How To Find Out if you Have an Arrest Warrant Online
If you have or fear you have an arrest warrant the safest bet is going to be checking online to see if you have an active arrest warrant. This type of documentation authorizes law enforcement agencies to take you to jail and hold you until a judge lets you go.
To find out if you have an arrest warrant, you can always go to a local law enforcement agency to find out. Assuming that you do, you’ll be detained immediately. This is why checking online is a safer bet.
Checking your warrant status remotely gives you time to prepare for your impending arrest. Whether it’s gathering bail money, notifying your employer, or hiring a lawyer, knowing your warrant status before arrest is beneficial.
Arrest warrants can be issued for many reasons, even minor things such as unpaid parking tickets. If this is the case, you may not even know there is a warrant out for your arrest.
Performing background checks on people is an unfortunate necessity that illustrates just how low our society has fallen. Societal observations aside, background checks are now regarded as essential for most jobs as well as driving licenses, gun licenses and other official status. Some people even perform background checks on boyfriends or potential partners!
Find out if you have an arrest warrant online
Regardless of why you want to find out if you have an arrest warrant, here is how to do it online. There are limitations to these searches. They may not show warrants for minors as these are sealed and they may not be up to date as some courts and Sheriff’s departments are a bit slow to update.
Local Court’s Website
Start by visiting your local court’s website. Whether you think your warrant may be county or city is important to your search. By visiting the website you can search for the link to something like “wanted” or “warrants.”
If this link is available you can search by your last name (in most cases). If a warrant is listed you will be able to see a limited amount of information.
If you don’t find the option for warrants on the local court’s website, try the Sheriff’s office or city police department’s website instead. Most municipalities will list warrants on these sites. The search should be similar to that of the court’s website.
You can do a simple search of your name + arrest warrants + general location to see what comes up. Beware, several paid sites and advertisements will appear. Look for websites that end in .gov or another reputable top-level domain.
Searching your local municipal websites are a fast and free option. As arrest warrants are public record you should be able to obtain them by following the above-listed methods. If your local police department or county website does not list active warrants you can try other methods.
Arrest warrant websites
There are a number of search websites that allow you to perform warrant checks on yourself or other people. You will need to know the full name, city, approximate age and state to search for most sites. Others perform better if you know the date of birth too.
The DMV website offers the ability to check for warrants to using TruthFinder but it costs money. TruthFinder is a subscription service that allows you to search for information such as arrest warrants. If you’d like more information on TruthFinder, we have an article.
Another website is The Most Wanted.Net, this website claims to be free and allows visitors to search by city and state rather than by name. Although it does not list every city in the state it is another outlet that won’t cost you anything to use.
The Government Registry is usually a good place to do your own research. It can search the national databases of multiple government agencies so you can quickly find out if you have an arrest warrant online. It is a subscription service and more useful if you are performing background checks rather than checking on yourself.
There are several ways to check warrant status. You can also check the status of an inmate using these methods. If you’ve been searching for a warrant and it no longer shows, the individual in question may be in the local jail so check that too.
If you have a warrant
Warrants do not lapse and do not go away. If you find that you have a warrant, seek legal advice immediately and take action. Do not leave the warrant outstanding. The quicker you address the issue, the less serious the potential outcome. Get yourself some representation and take professional legal advice before handing yourself in.
Check if you have an arrest warrant online first. Do not be tempted to ask your local Sheriff or police officer as they will be obliged to detain you immediately should there be one. Depending on their mood, they may arrest you anyway just in case you do have a warrant even if it later turns out you don’t. Would you want to take that risk?
It is understandable that you may have moved, may be unaware of a warrant or that you genuinely had no idea there was a warrant for you. The quicker you hand yourself in and deal with it the better. Just don’t do it without your lawyer present!