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New Jersey Court Records

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New Jersey Warrant Search

A warrant is a legally binding document that authorizes the search of a particular area or the arrest of a person by a law enforcement agency. New Jersey warrants give law enforcement officers legal protection against civil or criminal liability, allowing them to carry out their duty of arrest, detention, or searching a person's property.

The process of finding active warrants issued by a state court or law enforcement agency in New Jersey is known as a New Jersey warrant search. An arrest warrant search often provides inquirers with information about the subject of the warrant (including their age, date of birth, and physical description), the warrant number, the major charges against a person, the degree of the warrant (felony or misdemeanor), the bail amount (if any), and whether or not a court appearance is required. 

A New Jersey warrant search can be performed by querying state or local law enforcement agencies such as police departments or county sheriff offices. Warrant searches are also available through New Jersey courts at the state and county levels.

Are Warrants Public Records in New Jersey?

The accessibility of New Jersey warrants primarily depends on the warrant type and the circumstances surrounding its issuance. 

According to New Jersey public records law, arrest warrants are considered public records in New Jersey. They can be made available to interested members of the public on request. Arrest warrants are also categorized as part of criminal records and can be kept on file by law enforcement agencies in the state. 

On the other hand, search warrants are generally regarded as confidential records in New Jersey and are exempt from public disclosure even after execution. However, these records can be made available to inquirers (individuals or entities) bearing a subpoena.

In either case, accessing warrant information without a justifiable reason or intent may be unlawful and put inquirers at risk of criminal prosecution. 

Types of Warrants in New Jersey

New Jersey police can obtain three primary kinds of warrants that require judicial approval at various stages of the execution process. The warrant issued depends on the case's specifics and the nature of the evidence available to law enforcement. These warrants include:

Arrest Warrant: An officer may seek an arrest warrant according to the provisions of the New Jersey Court Rule 7:2-3. An arrest warrant is only issued in New Jersey when there is enough evidence to believe a person may have committed a crime.

Bench Warrant: If someone is found to be in contempt of court, a court may issue a bench warrant, according to Rule 7:2-3 of the New Jersey Court Rules. In contrast to arrest or search warrants issued in relation to a criminal investigation, a judge will issue a bench warrant when someone disregards the court's directives.

Search Warrant: When police suspect there may be evidence of criminal activity at a location not considered public property, they petition the court for a search warrant. The officer must prove reasonable suspicion that a particular piece of evidence is at the location in order to be granted a search warrant. 

Other types of New Jersey warrants Include:

  • Failure to Pay Warrant: When someone disobeys the court's order to pay a fine or charge within a certain amount of time, they are given a failure to pay warrant in New Jersey. It combines the features of an arrest warrant and a bench warrant. This warrant's issuance gives police the authority to detain the named subject and bring them before the court to answer for not making the required payment.
  • No knock warrant
  • Execution warrant
  • Wiretap warrant
  • Extradition warrant
  • Fugitive warrant

What is a Search Warrant in New Jersey?

According to New Jersey law, a search warrant may be obtained in the state to look for and seize:

  • Any physical items, including papers, books, and files, that have been obtained illegally in the state;   
  • Items owned, developed, or intended for illegal use or have been used in connection with breaking state law;
  • Evidence of any criminal offense that has been committed.

In New Jersey, a search warrant can only be issued by a judge with jurisdiction over the location of the property being searched. Law enforcement officials in New Jersey must provide a judge or magistrate with an affidavit outlining the probable cause and search location of the object or property. Reliable information, such as witness accounts or tangible proof, must be included in the testimony. The judge or magistrate will issue this warrant in private if they find probable cause to conduct the search. Search warrant applications can be done in person, online, or by telephone at a New Jersey court.

According to state law, a search warrant in New Jersey must include the following details to be recognized as legal:

  • A statement by issuing judge validating that the warrant was issued based on probable cause;
  • A description of the place showing the subject's location, including the address, unit number, or any other distinguishing details;

The item or evidence that the police officers will confiscate must also be specified in the warrant as precisely as possible. The description should include sufficient information to distinguish the items from other items at the site. In some cases, these warrants will also include notes of caution for approaching the property or individual.

A copy of the search warrant is required for each individual searched or whose property is confiscated under NJCR 33:1-61. The law enforcement official must leave a copy where the subject can see it, even if they are not present.

