What are arrest records and arrest warrants?
Mississippi arrest warrants are only issued after probable cause is found against the alleged offender. In order to establish that the police do have enough evidence to conclude that a criminal act did occur and it was perpetrated by the accused, the judiciary has to be brought into the mix as an authoritative figure. Only magistrate’s who deliberate on criminal cases have the powers to issue active warrants in Mississippi.
Civil tribunals have been given the provision of bench warrants for ordering the detention of people who have disobeyed a court directive or those who have escaped from the law after getting bail. To make a determination on probable cause, the bench has to be apprised of the evidence gathered in the matter and witness testimony if available. This is done through the declaration submitted in court.
How are arrest warrants served in Mississippi?
The issuance of an MS active warrant spells a world of trouble for the defendant. Not only can he be arrested from his place of work or his residence but also such detentions can occur outside the issuing county or even the state of Mississippi. When effecting the arrest of a person with a warrant against him, police are allowed to use any form of force needed.
So, everything from handcuffs to deadly force and other instruments that might help to subdue the offender can be put to use. The police can make arrests under warrants at any time of the day or night and can summon the help of other law enforcement agencies in their pursuit of the culprit. Once detained, the offender can only be released when an express order to this effect is given by the judiciary. The accused is held in police custody till such time that he can be presented before the magistrate (usually no more than 48 hours).
Mississippi arrest records and other crime history information.
Information on all outstanding warrants from Mississippi and arrests made under the provisions of such orders is kept by the local police, the office of the clerk of court, the magistrate as well as the Mississippi Department of Health (MDH). In fact, it is the latter that assimilates data from justice agencies across the state and stores it in a central crime repository.
The details from this database are made available upon request but Mississippi’s laws do not allow individuals to access third party crime history information. Data on MS arrest records, warrants, convictions and more is supplied in response to fingerprint inquiries; print cards can be submitted through mail, fax or electronically.
Who can access crime history records in Mississippi?
At the time of writing this article, only justice agencies, government licensing bodies and employers who fall in certain statutorily defined classes could access crime history information; these included:
- Home health agencies
- Assisted living facilities
- Long term care centers
- Direct patient care services
- Mental health care facilities
- Mortgage companies
- Information technology service providers
- Nursing facilities
- Check cashing business
- Foster parents/homes
Finding information on arrest records and warrants in Mississippi
Health care agencies that want to procure a criminal report on prospective employees can send these candidates to the local sheriff’s office. You can also visit the local law enforcement agency if you seek a personal background check. IF you would rather submit the prints electronically, you will need to buy the FingerPro FTS Remote Workstation software from AD&S, Inc. Alternatively, you could use a scanner or livescan device. The state also has about 250 livescan sites that can be approached for fingerprinting. Submit the prints to:
- Online: http://www.msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,0,206.html.
- BY mail: Mississippi Department of Health, Criminal History Record Check Unit, P.O. Box 1700Jackson, MS 39215
- By fax: 601-933-2676. Keep in mind that the lower quality of faxed images will translate to increased response time.
For a court dockets search, you can approach the local county clerk’s office or browse through the general dockets at https://courts.ms.gov/appellate_courts/generaldocket.html. While information on outstanding warrants from Mississippi are zealously guarded by the justice agencies, they take a freer approach when it comes to details on inmates. For jail records, you can go to http://www.mdoc.ms.gov/Pages/default.aspx. This page has the DOC Inmate locator tool that can help you find any prisoner lodged in a state facility.
Mississippi Crime statistics
Every year from 1999 to 2008, an estimated 110,000 criminal reports were lodged with the police stations across the state of Mississippi. This despite a decrease of almost 25% in reported crime and a reduction of over 15% in violent crime. From an annual incident average that went well above the 10,000 case mark, thefts , robberies and other property related crimes have been contained at a bit above 9000 cases in recent years.
Of the 60 or so cases that are filed with the police daily, less than 10% are violent in nature. However, most of the incidents do occur in close vicinity of the victim’s home or office. The most worrisome statistic emerged in connection with thefts which have clocked in well over 600,000 cases in the decade mentioned above.