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New Jersey Warrant Search

A New Jersey Warrant Search is a process of looking up outstanding warrants issued by a state court or law enforcement agency.

A warrant is a legal document issued by a court or authorized law enforcement agency that endorses the arrest of a person or the search of a specific location.

A judge or magistrate issues a warrant when there is probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime or that a specific location contains evidence related to a crime.

When you perform a warrant search in New Jersey, the information you can find in a state warrant can vary depending on the specific type of warrant and the issuing agency. But generally, a warrant in the state may include the following information:

  • The name and identifying information of the warrant bearer
  • The charges or offenses justifying the warrant
  • The issuing agency or court
  • The issuance date of the warrant
  • Any conditions of release or other instructions related to the warrant
  • The name and signature of the judge who issued the warrant

Under the state's Open Public Records Act (OPRA), warrants are generally accessible in New Jersey. Anyone can request access to these records, including members of the general public, media, and legal professionals.

However, state and federal laws may restrict access to information related to current investigations and juveniles. Additionally, some court records may be sealed or confidential, depending on the nature of the case.

Even though warrants are public records, accessing them without a legitimate purpose or intent may be illegal and subject to criminal charges. Therefore, following proper procedures and obtaining warrants or court records legally is essential.

How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the lifespan of a warrant depends on the type of warrant.

Arrest warrants in New Jersey have no expiration date, meaning they stay active until the person is arrested.

However, in New Jersey, the statute of limitations for most criminal prosecutions is five years. If a suspect is not prosecuted within this time frame, failing to prosecute may render the arrest warrant illegal. But violent offenses, such as murder, have no statute of limitations.

Similarly, bench warrants, which are legal orders issued by a judge to arrest an individual for failing to appear in court or violating the terms of their release, also have no expiration date.

On the other hand, search warrants are often valid for ten days. If law enforcement officers do not execute the search warrant within that time frame, it becomes invalid, and they must obtain a new one.

What Are the Most Common Warrants in New Jersey?

When you perform the New Jersey Warrant Search, the following are the most common types of warrants you will encounter in the state:

New Jersey Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant in New Jersey grants a law enforcement officer the authority to arrest a suspected criminal without reluctance. It is a court-issued legal order allowing law enforcement officers to apprehend and detain a person suspected of committing a crime.

In New Jersey, an arrest warrant is issued only when sufficient evidence suggests that an individual may have committed a criminal offense. Instances of charges that will likely result in an arrest warrant may include the following:

  • Murder
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Aggravated criminal sexual conduct
  • Arson
  • Aggravated arson
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Second-degree aggravated assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Burglary

Moreover, as per New Jersey Court Rule (NJCR) 7:2-2, the following circumstances may also give rise to an arrest warrant:

  • Warrant upon an indictment as per NJCR 3:7-8
  • Bench warrant
  • Violation of parole
  • Probation violation
  • Warrant upon filing a criminal complaint based on probable cause

To be valid, an arrest warrant in New Jersey must have the following:

  • The defendant's name
  • The reason for the arrest
  • The signature of the judge or court administrator attesting to the existence of reasonable suspicion
  • The court that issued the warrant
  • Any conditions of release, such as a bail amount or restrictions on travel or contact with specific individuals

Can New Jersey Police Arrest You Without a Warrant?

Under the NJCR 2C:104-5, a law enforcement officer can only arrest if the officer has "probable cause" to believe that:

  • The person has committed a crime.
  • The accused has pertinent knowledge for the prosecution of the offense in question.
  • The accused will refuse to assist the investigating officer.
  • The accused would be unavailable while obtaining an arrest warrant or order to appear.

New Jersey Bench Warrant

Another typical warrant during a New Jersey Warrant Search is the bench warrant. It is a court order authorizing law enforcement to arrest and bring the individual before the court.

A New Jersey court can issue a bench warrant for the following contempt:

  • Failure to appear in court when required
  • Not responding to a court summons
  • Interruption of judicial proceedings
  • Contravened the terms and conditions of a court order

What is Failure to Appear in New Jersey?

The "Failure to Appear" (FTA) is a warrant for not being in court for necessary proceedings after getting the proper notice. FTA warrants are more probable in New Jersey owing to offenders' frequent court absences.

A judge issues this warrant when a party doesn't attend a court date, such as a first appearance, pre-trial conference, sentence, or trial. The court may convict if the accused had sufficient trial information and willfully failed to attend.

If the subject fails to appear in court for traffic infractions, the judge may contact the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to suspend their license. Even so, the court may impose extra fines for skipping court sessions, depending on its severity.

Superior Courts in New Jersey usually impose harsher penalties, as they may add sanctions to the offense and deny bail.

