How Do I Find Out If I Have a Warrant? 

 August 10, 2012

By  LMW Attorneys

Arrest warrants are orders issued by a court that direct law enforcement agencies on the actions they should take when they come across an individual who matches the description on the judicial writ. Most arrest warrants contain instructions for law enforcement officers to take the individual into custody for the purpose of standing in court and answer charges previously filed against them. Police officers are sometimes tasked to execute a warrant by actively looking for individuals in places where they are presumed to be found, such as their residences, workplaces, schools, and social gathering spots.

Warrants are part of the public record and are usually filed in police stations, sheriff’s offices and courthouses, but the information they contain is rarely given over the phone. One way to find out about outstanding warrants is by visiting a local police department and running the chance of being arrested on the spot. This may even happen during a routine traffic stop, even if the alleged offense is seemingly a minor infraction.

A slightly safer method of checking for warrants is to visit the clerk’s office section of a courthouse. This reduces the chances of an immediate arrest, although if the warrant was issued for a serious crime the likelihood of being taken into custody rises accordingly. It is important to remember that the clerk’s office usually keeps warrants limited to that particular jurisdiction. Some warrants may cover several jurisdictions, but this is not often the case.

Another method to check for warrants is by going online and visiting websites like Records Authority. These sites crawl several databases in multiple jurisdictions that in some cases will return arrest warrant information. The data retrieved by these information services is typically not endorsed by the record sources and is provided without guarantees.

Retaining an attorney to conduct a search for outstanding warrants is a viable option since it protects individuals from having to put themselves in situations that may lead to their arrest. Experienced criminal attorneys can conduct constructive searches across multiple jurisdictions and at the same time provide their clients with legal advice on their rights and the steps they should take to protect themselves. Individuals who are the subjects of arrest warrants are often informed that they should turn themselves in to the court, but it would be unwise to do so without legal representation.

If you have any questions or concerns about the status of your legal record or warrants, call New Port Richey Attorneys Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, today for your free consultation at (727) 478-4125.