The issue of arrest warrants in Mississippi is governed by the state penal code; however, the issue of any legal process that impinges on constitutional rights has to conform with the federal laws as well. So, in keeping with these two sets of statues, an active warrant in Mississippi is only issued when state judiciary works in tandem with local law enforcement.
Both the sheriff's office and the criminal tribunal in the area play an active role when it comes to the issue of arrest warrants. While the cops investigate the case and submit the affidavit which forms the foundation of the pre-warrant session, the judiciary has the authority to deliberate on the petition and rule on whether an arrest warrant should be issued or not.
To find probable cause the magistrate has to rely on the affidavit filed by the cops or on the testimony of the victim or the witnesses. The affidavit submitted by the cops has to have a description of the incident, the reasons why the police concluded that the act was a crime and the proof that pointed to the association of the accused with the said occurrence.
The testimony of the witnesses is required only when the affidavit is found to be inadequate for establishing probable cause. Once the magistrate is convinced that there is reasonable cause to hold the alleged offender responsible for the crime, he/she signs the warrant putting it into effect.
Active warrants are executed at any time and in any place. Because these orders are issued in felonies, the arresting officers are given almost unrestricted powers when it comes to apprehending the accused. In fact, a police officer can even give chase to the offender outside the limits of the county and across state borders if he has an outstanding warrant in his hands.
The aid of civilians and of police officers alike can be summoned when serving the warrant. In contrast, bench warrants which also require that offenders be arrested are to be served within a certain geographic limit, usually the county in which these are issued. Also, these orders come with a fixed validity period beyond which they lapse and cops have to place a new request for the process.
When it comes to search warrants, the police can enter any property that has been listed in the order in an attempt to find proof or any item that can be used against the alleged offender in the court of law. Once cops are granted this legal instrument, the owner of the property cannot stop law enforcement officials from entering the premise or from confiscating any item in the home/office.
A pending arrest order can be served in any part of the county and is valid in all counties of the state of Mississippi. Also, this warrant can be executed at any time after its issue, even if several years have passed since the order was released. Cops can break open doors and windows and enter any building whether commercial or residential to effect arrests under a warrant.
In the state of Mississippi, civilians and law enforcement officers are offered a reward for the arrests of criminals who have been accused in homicide cases. The monitory reward offered is to the tune of $100 while in more heinous cases, civilians stand to get as much as $15,000 for offering tip on the whereabouts of a person on the most wanted list.
Although court dockets are kept in possession of the department of the clerk of court, neither this agency nor the local police can offer information on criminal history in Mississippi. The state has imposed restrictions on the dissemination of criminal data, so only state justice agencies and certain employers are given access to information on arrest records and warrants. So, trying to access court records would be futile.
If you have the statutory right to access details on criminal records or would like to get a personal background report, you can use the services of Mississippi Department of Health
Although the task of assimilating crime information is handled by the Crime Information Center, it is the Department of Health that distributes this data pursuant to the sunshine laws of the state. The inquiry can only be initiated on the basis of finger prints and these can be submitted online at http://www.msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,0,206.html by using the Fingerprint transmission System.
For an in person inquiry, you will have to go to the Criminal History Record Checks and Depository in Jackson or send your search requests by mail to PO Box 1700,Jackson, MS 39215. For additional information, you can connect with the agency at 601-364-1101.