Some may say how could you not know if you have a warrant out for you? The answer is you do not need to have committed a terrible crime to have a warrant out for your arrest. In fact, most people that have a warrant out for their arrest may not even know why. In this guide, we will explain the most common reasons you could have a warrant out for you and how to check if you have a warrant open.
Most common warrant to have without knowing
A bench warrant is when you do not show for a court hearing. This happens more than you would think. When a bench warrant is missed the judge will issue a warrant to law enforcement agencies who then will have a reason to bring you back to the courts.
Keep in mind that most police don’t actively pursue you for having a bench warrant. instead, officers that make a routine traffic stop for speeding, broken tail light, running a stop sign, or other reason will find out an open warrant exists when the name is run through their computer system.
Where to find warrants online
Clerk of courts
Start a search at your local courthouse, specifically the clerk’s office. You should try and search online first to see if you can find open warrants to search by name. Simply google the county clerk’s office and you should get the official courthouse from that county. Most websites now have searching abilities that allow for online searching of public records. If the county courthouse in your area does not have this in place then you should call the clerk directly.
When calling keep in mind a few things. Try to avoid identifying yourself as the person the warrant is issued on. Not to mention you could alert law enforcement to you. If you feel anxious about this then you should have a family member or friend call on your behalf. Be sure to have some basic information ready before calling.
- Full name
- Social Security
Search the Sheriff’s website to check warrants
Searching the sheriff website in your area can also quickly determine if you have an open warrant. Most police stations actively post these types of records on their website so that the public is aware of who has a warrant and to keep the public safe by allowing them to see who is wanted.
Use a search service
You can use a search service to learn how to check if you have a warrant. The process of using a service is simple. You just run any name through a search box and the system does the rest.
The name will be searched against thousands of data points from federal, state, and county sources that hold public records for viewing. These results are then condensed into one easy-to-read report that anyone can view.
You have a warrant, what’s next?
If you find you have an open warrant you should not procrastinate in getting the warrant taken care of. Warrants will not just go away by themselves, in fact, it could only get worse if you don’t face the warrant and get it removed.
Do you have the ability to reach out to an attorney? if so, then that would be a top recommendation as an experienced attorney can help you or someone you know navigate the way to remove the warrant.
An attorney could get your warrant removed and possible help with getting any jail time removed as well.
Even though this will cost money it is worth having someone with experience to help navigate the court system on your behalf. If hiring an attorney is not a possibility, you may want to look into contacting your local public defender before turning yourself in. They may be able to give you advice.
Now that you know how to check if you have a warrant you should also know what you should do in terms of getting that warrant taken care of as quickly as possible.