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Iowa Warrant Search: How to Find Warrant Records in Iowa

Iowa Warrant Search: How to Find Warrant Records in Iowa
September 4, 2022

Law enforcement officers have the power to make arrests of persons involved in a crime—on-the-spot or at a later date. While on-the-spot arrests take place while the crime is still fresh and as such is naturally more straightforward, officers may need warrants to effect arrests that are carried out later.


This is usually done to account for the fundamental rights that give US citizens certain liberties that must not be trampled on. So if you've recently been involved in a traffic violation or a more serious offense, you may be let off the hook at the moment, but only for the moment in some cases. 


Once law enforcement officers have gathered enough evidence to nail you, they can obtain a warrant to whatever effect and come knocking on your doors in a bit.


It lies on you to obtain timely knowledge of the warrant and challenge it appropriately, render it invalid and avert a visit of the police. 


But first, you have to know how to find the warrants in question, and this article intends to show you how. You can use our suggestions to find warrants issued against you, your new tenant, your work colleague, or anyone else. 

a piece of paper with the words search warrant on it and a gavel and a magnifying glass lying over the paper

What Is A Warrant In Iowa?

Whenever a law enforcement officer is issued a warrant, they're given the legal grounds to make unchallenged arrests or search of persons, items, and properties, to mention a few. 


These actions would ordinarily have been considered to be a violation of the fundamental rights of those on the receiving end. However, the officers that carry them out are in the clear by virtue of the warrants, issued by a judge or magistrate of competent jurisdiction.


The officers must first provide the judge or magistrate with verifiable evidence(probable cause) that a crime has happened or is imminent, and that their next course of action will be crucial to the case. The warrant usually contains the name and title of the issuing officer, a validity period, the subject of the warrant, its location, offense, etc. 


The contents of the warrant will differ from an arrest warrant and a search warrant to a traffic violation warrant or a tax complaint warrant. Whichever one it is, you can find them using any of the various means discussed below. 


a police search warrant with a flashlight and a pen on it

At The Courthouses

The courts are a natural place to find warrants for no other reason than the fact that judges and magistrates are responsible for issuing the warrants. 


A good number of the courts in Iowa have adopted digital storage provisions, with databases devoted to holding case records, a common feature. You can find warrants issued by the resident judge or magistrate of a particular court if you get access to the court records.


Most of the courthouses manage websites that host a case search feature devoted to cases heard at the court. By providing your name, date of birth, sex, case/docket number, or any other detail as specified in the search fields, you can run a case record search at the court's online database. Your search should return any outstanding warrants along with other case information. 

a magnifying glass lying on a laptop keyboard

At Law Enforcement Agencies

Every county in Iowa has a Sheriff who works alongside other law enforcement agencies to maintain public law and order. There are 99 such county Sheriffs in Iowa, with the contact details, emails, and websites displayed on the sheriff's directory—a publication of the Iowa State Sheriffs & Deputies Association (ISSDA).


Once you can identify your county in this directory, you can check for the availability of an online warrant database or information system. Scott county and Black Hawk County are two such counties with the warrant search feature on the websites of their Sheriff's Office. 


There, you can use your name, date of birth, ID number, or someone else's details to find all types of warrants issued or executed in the state. 

a police car in a dark street

At The Iowa Department of Public Safety

The Iowa Department of Public Safety allows interested persons to check for warrants included as part of a criminal history record. This service is offered via its Criminal History Record Dissemination Unit under the Division of Criminal Investigation. 


Requesters have to first fill out forms for Criminal History Request and Criminal History Billing, the latter being a requirement for payment.  The cost for this service is $15 per name search, to be submitted alongside the completed form in person, by mail, or fax to the address below:


Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
Support Operations Bureau 1st Floor,
215 East 7th Street,
Des Moines, IA 50319,
Phone: (515) 725-6066,
Fax: (515) 725-6080,

At Third-Party Websites

With what is possibly the most straightforward route to finding public records, third-party websites are the obvious choice for people in search of warrants. There are many of these types of platforms devoted to running background checks and finding information from public records.


A third-party website such as this one provides text fields that can be filled with the name and location of the warrant or public record. Upon filling these fields and clicking "search," you can find any warrants that turn out from the background check. 

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