Nonetheless, a defaulter may avoid penalties for non-appearance if they show any of the following justifications:

  • Due to health conditions
  • Owing to a natural calamity
  • Because of the accidents
  • Failure to appear because the court fails to notify the date and time

New Jersey Search Warrant

A search warrant in New Jersey is a legal document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes law enforcement officers to search for a specific location, such as a home or vehicle, for particular evidence related to a criminal investigation.

To obtain a search warrant in New Jersey, law enforcement officers must submit an affidavit to a judge or magistrate describing the probable cause and location of the search. The testimony must have reliable information, such as witness statements or physical evidence.

If the judge or magistrate determines probable cause for the search, they will issue this warrant privately.

The in-charged agencies must not submit or release the warrant's affidavit until execution. Disclosure before a search warrant may constitute contempt. Consequently, this warrant is often unavailable in a New Jersey Warrant Search.

As per NJCR 33:1-61, the person searched or whose property was taken must have a copy of the search warrant. Even if the person is absent, the law enforcement officer must leave a copy in a place where the subject can view it.

Additionally, law enforcement officers must execute the search within a specified time frame and following the warrant's terms. If they obtain any evidence during the investigation, they must list it in an inventory and return it to the court.

What Constitutes a Valid Search Warrant in New Jersey?

To be valid, a search warrant in New Jersey must contain specific information, as required by the Fourth Amendment and state laws. Some of the vital information that must be in a search warrant includes:

Probable Cause

The warrant must contain a sworn statement from a law enforcement officer or other people who know the facts supporting probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is at the searched location.

Description of the Place

The warrant must identify the subject location with as much detail as possible, including the address, apartment number, or other identifying information.

Description of the Items

The warrant must be as specific as possible about what items or evidence the police officers will seize. The description should have enough details to tell the items apart from other things at the location. Some examples of items that may be in a New Jersey search warrant include:

  • Illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or other controlled substances
  • Firearms or other weapons used in the commission of a crime
  • Stolen property, such as jewelry or electronics
  • Documents or electronic devices containing evidence of a crime, such as emails, text messages, or computer files
  • Proof of financial crimes, such as bank records or financial documents
  • Physical evidence related to a crime, such as DNA samples, blood or other bodily fluids, or fingerprints.
  • Burglary tools or other items used to commit a crime

Timeframe for Execution

The warrant must include a search period, usually within ten days.

Signature of the Issuing Judge or Magistrate

The warrant must have a signature from a judge or magistrate authorized to issue search warrants.

Sworn Statement by the Issuing Judge or Magistrate

The warrant must include a sworn statement by the issuing judge or magistrate certifying that the warrant was issued based on probable cause and contains all necessary facts.

It is important to note that failure to include any of this required information may render the warrant invalid and any evidence obtained as a result of the search inadmissible in court.

New Jersey Failure to Pay Warrant

A failure to pay in New Jersey is a warrant issued when someone doesn't follow the court's order to pay a fine or fee within a specific time. These obligations include penalties for traffic tickets, alimony, and child support, among other things.

The issuance of this warrant allows law enforcement officers to arrest the individual named in the warrant and bring them before the court to answer for the failure to pay.

The court will inform individuals of the warrant and provide a hearing if they fail to pay on time, as per NJCR 2C:46-2. The court may dismiss the payment if the defaulter has valid grounds for not paying. If not, the court imposes the following for deliberate nonpayment:

  • License application denial until the defendant settles the payments
  • Driver license suspension
  • Additional fines
  • Imprisonment
  • Community service

How To Perform Warrant Search in New Jersey?

You can perform New Jersey Warrant Search by calling the police stations in your area. But this could be risky because you could be arrested and questioned immediately by the police if you have an active warrant.

The safer method is to look at the warrant records of the state's sheriff departments online. Counties like Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Monmouth, and Sussex have websites where you can keep track of outstanding warrants.

Moreover, warrant searches in the state can become more manageable in some New Jersey counties if you contact the County Court Clerks.

Another excellent resource is to consult the Criminal Practice Division of the New Jersey Courts.

In most cases, you need to provide the following to get information from a New Jersey warrant:

  • The suspect's name, address, and other personal information
  • The place from which the warrant came
  • Details about the officer issuing the document

If you have difficulty locating information about a warrant, you may consider hiring a private investigator or attorney to assist you in your search.

Note that performing a warrant search is a serious matter and should only be done for lawful purposes. Additionally, if you discover an outstanding warrant for your arrest or for someone you know, it is crucial to take immediate action to address the matter.

You can speak to a criminal defense attorney who can advise you on the best action. Additionally, you can turn yourself in to law enforcement officials and work with them to resolve the warrant. Failing to address an outstanding warrant can result in severe consequences, including arrest, incarceration, and fines.


Counties in New Jersey