There are many reasons to undertake an arrest warrant search in Wapello County. There are likely as many excuses for searching outstanding warrants as there are reasons for committing crimes resulting in arrests. Chapter 804 of the Iowa Code covers the commencement of criminal actions and the issuance of arrest warrants. Under the statute, when there is probable cause to think that an individual was the perpetrator of a specific offense, an arrest warrant may be issued.
Wapello County, IA, experienced over 15,000 crimes in the years from 1999 through 2008, and those figures only account for reported crimes. Almost 12 percent of the crimes reported in that period were violent crimes, and there were well over 10,000 property crimes reported to law enforcement for the same period.
An arrest warrant permits police or sheriffs to arrest, or take into custody, the person named in the warrant. An arrest takes away that person’s freedom, based upon a belief that they committed a crime. The concept of “probable cause” is so important in criminal law, but defining probable cause is not a black and white matter. Courts and lawyers argue over whether probable cause was present in a warrant repeatedly. Probable cause is necessary to make an arrest warrant valid. It consists of a collection of reasonably trustworthy facts and circumstances that, combined, are enough to make a reasonable person believe there was a crime and that a specific person committed it.
A list of active warrants in Wapello County is not as easy to find as in other counties, but the information is out there. Typically, counties maintain an official list of outstanding warrants. Lists of active warrants are often available on county websites, but a search for Wapello County arrest warrants fails to reveal any official county active warrant lists.
Specific cities within Wapello County have warrants lists. One exciting example is Ottumwa, Iowa. Ottumwa is the Wapello county seat. A current list of outstanding warrants supplied by the Ottumwa Police Department appears on the Ottumwa Courier website, a print and digital newspaper. At the Ottumwa City site, they state:
We have worked with the Ottumwa Courier to make our list of 400-plus outstanding arrest warrants from his department to the public. Visitors can download a PDF copy of the list onto their home computers by accessing this article http://www.ottumwacourier.com/outstanding-arrest-warrants-list-now-available-online/article_01290ba3-9213-5d7d-817d-35edd596263b.html.
Visitors may also access Ottumwa County outstanding warrant information at ottumwacourier.com/warrants, where there is a current list of outstanding warrants as supplied by the Ottumwa Police Department.
Interestingly, individuals searching for arrest warrant information should usually access only official sites for current information. Typically, a site maintained by a periodical should be treated with some trepidation. The only thing that makes the Ottumwa Courier site more reliable is that it is specifically cited on the city website.
Of course, information about what follows arrests in Wapello County, specifically arrest records, also matters. The state of Iowa’s Department of Public Safety has a special division, the Division of CriminalInvestigation (or “DCI”), that provides “The Criminal History Record Check” website, intended to supply the general public with a simple and accessible place to obtain criminal histories for the state. The price of a criminal history record check by way of the site?Only $15.00.Users may access the website at https://iowacriminalhistory.iowa.gov/default.aspx.