when an officer witnesses a criminal offense or breach of peace, that officer has a duty to apprehend the offender and bring him or her before a judge. Therefore, if the officer sees a crime committed he has the authority, under state law, to arrest the person without an arrest warrant.

What resources are available for searching arrest records and criminal records in Illinois?

Illinois has state resources for searching some criminal records; however, individual counties may have resources in addition to the state’s resources for searching county records that pertain to that that specific county. Some state resources are available online so that individuals can perform searches without the necessity of going to a state or local office.

  • Illinois Department of Corrections – You can search for current inmates, wanted fugitives and for sex offenders on the DOC’s website.
  • Illinois State Police – Criminal History Information can be requested, for a fee, from the State Police. Information on how to request a criminal history is on their website.
  • Illinois Most Wanted – The State Police also maintains a list of the state’s most wanted criminals on its website with pictures and a list of charges.

Crime information and tips

The Illinois State Police website offers information about crimes and tips for you to help protect yourself from being a victim. The information is located on their website and is a free service to the public.

Illinois crime statistics and date

Between 1999 and 2008, Illinois had more than 4,800,000 crimes reported statewide; however, only about 740,000 of those crimes were violent in nature. During this time, a crime occurred approximately 56 times per hour somewhere in the state. Over this 10-year period, violent crimes decreased by around 30% while overall crime rates dropped by 23%.

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