Wisconsin Warrant Search – Outstanding & Active Warrants in WI


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To understand how warrants and summons are issued in the state, you will need to refer to the Wisconsin Statutes 968.04. This section of the criminal procedure clarifies that an arrest order can only be issued when it appears through the accusatory declaration and/or witness testimony that there is reasonable cause to conclude that a criminal act did take place and that the accused perpetrated it.

The affidavit and the testimony are both to be collected under oath. The affiant risks punishment for perjury if it is found that the complaint was filed with malicious intent and does not have any truth to it. The magistrate has to deliberate on the contents of the warrant petition and the supporting affidavit as per the Fourth Amendment.

A warrant will not be issued if the accused is already being held in police custody; also, the requirement for a formal arrest order will be done away with if the accused surrenders before the court or law enforcement. Upon issue, all Wisconsin arrest warrants will be delivered forthwith to the law enforcement agency designated for their service.

The authority for the issue of arrest warrants

All judicial officers who have been clothed by the penal code of the state to exert the criminal laws are authorized to issue active warrants for arrests including the clerk of court who can release an arrest warrant when ordered by the sitting judge to do so. If a magistrate is unavailable in the geographical division where the offense occurs, the police can approach the nearest district or municipal court for the warrant even if this is in another county.

Although issued in another part of the state, upon execution, this warrant will be returnable before a judge of a tribunal in the county where the offense took place. This rule also applies to the return of bench warrants and search warrants. When it comes to summonses, these can be returned before the circuit court of the county in which the offense occurred.

Mandatory provisions for the issue of Wisconsin arrest warrants

  • The geographical limits and restrictions or liberties granted for the execution of the warrant are specified by the magistrate
  • The examination for the complaint may take place over the phone or the information can be transmitted to the court via electromagnetic means like facsimile. All recorded testimony is transcribed and certified as accurate by the magistrate. The original of this is filed with the clerk of court.
  • All active warrants from Wisconsin are to be in writing and they must either have a copy of the complaint or both the accusatory affidavit and the order for arrest can be given on the same form.
  • An order for arrest must contain information about the issue of the warrant such as the place and date of release. Apart from this, it should also offer information on the offense committed and the accused including his name and any identifying details including a description of physical characteristics like weight, height and tattoos, etc

Finding data on crime history in WI

While a warrant search can get you information on bench warrants and arrest orders that have already been served, you will find it harrowing to get details on outstanding warrants and search warrants. At least the former can be found through a most wanted list or a third party information seller. However, details on search warrants are only accessible to law enforcement agencies.

Although this data is made a part of the court records of a certain case and this is filed in the court dockets database by the office of the clerk of court, civilian cannot get these details even if they were to approach the county clerk's office.

If a background check will suffice, you can get a report on your subject or on yourself from:

Inquiries through the WI DOJ are charged at $18 for mail searches and $13 for internet inquiries. Because Wisconsin is an open records state, a lot of crime history information can be accessed without a charge online or by visiting the local justice center and using the public service terminals.