The North Carolina Statutes, section 15A-304 gives the definition of an arrest warrant and information on when such an order ought to be released along with details on how it should be served. In keeping with this chapter of the state penal code, active warrants for arrests can be defined as orders that direct police officers to arrest and hold a person in custody till he can be brought before the tribunal for a bail hearing.
Arrest warrants from North Carolina comprise of a statement of the crime along with the document that commands the detention of the accused. When an arrest order is issued in a criminal case, there is reasonable certainty that its release is based on the establishment of probable cause.
The information presented in writing and under oath or affirmation while requesting the court to issue a warrant is used to ascertain that there is indeed reason enough to suspect that the person who is being accused of the criminal indiscretion was responsible for the act.
In North Carolina, an active warrant can be released in place of a summons or subsequent to the appearance notice depending on the circumstances that surround the case and the history of the defendant. For instance, if it can be reasonably assumed that the defendant will obey the summons and show up at the ordered place and time, the magistrate will have no reason to issue a warrant sanctioning his arrest.
However, if the person in question has a history of not obeying judicial directives or already has an outstanding warrant in his name, the court will issue an arrest order against this individual. If the crime that the offender is being charged with is a misdemeanor, a warrant will be issued only if the offense is serious enough to merit the release of such a directive. As far as arrests go, the same rule applies to misdemeanors as those for felonies, if the crime is commissioned in the presence of an officer of the law, the perpetrator can be detained without a warrant.
An arrest is said to have been made when a person submits himself into custodial detention of his own accord and if a peace office has to use physical force to remand this person into detention. When acting under an active warrant, the arresting officer has to identify himself as an agent of the law, state that the arrestee is being taken into police custody and mention the reasons why he is being arrested.
This process holds when an arrest is made through the use of a warrant and even when a person is being detained based on probable cause of his involvement in a criminal act. The only time this procedure can be done away with is if the reasons for the arrest of an offender are obvious as he is being taken into custody from the crime scene or after committing an illicit act.
Outstanding warrants from North Carolina are not bound by geographic restrictions or time limitations; this means that, depending on the gravity of the crime in question, the suspect can be picked up from any state in the country, if there is a warrant out in his name. Also, arrest warrants do not lapse, so the person in whose name the order has been issued can be detained at any point in time after the release of the directive.
Finding information on arrest orders and bench warrants in North Carolina will involve taking a trip down to the office of the clerk of court. This is the judicial agency that is in charge of maintaining the court dockets database. As such, they are the keepers of all court records including information on cases handled by the criminal tribunals in the area.
While, it is possible to get county specific crime records from this agency, there is no provision available at this time for conducting state wide inquiries for arrest records and warrants. You can also request the local sheriff's office to offer crime history information. Although both the office of local law enforcement and the county clerk have all information pertaining to a criminal matter, access to this data is limited to officers of justice agencies.
Civilians are only given details on convictions and arrests, so you will not be able to find information on the release of other judicial instruments like search warrants that may have been released against the subject.
To get a personal background report, use the review packet available at http://www.ncdoj.gov/ and take the duly filled forms to the office of the clerk of court with a $25 fee.
You can also access crime data from third party vendors recommended by the North Carolina Courts Administrative office; a list of these companies is available at http://www.nccourts.org/Citizens/GoToCourt/Documents/cbccompanies.pdf. The website of the North Carolina Court System at http://www.nccourts.org/Citizens/GoToCourt/Obtainsingle.asp offers extensive information on conducting personal and third party background checks.
Alternatively, you can use the website of the Department of Corrections for information on arrest warrants that have already been served; this site can be visited at http://www.doc.state.nc.us/offenders/. For a most wanted list, you can approach the local police precinct office.