A warrant is a piece of paper granted by a court allowing law enforcement to detain you and bring you before that court. A warrant can also allow law enforcement to search and/or seize your property too. If you think you may have a warrant or are performing a background check on someone, you can find out if you have an arrest warrant online.
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. They are mostly used for felonies or more major crimes though and you are more likely to be aware of the potential of a warrant if not the existence of one.
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.
County court website
Some county courts publish active warrants on their website. Some Sheriff’s department websites do the same thing. Larger counties and Sheriffs are more likely to publish their warrants while small town sheriffs or smaller counties may not. Perform a web search on your local county court or Sheriff’s department to see if they publish them in your area. You should then be able to quickly see or search to see if you have a warrant.
If you want to check on yourself, this is probably the place to go. Some of the other websites I list below require payment or subscription to access the records. If you know when and where the event took place that may have resulted in an arrest warrant, you can use the search function on your country court website if it has one.
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 and is no good for employment or tenancy services but may be suitable for your needs.
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 for if you are performing background checks rather than checking on yourself, but seems accurate enough.
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!
Do you know of any other ways to find out if you have an arrest warrant online? Got any stories about the subject? Tell us about it below if you do!