The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), which is an undertaking of the Montana Department of Justice, serves innumerable supplemental law enforcement tasks and plays a crucial role in promoting public safety. Comprising of four bureaus, the DCI supports the investigation of narcotic cases, is in charge of training law enforcement agents and maintaining the central repository of arrest records for the state of MT.
For anybody who is interested in crime history data and launching a warrant search; the Investigations Bureau and the Investigative Services Bureau of the DCI are of prime importance. The former involves itself directly in handling criminal cases such as Medicaid Fraud, computer aided crime and others. The Investigations Bureau also maintains the sex offender registry for the state.
On the other hand, the Investigative Services Bureau is exclusively dedicated to the collection, maintenance and the dissemination of crime history data to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies as well as civilians. In order to create a central storage unit for arrest records of MT, the Investigative Services Bureau launched the Criminal Justice Information network (CJIN) which is not only linked to the database of in-state law enforcement agencies but also the FBI repository of criminal records.
Furthermore, an additional database was created only for keeping the fingerprints captured after arrests. The Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) is a repository that contains millions of fingerprints that were captured from crime scenes as well as during booking. Since the CJIN and the AFIS are interlinked, law enforcement agencies have quick access to arrest records that are supported by positive identification.
Who handles warrant search request from the general public?
The Criminal Records and Identification Services Section (CRIS) has been designated as the authority within the Investigative Services Bureau that is in charge ofdisclosing information on the issue of active warrants from MT, arrests, criminal case details including court dispositions and correctional data to various applicants.
This information is used by criminal justice agencies and state department for a range of purposes; from issuing permits for weapons to the sentencing of criminals and from making recommendations to parole boards to assisting prosecutors in criminal profiling. As far as civilian entities are concerned, the data is frequently requested for personal and third party background checks.
What type of warrant searches are currently being supported and what can you expect in response to these?
Name based warrant searches: For these inquiries, you will need the name and the date of the birth of the subject; social security number is recommended but not required. These inquiries are usually carried out by civilians interested in third party arrest records.
Fingerprint inquiries: These inquiries will get you positive match results on criminal history not only from Montana but also from six other states: Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. Fingerprint inquiries are generally conducted by criminal justice agencies and applicants looking for a personal background report.
When a law enforcement or judicial agency request arrest records, they are given a complete crime history report. This will include details on cases that were disposed off with a guilty verdict and also those that were dismissed and ones that resulted in an acquittal. Furthermore, state agencies also get access to juvenile case data and details on matters that are still in the predisposition phase along with expunged records.
In contrast, when civilians initiate a warrant search, they will just be told about cases where the subject was found guilty. Pursuant to the Privacy laws of MT, CRIS cannot release information on matters that have been deferred and were later dismissed. If you are seeking limited crime history information, it would help to approach the Department of Public Safety. However, if you are interested in information on arrest warrants from MT, it would be best to get in touch with the police department or the courthouse that dealt with the active warrant.