eWarrants are the latest tool for law enforcement agencies to ensure their officers’ safety and the general public. The new system allows a judge to review the warrant quickly from any device, eliminating the need to physically be in the courtroom. The eWarrant also helps to reduce the risk that the suspect will be tipped off and flee, or that an officer will have to delay action due to the time it takes for the paperwork to be filed.
The new system was developed by InnovateOhio and is available at no charge to law enforcement and courts in all 88 Ohio counties. Meigs County Common Pleas Court was the first agency to implement the new eWarrant system and has reduced its bench warrant filing process to as little as 12 minutes. The system is also designed to integrate with the most popular case management and warrant recording vendor systems in use by agencies across the state.
In order to use the eWarrant, an officer must have probable cause that the suspect committed the offense. Typically this is established with the odor of an alcoholic beverage, evidence of bloodshot eyes or slurred speech, and a failed field sobriety test. The police must then write an affidavit to support the ewarrant.
The eWarrant is then sent electronically to the appropriate judge for review during non-court hours. Once the judge approves the affidavit, the information is then immediately submitted to LEADS, which in turn feeds into NCIC (National Crime Information Center). This uniform, statewide electronic warrant and protection order system helps enhance law enforcement situational awareness. Ewarrants