What are arrest records and arrest warrants?
The state of Missouri incorporated the Uniform Crime Reporting program in an effort to assimilate information from the nearly 17.000 city, county and state law enforcement divisions that have the job of controlling the law and order situation in the area. Since 2001, it was made mandatory for all state justice agencies to send information pertaining to felonies, serious misdemeanours and traffic offenses related to substance and alcohol abuse to the State Highway Patrol.
This information is held in a centralized database by the Criminal Justice information Section of the Missouri State Highway patrol (MSHP). This data is not only supplied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation but also it is made available to all local agencies, private entities and individual inquirers.
Arrest records supplied in response to an inquiry made to the CJIS will depend on the type of search initiated. For instance, a personal identifier query which is based on such details as the name, social security number and date of birth of the subject will only bring back open records. This refers to information on cases that culminated in sentencing and custodial detentions that are no more than 30 days old. Information on sex offenders can also be found through such a search.
In contrast, closed and complete records will be made accessible when a finger print based inquiry is requested. This type of search will also bring back details on criminal complaints and subsequent charge filings that did not result in a conviction, matters in which the sentence was suspended and all detentions whether charges were filed or not.
The term active warrant refers to a detention order issued in Missouri by a tribunal that has criminal jurisdiction. Detention orders may be released for several reasons; for instance a warrant may be issued if:
- A person fails to pay his traffic violation fines
- When the defendant fails to abide according to the payment plan chalked out by the court
- If a person does not appear in court as asked
- When insurance claims are not honored in case of accidents where the vehicle and driver/owner was not covered by a policy
However, these bench warrants are very different from active directives for detention issued in criminal cases. Usually, bench orders for arrest have a finite validity. In contrast, active warrants can stay valid for as long as it takes to nab the suspect and present him/her in front of the court. Arrest warrants handed out in a specific county are not restricted to that geographical division alone. These orders can be executed without any restrictions of time or place.
In the state of Missouri, an active warrant for arrest can only be released by a judicial entity when the local sheriff’s office or another investigating law enforcement agency makes a request for it. Pursuant to the state criminal code, such directives can only be released after the sitting magistrate establishes probable cause.
How do I search for Missouri arrest records and arrest warrants?
There are three ways to look for warrants and arrest records in Missouri. An applicant can initiate an inquiry by visiting the office of the MSHP at the Annex Building on 1510 East Elm Street in Jefferson City, MO 65101. It is also possible to mail in the request at this address. A search based on personal identifying information will cost $10 while an inquiry that is initiated on the basis of finger prints will be charged at $20.
You can make use of the MACH online search system of State highway patrol at https://www.machs.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MocchWebInterface/home.html. The charges for the different types of searches are constant whether you put in a mail request or look for the data online.
The state judicial system also maintains a website of details relating to all cases that have been or are being heard by the judiciary. This includes civil, family and criminal matters. To use this internet based search tool, go to https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/base/welcome.do
Information is offered for free on this site and you will be able to look for records for divorce cases, felonies and misdemeanours. The search can be initiated by providing the name of the litigant, the case filing date, the number of the case or information on the scheduled hearing or trial.
Once you choose the appropriate option, you will simply need to click on search. On the page displaying the results, you will get records of all civil and criminal matters that match your search criteria.
Missouri criminal statistics
Over the ten year period from 1999 to 2008, more than 2.5 million criminal complaints were lodged with the various sheriffs’ departments of Missouri. When this data is used to calculate the annual crime average for the state, it is found that an estimated 250,000 crimes take place in the area every year. This not only includes over 2 million cases of property crimes but also the figure comprises of more than 3500 homicide cases and over 15,000 sexual assault matters.
In terms of crime category, murder has the lowest incident rate while theft is the most common criminal occurrence for the area. Through the decade mentioned above, the crime scenario of Missouri has held steady with a marginal decline of just 2% in the rate of reported crime and a miniscule increase of just about 8% in the rate of violent criminal acts.