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Warrant Search Rhode Island: How to View Warrant Records in Rhode Island

Warrant Search Rhode Island: How to View Warrant Records in Rhode Island
September 1, 2022

Once a court issues a warrant in Rhode Island, peace officers are expected to execute the warrant as soon as possible. Even in cases where they’re unable to, warrants in Rhode Island do not expire, so trying to wait one out is not any kind of resolution.

 

There are so many reasons why tackling warrants as soon as you become aware of their existence is a smart move. But, you can only deal with something you’re aware of, and that’s why checking often for outstanding or active warrants against you can be such a good move.

 

Learn how to find Rhode Island warrants in this article.


Rhode Island Warrants: What are They?


A warrant is a court-issued document that mandates law enforcement officials to cause the subject whose name is listed on the warrant to appear before the court. Rhode Island warrants fulfill a variety of purposes before the law and are used to bring a number of outcomes to pass. 

 

an illustration of the phrase search warrant on a pavement

For instance, law enforcement agents may request arrest warrants in order to legally bring an offender into custody or search warrants that permit them to inspect a property for evidence of a crime.

 

To request a warrant, law enforcement officers in Rhode Island are required to submit a written statement of accusation (which they would subsequently need to affirm under oath) to a judicial officer in the state’s judicial hierarchy. 

 

After admitting the complaint, the judge or magistrate must examine it closely to determine if there is sufficient reason (or probable cause) to believe that a crime was committed and that the listed offender is guilty of committing the crime. 

 

Once the judicial officer signs the warrant, it becomes active. In the case of arrest warrants, law enforcement officers are required to bring the offender before the court as soon as reasonably possible.

 

Typically, the law enforcement officer who brings up the complaint or the lead investigating officer handles the execution of the warrant. However, the execution of warrants may also be done by any law enforcement officer in the state.


Types of Warrants in Rhode Island


Some of the most commonly issued warrants in Rhode Island are arrest warrants, bench warrants, and search warrants are:


Arrest Warrants


After establishing the existence of probable cause, judicial officers in Rhode Island may issue arrest warrants to law enforcement officers if there’s a need to bring an offender before the court immediately. 

 

In accordance with the warrant's provisions, the law enforcement officer must take the arrested person before the magistrate so that they can be dealt with legally regardless of who served the arrest order. Law enforcement officers are protected by state law against assault or obstruction when executing arrest warrants.

 

It’s important to know that law enforcement officers are permitted to make arrests without warrants under specific conditions. For instance, if an officer witnessed the crime, or when the officer believes that an offender may cause further harm if left to remain free.

police arrest warrant

Search Warrants


Like arrest warrants, judicial officers in Rhode Island only issue search warrants after establishing probable cause. Search warrants permit law enforcement officers to inspect a property and, if required, take specific items with them as evidence.

 

In Rhode Island, a search warrant must specify three things: the street address, the person who is presumed to be at the address, and any objects that need to be taken. 

 

A sworn written report from law enforcement indicating the need for a warrant due to suspected criminal activity is required to obtain a search warrant. Law enforcement officers need to prove that a criminal offense must have occurred in the place specified in the search request.


Bench Warrants


Bench warrants are issued against people who have disobeyed or are currently disobeying a court order. Without requiring a complainant to submit a petition for the judicial order, judges and magistrates in the state have the authority to issue arrest warrants at their own discretion. Bench warrants must also be followed and carried out by citizens and law enforcement officials, much like arrest warrants.

 

hands of a man in hadncuffs

How to Find Warrants in Rhode Island


If you need to find out if you’re the subject of an active or outstanding warrant in Rhode Island, you may check the following places:


State Judiciary Database


Checking the Rhode Island judiciary’s online Adult Criminal Information Database is one of the most convenient ways to find warrants in the state. 

 

All you need to do is visit the official website of the state judiciary and initiate a search by entering your subject’s name or case number into the provided text fields. You can access a variety of information about your subject this way, including details of charges, the court that issued the warrant, and the date of issue.

an illustration of a search bar with a magnifying glass over it

Most Wanted List


Another way to verify the existence of warrants against you or someone you know is by checking the Rhode Island most wanted list. This list is published on the websites of local police stations statewide and is updated regularly.


Local Law Enforcement Offices


You may check for warrants in person by visiting the office of your local law enforcement agency during normal business hours. This is a risky option; you may be arrested on the spot if any warrants are discovered against you.

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