What is an arrest record?
Arrest records in West Virginia refer to crime history data kept by the Criminal Identification Bureau which works under the State Police. Although the assimilation of details on incident, active warrants, case and court disposition related data is still the responsibility of the department, they no longer handle the dissemination of this information. Whether the applicants are justice agencies from any other state or a civilian or a commercial establishment, all warrant searches are now tackled by MorphoTrust USA, a private provider of crime database management services.
Both public and private establishments and even law enforcement departments that want to access information on West Virginia arrest records and outstanding warrants have to do so through MorphoTrust System.At this point, the private service is offering two forms of inquiries; name and finger print based.
Both call for some cooperation from the subject; while the latter would require the person in whose name the warrant search is being launched to go down to a MorphoTrust Center and get himself fingerprinted, even for a name based search, you will need a signed consent form from the subject to get the investigation underway. The information offered in response to a name based search will vary from that provided on the basis of fingerprint inquiries.
Because name checks can be impacted by the commonality of the personal identifier used, (for instance, popular names like John Smith), these will usually return multiple results which might increase the risk of inaccuracy.Also, these are possible results and it cannot be said with certainty that the information you get pertains to the subject and not somebody else with the same name.
On the other hand, fingerprint inquiries into active warrants and arrests are 100% accurate because prints are taken at the time of booking and these are linked to the crime history of the offender. Hence, in response to such investigations, the applicant gets complete crime history including arrest records, outstanding warrants, verdict and more from cases that ended in a guilty verdict and those matters in which the accused was acquitted.
In contrast, limited crime history is all you can expect to receive when you launch a name based search. These results only include details on cases where the defendant was pronounced guilty and hence committed to an incarceration facility. You will not be told about the active warrants from WV in the name of the subject.
What is an arrest warrant?
An active warrant from West Virginia is a judicial order issued as a result of filing a complaint in court. Rule 3 of the Court Procedures of WV describes the complaint as a sworn affidavit that is affirmed before the sitting judge of the county where the offense is reported to have occurred. Unless otherwise allowed by the statute, such affidavits are filed by the state prosecution or a member of the law enforcement community.
The writ has to show the reason to have reliable belief of the culpability of the accused. If from the facts presented, the magistratefinds probable cause, the affidavit is treated as a charging instrument for initiating criminal proceedings against the suspect. This clearly goes to show that the issue of an arrest warrant signals the start of the criminal process in a matter.
Rule 4-a further clarifies that for an active warrant from WV to be issued, the probable cause requirement has to be fulfilled. This means the police have to prove that based on hearsay evidence (in part or whole) they can prove to any person of reasonable mind that a crime was committed and that it was commissioned by the suspect. Arrest warrants are issued to any officer of the law who is authorized to serve them. Generally, one or two detectives from the sheriff's department are named as the petitioners and the executioners of the warrant.
However, any officer of a law enforcement agency can serve these orders. The magistrate can impose conditions for the execution of such directives, including the time at which the warrant can be served and the geographical boundaries within which arrests can be effected under such orders. More than one detention directive and even summons can be issued on the basis of a single petition. If an order for appearance has been issued and the defendant fails to respond to this, a warrant shall be issued.
How to search for an inmate in the West Virginia Prison System?
There are three ways to initiate an inmate search in West Virginia. You can get in touch with the Division of Corrections to find information on prisoners who are incarcerated in state penitentiaries. You can call on them at 1409 Greenbrier Street, Charleston, WV 25311 which is the central office of the department. The records division can also be contacted through phone at 304-558-2036 or by fax on 304-558-8430.
However, the most convenient way is to simply use the inmate search tool on their website at http://www.wvdoc.com/wvdoc/OffenderSearch/tabid/117/Default.aspx. You will either need the DOC number or the first and the last name of the prisoner to use this feature. The DOC number will be given on all correspondence received by the family of the convict. If you are using the name, your results will include all the inmates who match the search criteria.
Simply go to the page mentioned above and accept the terms and conditions before inserting the name or other details of the prisoner and click on search to view the results. The response will typically include a list of all offenders who match the parameters of the inquiry offered in a tabular format. Clicking on the "more information" tab will get you details such as vitals including birth date, DOC number, photograph, sentencing data, parole and release dates.
The tool on the DOC website although remarkably effective will fall short when you try to look for information on prisoners being held in non state facilities such as county jails. For this, you have another options; the website of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility at http://www.wvrja.com/puboffsearch/offsearch.asp. To conduct such investigation, you will just need thefirst and the last name of the inmate with the former being optional.
Finally, you could also use the Victim Identification and Notification Everyday service offered free of charge at https://www.vinelink.com/vinelink/siteInfoAction.do?siteId=49900.
Who can search for arrest records and warrants in WV?
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act of West Virginia, people are allowed access to public information such as birth, death, marriage, and property transfer records along with details on all meetings and the outcomes of such gatherings held by government bodies. Furthermore, the state also allows for the dissemination of crime history data among members of the community. This information is currently being offered through the interface of a private agency called Morpho Trust and applicants are provided personal criminal history checks as well as third party background investigations.
How to Request Records Under the West Virginia Public Records Act?
After the alliance between Morpho Trust and West Virginia State Police, you can no longer connect with the state agency for a warrant search. All inquiries even those concerning personal crime reports and those investigations that are initiated by statutorily authorized agencies are now handled by the private service.
There are two ways to get in touch with Morpho Trust, you can visit their website at http://www.identogo.com/. Simply click on the state of West Virginia from the interactive map of the country and you will be redirected to the online scheduler for the state. The agency uses Identogo Centers to collect fingerprints and personal identifiers needed for launching the warrant search.
Fingerprinting is done manually and through the use of a software. These prints are than checked against those available in the repository of the State Police. A similar process is used to find information on criminals based on person identifiers like the name and date of birth. In both cases, you will be told to bring along a signed consent form from the subject for third party searches.
You will need to have your paperwork in order before making it to the center of your appointment. The webpage at https://wv.l1enrollment.com/OpenNetworkPortal/spring/customer?execution=... allows you to schedule an appointment, change an existing appointment, find information on the process followed for initiating crime history investigations and even look at the various Identogo centers in your area.
If you click on scheduling, you will be taken to a page with a dropdown menu which lists the different services that the company offers. Among them, you can find WV employer checks as well as personal crime history checks along with a range of other options. Select the one that is applicable and click on "continue" to reach the page where you need to insert personal/subject details. In step 3 of the process, you will be given an appointment.
Another way is to call Morpho Trust on (855) 766-7746. You will be guided on the process of scheduling an appointment at a local Identogo Center and on the documents that you will need to take along to get the inquiry underway.
How Long Does An Arrest Record or Warrant Stay On File In West Virginia?
Outstanding warrants from West Virginia, even those issued in matters such as petty civic or traffic ordinance violations, do not go out of effect. These orders stay valid till the accused is captured ad taken to court. Arrests made under active warrants can only be reversed by a magistrate through a bail hearing.