What is an arrest warrant?
An arrest warrant gives a police officer, or someone acting with the same authority as a police officer, the right to detain and hold a person for trial. The arrest warrant is issued by a court that has jurisdiction in the county and state where the arrest warrant is issued. A judge will issue an arrest warrant after he has been presented with a criminal complaint and he is convinced that probable cause exists to issue the arrest warrant.
In Colorado, what reasons constitute the issuance of an arrest warrant?
There are several reasons why a judge may issue an arrest warrant in the State of Colorado. If a person has been summoned to appear in court but fails to appear, a judge may issue a warrant for his arrest. A judge may also issue a warrant for arrest if a person fails to appear at a post-arraignment proceeding or fails to comply with a condition for release or bond. A criminal complaint may be filed setting forth facts alleging someone committed a crime and requesting that the judge issue an arrest warrant for that person provided probable cause exists.
What is probable cause for an arrest warrant?
A criminal complaint sets forth the circumstances surrounding a crime and states why the police or prosecutor believes a specific person committed the crime. To get a warrant, the police or prosecutor takes the complaint to the judge and swears under oath to the statements in the complaint. Before issuing an arrest warrant, a judge must find that probable cause exists. To do this, he considers all of the facts and circumstances presented to him in the complaint. If the judge believes a reasonable person would believe that a crime has been committed and the person whom the complaint alleges committed the crime could have done so, then probable cause exists for an arrest warrant to be issued.
Can you search for arrest warrants in Colorado online?
Some counties in Colorado may have online resources for searching active arrest warrants; however, there is not a statewide website that contains a list of all arrest warrants issued throughout the state. However, Colorado does have some online resources with regard to criminal activity.
- Colorado Bureau of Investigation – For a fee, you can request a criminal history that includes arrest records for the entire state (with some limited exceptions).
- Colorado Department of Corrections – You can search for current inmates held by the DOC through this online database.
- State of Colorado Judicial Branch – The Judicial Branch has educational material about the state justice system. This material is a great resource when researching Colorado court records.
- Fugitive Parole and Community Offenders – List of fugitives in Colorado with pictures and charges.
- Office for Victims Programs – This website lists important information for victims of crimes in Colorado and services available for victims.
Colorado crime statistics
Between 1999 and 2008, there were more than 1,800,000 crimes reported in the State of Colorado. This means that someone was a victim of a crime approximately every two minutes during those years. Of those crimes, the majority had to do with theft and only a small amount (around 8%) of those crimes was violent in nature. During the 10-year period, crime decreased in Colorado by five percent with violent crime falling by approximately 18 percent.