All warrants are judicial orders issued by local tribunals that authorize police to conduct certain proceedings. For instance, a search warrant authorizes law enforcement agents to enter a private property and search it for controversial things and substances and confiscate such items. On the other hand, an order for arrest allows police officers to physically restrain a person’s movement by incarcerating him in a state or municipal holding facility.
Offenders are processed in Louisiana based on the criminal procedure of the state which is a compilation of laws to deal with all processes that are encountered through the lifecycle of a criminal matter, starting at the issuance of warrants and going right up to sentencing.
The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information, a wing of the Louisiana State police is in charge of keeping crime history information in the state. The BCII not only collects all data pertaining to criminal acts that have occurred within the geographical bounds of Louisiana State but also disseminates this information to other justice agencies, state licensing authorities and all private parties that are eligible to access crime history information under the laws of the state.
Louisiana is one of the only states in the country to still follow the Roman law; under this system, cases can be decided without referencing prior court verdicts where as in other states, the common interpretation of the law derived in prior cases prevails in all matters that are similar to the original case. However, while this difference may seem striking in legal textbooks, in truth, lawyers and judges in Louisiana do cite previous cases in their arguments these days.
Article 28 of the Louisiana Criminal Code states that a magistrate must issue a warrant for the arrest of a person if he has probable cause to believe that this person will inevitably be party to a criminal act or may cause another individual grievous harm. The perquisite for the issue of arrest warrants is given in Article 202 wherein it is mentioned that an order for arrest should be released if an affidavit is filed by a person or a law enforcement agent in court.
Louisiana outstanding warrants are essentially pending arrest orders that are stored in the local police and federal law enforcement databases for use at any time when the alleged perpetrator gets involved in a legal transgression of any nature or magnitude. Outstanding warrants are not bound by time or geography; hence they not only stay in the system for as long as 99 years but also they can be used to effect an arrest in any part of the country.
While the processing of an offender through the state judicial system follows a common framework throughout the country, the laws governing this procedure are subtly different from one state to another. For instance, like in any other part of the United States, the wheels of a criminal case are set in motion in Louisiana the moment a warrant is issued against an individual.
In Louisiana, State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information is in charge of maintaining the state repository of crime history data. Details pertaining to all criminal cases that occurred in the state and perpetrators of such crimes are kept in this databases that can be used for a name based or a fingerprint search. While the Bureau does offer the facility for online inquiries, only authorized agencies are allowed access to crime history information.
The judicial wing of the Louisiana government is in charge of dispensing justice in accordance with the state legislation. It comprises of the Supreme Court and tribunals at various levels each with its specific jurisdiction and function. The Louisiana Court system can be segregated into two primary categories that include the appellate court and the trial courts.
A quick scroll through the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure is enough to find the legal definition of an active warrant issued in the state. Article 202 of the code states that a warrant is a court issued order for arrest which can only be released by the magistrate of a local tribunal with criminal jurisdiction. Of course this does not mean that judges of civil tribunals have no authority to order the detention of an individual.