To find out what a citation and a complaint, which is often the foundation on which an active warrant is issued in the state of Iowa, mean you need to look at the state's penal code section 804.1. In here, it is clearly mentioned that criminal proceedings can be started by filing a complaint against a person with the local tribunal that has the authority to deliberate in such matters.
A warrant is issued through a pre-warrant hearing during which the police have to present an affidavit of probable cause before the magistrate. This document is meant to prove that at that point in time, law enforcement has enough proof against the alleged offender to hold him responsible for the said criminal transgression.
If the proof set forth in writing is inadequate for this purpose, the witnesses can be called to depose. The affidavit and the testimony are both collected under oath. Usually, arrest warrants are issued in case of felonies and more serious misdemeanors. If the offense in question is ordinance or public related, a citation may be issued in lieu of a warrant.
Information is given to the police officers about the execution of warrants as well as citations. For instance, in case of an active warrant, it is a given that the order can also be executed beyond state lines and without being concerned about any barriers of time. This means that once an arrest order becomes an outstanding warrant, it becomes all the more powerful.
On the other hand, with bench warrants certain restrictions are laid down when it comes to serving the order, arresting the person in question and the time for which he can be detained along with the conditions for such detention. In majority of the instances, bench warrants come with a bail amount mentioned on them. In this scenario, the arrestee can walk free once he posts bail.
As far as search warrants go, these can only be executed within a certain period of time and they can only be used to search the particular premise mentioned in the order. Summonses are served at the home of the defendant along with subpoenas. If at any point the magistrate has reason to believe that either of these legal instruments may not be honored, he/she has the authority to issue a warrant in its place. If a citation is issued but the defendant fails to appear as orders, this is considered to be a minor crime and as such a warrant can be released for the arrest of this person.
If an accused is being arrested in relation to the commissioning of a felony, police officers have every right to use any means of force required to arrest this person. This includes using handcuffs to physically restrain the individual and pursuing him outside the issuing county and across state borders.
When arrests are being made, whether the cops have sought a warrant for the detention or not, the police officer who is making the arrest is legally required to identify himself as a member of the state's legal entity. If a warrant has been released in the matter, this should also be mentioned along with the offense for which the individual is being detained.
It can be decidedly simpler to find information on warrants that have already been served. All you will have to do is check the website of the Iowa Department of Corrections and use their prisoner search tool. This is available at http://www.doc.state.ia.us/OffenderInfo.asp
Alternatively, browsing through the court dockets database or the most wanted list can also help. Because the department of the clerk of court keeps records pertaining to all cases that have been heard by the state tribunals, you can find court records on civil as well as criminal matters through this source. You can also access court records through the Iowa judiciary website at www.iowacourts.gov.
For a statewide inquiry conducted through the law enforcement agency, you can get in touch with the Division of Criminal investigation which is a part of the state's Public Safety Department. A name based warrant search can be initiated through this agency by filling the form available at http://www.dps.state.ia.us/DCI/supportoperations/crimhistory/nleforma.pdfand sending it to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319.
To get in touch with the Department of Corrections, you can head over to 510 East 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319. Inquiries for crime history are charged at $13 per search when sent through mail and at $15/ search when sent through fax.