How Can I Find Out if I Have an Arrest Warrant?
Posted 12/22/2013 by Mark Miclette
In most cases, arrest warrants are public record, therefore they are accessible by you and others. There are some exceptions, including probation violation warrants. In some counties, if you have violated probation for any reason including catching another charge, failing a drug test or not paying fine, a warrant for your arrest can be signed by the judge and not placed in a public record status. Outside of probation violations, the following tips can be used to find out of you are wanted.
Go to the county courthouse: You will need to go to the courthouse in the county where you suspect the warrant was taken out. Some counties provide self-service computers, where you can look yourself up and see if there is a warrant. If there is, typically it will also show what it is for, when it was taken out, and what the bond will be once you turn yourself in or get arrested. In the case of self-service computer searches, it is possible to remain anonymous when checking your warrant status.
In other counties, the court clerk will have to do the research for you. This of course means you give the clerk your name and birth date so he or she can look you up. The clerk then knows that you are standing there and that you are wanted. If it is a misdemeanor warrant, there is a chance you will not be arrested on the spot. If it is a felony warrant, especially if is for a violent felony, there is a significant risk of immediate arrest if clerk looks it up for you.
Call and ask: Many counties will tell you over the phone whether you have a warrant, what is for, and how much your bond will be. You can call the county clerk or the county jail to request this information. Listen carefully to the menu options as many of them have a specific number to push for “warrants.” You will probably be asked to verify your complete name, birth date and other identifying information before being told whether you are wanted. While you have them on the phone, remember to ask them how much the bond is and what their booking process entails.
Ask someone else to call: If making the call will cause you too much stress, ask someone to call for you. Some counties will only give the information to the person who the warrant is for, but others are willing to give that information to anyone who calls. Be sure the person who calls for you has your full name and birth date to give to the person on the phone.
Ask your attorney: If you have an attorney, he or she can easily find out about a warrant with a phone call. In most cases, the attorney you hire already has a working relationship with the court clerks, jail personnel and others in the system.