With readily available and convenient methods for undertaking an arrest warrant search, Lee County, IA, has a well-organized law enforcement and records system. An essential facet of protecting any community is the ability to identifying people with an outstanding arrest warrant. The Lee County Sheriff’s Department is committed to “Working to Keep Paradise Safe,” and the region’s efforts to maintain a safe and secure community include endeavors beyond merely making arrests during the commission of crimes.
Lee County, which has two county seats (Fort Madison and Keokuk), is home to almost 40,000 people. However, even though cowboy actor John Wayne, an iconic lawman of American film, once called Keokuk home, there is a crime in Lee County. Throughout the Lee County region, law enforcement agencies regularly arrest warrants, apprehend criminals, and maintain arrest records. Ten thousand, one hundred and eighty-five crimes occurred in Lee County between 1999 and 2008, or a little over a thousand per year. One thousand, three hundred and one of the crimes reported in 1999 to 2008 were classified as violent, including 66 rapes and two murders. There were over 7,000 property crimes in that period, with more than 450 automobile thefts.
Under Iowa statutes, when a criminal complaint is made, and there appears to be probable cause to believe that a specific person committed an offense, the court may issue an arrest warrant. The arrest warrant grants law enforcement officers permission to take into custody the person named in the warrant. Sometimes, officers apprehend the individual quickly. Other times, an outstanding arrest warrant may sit, unsatisfied, for an extended period.
One result of long-standing active warrants is that the named individual may not even know (or may have forgotten about) the warrant’s existence. It is essential for anyone who suspects there is a warrant with their name on it to find out their status to begin the process of addressing the issues that brought about the warrant. In almost all cases, the best course of action for those who think there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest is to contact the police or sheriff to inquire about surrendering.
Plenty of other reasons exist for searching arrest warrants. In handling crime scenes, accidents, and disturbances, law enforcement officers need to assess the people involved’s a legal status. Employers often want information about potential employees. Some people are just curious about other people and what they have been up to in the past, although this is not usually a valid reason to investigate someone.
To find active Lee County arrest warrants, go to the county sheriff’s site:http://www.sheriffleefl.org/how_do_i/learn_more_about/warrants/index.php.Once there, either type in a name to search, or scroll down the list of names. Information provided includes name, birth date, remarks on the alleged crimes, and the warrant and case numbers. At any given time, there may be more than 14,000 outstanding warrants in Lee County. The same site also provides links to arrest information, jail information, and missing persons.
To find information on people already in Lee County, whether due to an arrest warrant or for other reasons, the “Jail Information” button leads to a page where users may “Search for Arrest Bookings, Releases Inmates” by name, date of birth, and booking number. Moreover, each day’s bookings appear by clicking on “Bookings Today,” complete with names, dates of birth, locations, and even a photograph of the defendant. If the inmate’s photo is not enough to verify the correct individual’s record was accessed, clicking on an individual’s name reveals their height and weight, hair and eye color, last known address, and a list of charges against the person.
Following an arrest, a great deal of personal information becomes available to the public. However, Lee County recognizes the need for restraint. The county sheriff’s site states: “Information is provided as a service to citizens, inmate families & friends, attorneys, and others and does not detail the final disposition of criminal justice proceedings. All arrestees are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”
The Lee County Sheriff website guides inquiries about the outcome or status of cases with links to the Lee County Clerk of Courts (https://matrix.leeclerk.org/). Users must acknowledge reviewing a posted disclaimer about the veracity and timeliness of information provided on the site before entering the search page. They then come to the Clerk of Courts Case Records Inquiries page. The link to “Criminal and Traffic Case records” leads to the page for searches by case number, citation, defendant, or attorney.
Searching Lee County arrest warrants and criminal records is a smart move, especially if you believe you are named in an outstanding warrant. Additionally, Lee County provides a great deal of information to the public about the status of criminal cases and individual records. Just be sure to search responsibly.