Iowa Arrest Records and Warrant Search

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Iowa Arrest Records and Warrant Search

What are arrest records and arrest warrants?

Iowa “arrest records” is a term used to indicate crime history data that is furnished on a non-waiver basis by the Division of Criminal Investigation. As part of the IA Department of Public Safety, the agency maintains information on all arrests, case dispositions and the issue of active warrants in the state. This data is collected from the local law enforcement agencies and judicial offices.

At the time of arrests, the police are required to capture information about the accused including his fingerprints. This information is then forwarded to the DIC which holds the data for the natural life of the accused. The details on criminal history are furnished in response to fingerprint and name based inquiries. The former is only available to statutorily recognized applicants such as hospitals, health and day care facilities, senior care centers, schools, etc.

Limited crime history is offered through online, fax, in person and mail inquiries. The results of such a warrant search will include details on all arrests made in cases that resulted in a court verdict of “guilty” and detentions that are no more than 18 months old. On the other hand, complete crime history will include information on arrests from cases where the court disposition has not been received or is deferred. A signed waiver will be needed from the subject to seek complete crime history.

As opposed to this, limited crime history records are released to all and sundry through non waiver searches. The DIC charges $15 to handle such inquiries and unless the arrest records are requested online, it can take about 10 days to process the inquiry.

Active warrants and their execution

Arrest warrants are legally sanctioned orders for detention that are issued in case of felonies as well as misdemeanors. They call for the arrest of the accused upon sight. These directives can be served in any part of the issuing county or the state and beyond its boundaries based on the conditions for detention set by the magistrate who releases the order.

To enable police officers to apprehend offenders with such decrees against them, the judiciary confers additional authority on them which includes the ability to enter any property whether owned by the accused, a private party or the state in order to effect detentions under IA active warrants. What is more, the help of peace officers from other jurisdiction and even a member of the community can be sought to make such arrests.

The issue of active warrants from Iowa is subject to proving probable cause in court. When an accusatory instrument is filed with a tribunal that has jurisdiction in criminal matters, the sitting judge carefully studies the information furnished through the affidavit. If from the details provided, it appears that there is probable cause to support the belief that a criminal act has indeed occurred and that the suspect was involved in it, the active warrant will be sanctioned.

These directives are free of time restrictions, so even those outstanding warrants from IA which are several years old can lead to the detention of an accused. It is also commonplace for citations to be issued in lieu of arrest warrants unless the crime in question is particularly serious. However, any disobedience on the part of the suspect in appearing in court as ordered can lead to the issue of an active warrant. Frequently, arrest warrants are also issued against important witnesses in felonious cases who fail to show up in court.

How do I search for Iowa arrest records and warrants?

You can look for information on arrest records and active warrants from Iowa by going to the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation. To connect with the agency, use their website at or you can call on them in person at 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. The DIC will also respond to any inquiries concerning the procedure used for the dissemination of crime history through their phone number at 515-725-6010.

It is also possible to seek information on criminal matters through the state judiciary. Court dockets are not only maintained by the offices of the local county clerks but also by the administrative office of the state judiciary. To access information on criminal or civil cases, you can get in touch with the Iowa Supreme Court, Iowa Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319.

Another way to launch an inquiry on criminal history is by using the online facility offered by the IA judiciary at Simply click on the link that reads “start a case search”. Appellate court information is available to all including the advanced case search feature. As far as the trial courts are concerned, only registered users are allowed to access advance case searches.

Iowa crime statistics

Over the last few years, the violent crime rates of Iowa have surged by 6%. However, there has been a drop of almost 15% in overall criminal activity. All in all, about 93,000 criminal matters are reported in the state and 10% of these are of a violent nature.

In terms of property crimes, theft has the highest occurrence rate at nearly 60,000 incidents per annum while robbery clocks in the lowest average of just about 1100 cases. As far as violent crimes were concerned, assaults brought in the maximum number of cases at about 6200 cases every year while homicides accounted for the lowest number of complaints in the category at just 40 instances.