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What to Do If You Think There is a Warrant Out For Your Arrest

  • September 17, 2015
  • by Eric Almquist

What Do You Do When You Think A Warrant May Be Out For Your Arrest

Do You Think You May Have an Outstanding Warrant?

An outstanding warrant for your arrest can be issued for a number of reasons. Criminal bench warrants are routinely issued for failure to appear in court to face criminal charges or a similar proceeding such as a traffic ticket due to a moving violation. A warrant for your arrest may also be signed by a judge if you are a suspect in a crime that is currently being investigated. This means police will be aware because your name will go directly into a statewide computer system that serves the entire law enforcement community

Breaking the Law is a Serious Matter Regardless of the Crime

In most cases, unless it’s a very serious offense, the police aren’t constantly looking around town in an effort to throw you in jail. For a failure to appear in court charge on a relatively minor issue, they may not even stop by your home or place of employment. However, that doesn’t mean you aren’t in trouble. Those minor issues you may have forgotten about could land you in jail. It’s time to dig up and become aware of your current criminal history and face any possible charges before you’re arrested out of the blue without warning.

Types of Arrests

An arrest that stems from a warrant

Normally, police need an arrest warrant to make an arrest. The warrant orders police to arrest a certain person and bring him before a judge in court. The warrant names someone indicted of some crime based on certain document types used to accuse people of crimes. For example: indictments, complaints or petitions related to probation or parole violations. Information from these documents supplies probable cause for the arrest.

A warrantless arrest

Arrests may happen without warrants. For example, if an officer has probable cause to believe a crime happened, and there’s no time to get a warrant, he can make an arrest. Also, if police witness a crime being committed, a warrant is not required and they can take immediate action.

When someone’s arrest is warrantless, police may hold him long enough to handle administrative tasks, such as fingerprinting and checking for outstanding warrants. A detained person must be taken before a judge or magistrate within 48 hours. During this time you can contact legal counsel along with family members.

What To Do If You Think There Is A Warrant Out For Your Arrest

There are a number of different ways to find out if you have an Arrest Warrant. The fastest and easiest would be to simply stop a police officer and ask. Explain your predicament and they will run your information. Another method is to call the courthouse so you aren’t arrested on the spot and can first consult your attorney before going before a judge. There are many websites who claim to offer arrest warrant information including your local sheriff or police station website. Visit these websites and look in the navigation menu for anything resembling the following “records”, “warrants” or “most wanted”. In these sections you will find a list of people the police are looking for. Even better a search form will be provided so you can look-up a name.

Once you find your name or the person you are searching for the information that should be provided is as follows.

  • Date of the offense.
  • Date charges were filed.
  • Mugshot.
  • Description of the offense.
  • Issuing County Sheriff or City Police Department
  • Case type (i.e., felony or misdemeanor, theft etc)
  • Date of conviction, sentencing, disposition, and probation.
  • Any fines given out.

These basic criminal reports will give you a good idea of any matters you need to address with your Attorney before contacting the authorities.

Questions for Your Attorney

If you discovered you have a warrant out for your arrest or are still unsure then call your Attorney. Lawyers and private investigators are signed up for services that give them access to more criminal records than you might be able to find by searching through the internet. Don’t forget that legal counsel could cost you a signification amount of money but the information they provided could be invaluable down the road.

  • Can a person be arrested by police if they don’t have an arrest warrant?
  • Is my criminal arrest history taken into account when being accused or and sentenced for a crime?
  • What happens if the police failed to read me my Miranda Rights?
  • Can police show just a photo of an arrestee to a victim or do they need to include photos of other people?
  • Am I obligated to immediately stand in a police lineup or can I protest?
  • Do I need to go to jail while I wait for trial or can I post bail?

Going through this kind of experience is not pleasant but you can take solace in the fact that you are doing the right thing and taking care of your legal obligations. Letting your legal obligations slide only kicks your problems down the road and makes things worse for you when it’s time to face a judge.

About the Author

Eric Almquist, Online Records Provider. Visit to lookup Arrests, Jail Inmates, Outstanding Warrants, Attorneys, Court Cases and more. Search thousands of legal directories across the US in all 50 states.

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