Wyoming active warrants are a way for the police to get the judiciary involved in the preliminary stage of crime processing. The point of arrests is rightly considered the beginning of criminal proceedings against a person accused of an act that can be considered illegal under the laws of Wyoming.
However, when the police effect the detention of an accused without an active warrant, they always run the risk of the prosecution challenging the validity of such an arrest during trial. Also, to ensure that people are safeguarded from unlawful and illegal arrests, it was imperative to set a judicial referee in charge of the issue of all arrest warrants and this is how the magistrate's office came about to have the authority of releasing all legal provisions, including arrest warrants.
Can the court issue active warrants in Wyoming of its own accord?
Yes, the tribunal can not only release a directive for the arrest of its own volition but also the magistrate can verbally command the arrest of an accused. However, to do so, the bench needs to have a very clear indication of the fact that a crime has indeed been committed. This can happen only in two cases; either the police have to set information pertaining to a criminal transgression before the magistrate or the crime should have occurred in front of the judge.
The second condition is fulfilled only when an accused who has been granted bail, does not show up in court for subsequent hearings or sentencing or when an order from the tribunal has been deliberately ignored, thus amounting to contempt of court. In these scenarios, the court is at liberty to issue a specific type of detention order known as a bench warrant.
What about outstanding warrants that are connected to serious felonies?
Since it is not the magistrate's job to investigate a criminal matter, the only way for the bench to access information that constitutes the evidence against the accused is through the law enforcement agency that has handled the case. The police need to file an affidavit in court which states why the act in question is considered criminal in nature and what led the police to conclude that it was commissioned by the accused.
The mere presentation of case facts is not enough. Although low, the state does have the burden of proving probable cause at this stage. This simply means that on the basis of the evidence, which can be hearsay in part or whole, the magistrate ought to be able to establish that there is a reasonable possibility of the accused being culpable for the crime. An arrest warrant is always released in writing and it bears the signature of the issuing authority which could be viewed as the judiciary's seal of approval given to the police, so that they may apprehend an accused.
Where can you go to launch a search for outstanding warrants in WY?
Although there are a myriad of warrant search prospects available for anybody who is interested in accessing crime history data, the simplest way to find out about any active warrants in the name of a person is to check for his inclusion in the most wanted list of a county.
However, for this, you will need to know in what part of the state the crime was committed. Although, some agencies do release lists of their most wanted criminals for the entire state, most sheriff's offices will only have details on offenders who are being sought by them. Currently, the few law enforcement entities that are offering this information online are:
- DEA: https://www.dea.gov/fugitives/den/den_div_list.shtml
- US Marshalls: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wyomings-Most-Wanted/622943321054711
- Converse County: http://www.conversesheriff.info/
- Sweetwater County: http://www.sweet.wy.us/index.aspx?nid=91
- City of Cody: http://www.cityofcody-wy.gov/index.aspx?nid=265