The New Hampshire legal system depends on warrants as a means of enforcing the law and holding people accountable for their actions and civil duties. Once a warrant is issued in New Hampshire it is up to the person listed on this court document to follow the court orders, which can include being summoned to court, paying a fine, or turning themselves in for a criminal allegation. Finding out if you or someone has an active New Hampshire warrant is relatively simple using an online public record website. All you need to do is enter the person you want to check into the search form and run a criminal background check on them and any active warrants will show up. You will also be able to see what that person’s criminal charges are, previous arrest records, court records and criminal history. Since all of this is part of a person’s public record, anyone can access this information online.
When discussing legal systems, criminal justice, and law enforcement, the topic of warrants often comes up as it is used as a legal instrument that directs a person to go to court to account for a criminal allegation, a missed court appearance, or to report for their civic duty they are responsible for fulfilling. These court-issued documents also sometimes authorize law enforcement to act and arrest and detain someone in more serious matters. Knowing the difference between the different types of warrants and the implications that go with them are key in preserving your good name and staying compliant with New Hampshire laws.
The warrants within the state of New Hampshire are divided into a few categories: search, civil, bench, and arrest warrants. While they are all signed by a judge, they have different meaning and implications.
Arrest warrants, unless later reversed, are applicable until the individual is arrested by the law enforcement and taken into custody. There must be a probable cause that is provided to the judge, if a law enforcement officer wants an arrest warrant to be issued. If the case is based only on doubts and suspicious beliefs about illegal activities and crimes but lacks sufficient evidence, an arrest warrant cannot be issued. Moreover, if an arrest warrant has been issued against a person, and the law enforcement officers manage to track down the said person, they have every right to show up to that residence and take the individual into custody. They do not require a search warrant to enter the premises in this case. In case the person tries to flee or destroy evidence, the officers are lawfully permitted to enter a location to arrest the person and/or preserve the evidence. If there is any other individual who is trying to help the accused escape or destroy the evidence, they can also be arrested and be charged with obstruction of justice.
A bench warrant is issued when a person fails to obey court orders, misses their court appearance date, or has unpaid court fees and fines. These orders can be issued for anything, such as child custody payments, etc. If the individual fails to appear in front of the court on the date appointed to them, a bench warrant is issued that stands until the person fulfills the instructions on the New Hampshire bench warrant. These do not usually result in a person’s arrest however, if someone ignores these court order it can eventually lead to a person’s arrest and detainment.
There are a few options when attempting to locate active New Hampshire warrants though state, county and city run agencies. On a state level, the New Hampshire Department of Safety offers an online search portal where people can run a NH warrant search by name, this will include criminal warrants, sex-offender warrants but not bench warrants. On a county level, you can access warrant records through most sheriff department websites in the state as well as fugitive and most-wanted lists. If you know the exact city you would like to search for warrants in, you can try accessing the relevant city police department, many of these city agencies have online search tools that are accessible to the general public. It’s important to note that using state run agency websites are not always anonymous, many of these resources you must first register your name before accessing their criminal record resources. There might also be a fee for some of the more detailed reports you request.
A New Hampshire search warrant is a court issued document where a judge signs off on to have a location searched for evidence regarding a crime. There needs to be sufficient evidence in order for a judge to sign a search warrant, or an affidavit from a police officer. Then once that document is signed, law enforcement must act quickly as these tend to be valid for a given amount of time. The police officer then serves the search warrant to the person who’s home, business, or vehicle is to be searched and they are then only allowed to search that specific location according to what New Hampshire search warrant says.