Arrest warrants and criminal histories
An arrest warrant is issued by the court when it has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. A police officer or other individual will petition the court by filing a complaint or affidavit stating facts to support the allegation that a certain person committed a specific crime. If the judge, after considering sworn testimony or a sworn complaint, finds that a reasonable person would believe that the suspect committed the crime, he will issue an arrest warrant for that person. Probable cause does not prove guilt or innocence but simply means that given the set of facts before the judge he believes that it is likely the person committed the crime. The warrant will be directed to law enforcement officers and command them to apprehend and detain the person until he can be brought before the court.
A person’s criminal history contains a summary of each offense a person has been charged with and the outcome. It is important to understand that many employers are now requiring background and criminal histories as part of the application for employment. Some landlords want criminal histories to help weed out people who might have a history of causing trouble. If you believe that you may have false information on your criminal history report, you should request a copy and follow the instructions on how to appeal any incorrect information.
Oklahoma criminal history information
Pursuant to the Oklahoma Open Records Act, criminal history reports can be requested through the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations for a small fee. If you are a billing customer (you have an established account), you can use the automated criminal history system to access criminal history reports. The “How to Read a RAP Sheet" is very helpful in deciphering the criminal history report.
Is there a list of Oklahoma arrest warrants?
The state government for Oklahoma does not maintain an online database for active arrest warrants statewide that is available to the public. However, some counties in Oklahoma keep a list of active and outstanding warrants on their website. You can call your county sheriff’s office or clerk of court to inquire if the county has an online list of arrest warrants. You can also search online for your county records. Try searching “‘your county name’ Oklahoma arrest warrants" to check for online records. Alternatively, you can use the above search form to look for State-wide criminal records from third party databases.
Appeals from lower courts
If a defendant is found guilty by a lower court, under certain circumstances, he may appeal the decision to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Unlike other states, Oklahoma has two courts of last resort - - one for civil cases and one just for criminal cases. The OCCA has an online search engine for searching current and past court dockets and decisions.
Below are links to several online resources in Oklahoma to search for inmates and their victims.
- Oklahoma Department of Corrections – The DOC website has an online database to search for inmates (offenders). You can also look up inmates on death row and sex offenders.
- Escapees and Fugitives – You can also view the list of current escapees and Oklahoma’s most wanted fugitives on the DOC website.
- Victims Services Division – The program is operated by the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and provides services and assistance to the victims of crime and their families in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma crime data
Between 1999 and 2008, almost one-half of all crimes that occurred in Oklahoma happened less than one mile from the victim’s home. During that time, someone was a victim of crime approximately every three minutes. The total crimes reported in Oklahoma during that 10-year period totaled a little over 1.5 million and included almost 200,000 violent crimes. Crime rates remained steady each year averaging between 150,000 and 162,000 crimes per year. During that time, crime decreased by approximately 9% but violent crime increased by almost 11%.