Law enforcement officials must also conduct the search within the restrictions of the warrant order and within a predetermined time limit. Any item or document collected during the execution of the search warrant must be documented and listed as evidence.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

New Jersey Court Rules 3:5-3 provides that for someone to get a search warrant, they must come before a judge and provide evidence, either in the form of direct testimony or an affidavit, that supports the request's validity. This person is typically a law enforcement official. Several factors, including the severity of the offense, the volume of evidence, and whether a search warrant is urgently needed, affect how long it takes to acquire a search warrant in New Jersey. This process typically takes a week or less than a day. A no-knock search warrant may take longer to issue since the applicant must provide more evidence of its need.

What is an Arrest Warrant in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, an arrest warrant gives a police officer the right to apprehend an individual. It is a court-issued legal order that gives police the right to apprehend and detain someone in connection with a crime. 

Arrest warrants in New Jersey are issued only if a law enforcement officer can present sufficient evidence to a judicial officer (i.e., a judge) to prove that a suspect has committed a crime per New Jersey court rules (3:2- 3- Arrest Warrant). Obtaining an arrest warrant will require Law enforcement personnel to obtain and complete a Complaint-Warrant (CDR-2) form. This form can be obtained from the county court clerk. The law enforcement officer must then present this form, evidence, and sworn oral testimony to a judge. A judicial officer then signs an approved warrant.

The following information must be reflected on the document for a New Jersey arrest warrant to be deemed valid:

  • The legal name of the accused ( including their first name and last name or their known alias);
  • The justification for the arrest: The judge's or court administrator's signature confirming the existence of a reasonable suspicion;
  • Any terms attached to a release, including a bail sum, limitations;

Arrest Warrant Lookup in New Jersey

Interested individuals can find active arrest warrants in New Jersey using arrest warrant databases maintained by police departments in the state. Police departments can also be reached by phone to make inquiries on all active arrest warrants within a particular jurisdiction or sometimes statewide.

Some county sheriff departments also maintain a local database of active warrants within a locality or judicial district. Anyone can search for outstanding warrants on the official websites of counties in New Jersey, including Burlington, Camden, and Sussex. Some sheriff departments in New Jersey also allow members of the public to sign up for an alert system that provides daily arrest warrants within their locality.

Another way to perform an arrest warrant lookup in New Jersey is by contacting any municipal or county court in the state. The court that issues an arrest warrant typically keeps a database of warrants it has issued. Inquirers can visit the court in person to search using their on-site terminals or perform a lookup online. For example, requesters can find an Arrest warrant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, by contacting the Atlantic City Municipal Court.

Free Warrant Search in New Jersey

A free warrant search in New Jersey can be conducted using the databases maintained by county sheriff's offices in the state. Inquirers can also contact warrant units of law enforcement agencies to perform a free warrant search. For example, anyone can perform a free warrant search in Cape May County, New Jersey, by contacting the warrant unit responsible for serving warrants. To perform a free warrant search, the inquirer must provide the subject's name.

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online

Members of the public may find out if someone has a warrant online by contacting the criminal practice division of New Jersey courts or some New Jersey county court clerks. To obtain information about New Jersey warrant, applicants must submit the following information through the Criminal Practice Division or county clerk:

  • Name, address, and other personal details about the suspect
  • The location where the warrant was obtained information

A third-party or independent website may also be used to perform warrant searches in New Jersey. However, inquirers must pay a fee to access these services. This fee is usually dependent on the scope of the search. A statewide warrant search usually costs more than a county-based search when using these sources. It is worth noting that third-party repositories are often the last to update their information with the most recent changes to a record, so inquirers are advised to verify the authenticity and validity of the records obtained from these sources.

How Long Do Warrants Last in New Jersey?

A warrant's duration in New Jersey varies based on its type. In New Jersey, an arrest warrant is valid until the subject is taken into custody, and most criminal cases have a 5-year statute of limitations. The arrest warrant may be invalidated if the suspect is not prosecuted within this time limit. However, there is no statute of limitations for severe crimes like murder. Bench warrants, on the other hand, are court-issued directives and have no expiration date. 

In New Jersey, a search warrant has 10 days from the moment it is issued to be executed and returned to the issuing magistrate; otherwise, it becomes null and void.

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New Jersey Warrant Search