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Ohio Warrant Search Information and Search Methods

Ohio Warrant Search Information and Search Methods
September 6, 2022

In Ohio, as in most other states in the US, arrest warrants are not definitive proof that a person is guilty of committing a crime. 


Warrants are court summons inviting an accused person to appear in court and answer charges brought against them by civilians or law enforcement agents.


If you have a warrant issued against you, there may be a chance to escape spending time in jail or even get the charges against you dropped, if you act quickly. 


On the other hand, trying to evade a warrant may end up compounding matters. Outstanding warrants in Ohio typically do not expire.


To avoid getting caught in a difficult situation, it is advisable to always check for warrants against you and settle them on time. We’ll be discussing how you can do the former in this article.

a police report with an etched photo of a man

What are Ohio Warrants?

Warrants are court-issued documents that mandate law enforcement officers to bring a person accused of a crime before a court so they can respond to the allegations. 


It’s important to note that not everyone who has a warrant issued against them ends up in jail. Sometimes, charges end up getting dropped, or the accused person may be found not guilty.


Before a warrant is issued by any court in Ohio, the judicial officer who signed the warrant must be convinced of the existence of probable cause. 


Probable cause simply means reasonable justification for the suspicion that a crime was committed and that the individual listed on the warrant commissioned the crime. 


Probable cause is typically documented in a sworn affidavit, which is to be presented to the court by the affiant.


Different warrants serve different legal purposes in Ohio, and state courts may issue any of them at their discretion, based on their determination of the type of offense committed by the subject. 


Law enforcement officers in Ohio have a duty to execute warrants, which they often do without notifying the subjects of the warrants. 


Peace officers can arrest an offender with an active or outstanding warrant immediately upon becoming aware of the presence of the warrant, even if the warrant was issued in a different county.

a search warrant next to a keyboard and a magnifying glass

Types of Warrants in Ohio

Ohio courts most frequently issue arrest warrants, search warrants, and bench warrants. Every type of warrant has a specific purpose in legal proceedings. 


A warrant can also be granted for peace, surveillance, taxation, false names, or capias, as well as a warrant for financial transactions.

Ohio Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants in Ohio bestow holders with the special legal power to detain or arrest the subject. 


If there is evidence to support the suspicion that the defendant has committed a crime in Ohio, a judge may issue an arrest warrant. 


In Ohio, arrest warrants may be issued by magistrates, judges, court clerks, or other specified court personnel.


The following three situations can lead to the issuance of an arrest warrant in the state of Ohio: when the court orders it when the district attorney files a motion after the indictment is returned, or when an affidavit is filed. 


Note that law enforcement officers may make arrests without warrants in some cases.

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Ohio Search Warrants

The holder of an Ohio search warrant has the legal right to search and seize specific properties that are under the court's jurisdiction. 


If the Ohio court decides there is probable cause, it will grant search warrants and tracking device warrants at the request of a law enforcement official or a prosecuting attorney.


A warrant may only be served at the times and for the duration outlined in the warrant. As a rule, search warrants are executed within ten days of being issued.

Ohio Bench Warrants

Bench warrants are issued to law enforcement officers to compel a defaulter or someone who has held the court in contempt to appear in court. 


In Ohio, people with bench warrants typically get arrested on the spot when law enforcement officers discover the existence of the warrants. A bench warrant may also remain active even when the subject relocates to a different state.

How to Find Warrants in Ohio

If you’re considering checking for possible warrants against you, we recommend checking the following places:

Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI)

One way of finding out if there’s an active or outstanding warrant against you is by performing a criminal record check.


The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) in Ohio is the central repository of criminal records, and you may request a personal criminal history check. 


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To do this, you’ll need to submit an application that clearly specifies your complete name, signature, and complete set of fingerprints. 


You must send this application, along with a $22 charge (payable by business check, electric payment, or money order), to the BCI.

Court Clerks

Courts in Ohio typically keep records of warrants issued in them. So, you may approach the clerk of the court where you suspect a warrant may have been issued against you and request a warrant search.

Local County Websites

You may also visit the website of the county, police department, and sheriff’s office where you live to check whether there’s an active or outstanding warrant against you.


Some local law enforcement agency websites provide databases of people with outstanding warrants. A few others publish lists of wanted persons.

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