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About Warrant Search

Find the information you need with a warrant search

A warrant search will tell you whether an individual has outstanding warrants. It will also list the charges for which an individual has not yet been arrested.

An arrest record search or a criminal record search will not identify criminals who may have outstanding warrants but who have not yet been arrested or convicted. In order to learn about outstanding charges, you will need to run a warrant search.

A warrant search will contain important information, including:

  • The defendant's name
  • Charges made at the time of arrest
  • The name of the judge who signed the warrant
  • The date the warrant was issued
  • The jurisdiction of the arrest warrant

Arrest warrants are part of the public record. That means you can conduct a warrant search under the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA). This site will give you the tools to find warrant records quickly and easily.

Why search for warrant records?

There are many reasons you may want to perform a warrant search. Looking for outstanding warrants is part of any thorough background check.

Employers often search for warrants as part of their hiring process. Businesses have an interest in avoiding potential employees who are wanted criminals. Searching for warrants is a good way to ensure that a potential hire isn't being sought by the police.

Law enforcement officers use warrant searches to find out if suspects are also being sought in connection with other crimes. Similarly, if you have been interrogated by the police and want to know if you're facing criminal charges, you may want to perform a warrant search on yourself. This information can help you prepare your defense by hiring a lawyer.

You can also protect yourself by performing a warrant search on a new romantic interest, a potential childcare provider, or a new neighbor. If a person has not yet been arrested, their name won't show up in an arrest record or criminal record search, but they may still be facing charges. Only a warrant search can identify outstanding charges.

You may also want to perform a warrant search on yourself to make sure that you don't share a name with someone facing criminal charges. A case of mistaken identity can deny you a job opportunity or cause other problems. By performing a warrant search, you can make sure to correct any errors in the record.

How to find the right warrant record

The first step in performing a successful warrant search is gathering as much information as possible on your subject. At a minimum, you will need a full name in order to locate any arrest warrants. Additional information, including the location of the crime, the subject's date of birth, and a physical description of the subject, can help you avoid confusing your target with others who might share a similar name.

Your search should begin at the local courthouse or the county sheriff's office. Unfortunately, national warrant search databases are only available to law enforcement officials, so members of the public must begin their searches at the local level.

Start with the jurisdiction where your subject currently lives. If your subject recently relocated from another state, you may wish to run a warrant search in that location as well. You can also search for warrants in the location where the crimes were committed, if that differs from the subject's residence.

The local courthouse can inform you whether a judge has signed an arrest warrant for your subject. This can be more time consuming than using a warrant search database. The county sheriff's website can also help you conduct a warrant search. You will need a partial or full name and the subject's date of birth. If you don't know the exact date of birth, you can run multiple searches with a range of years.

If your search does not return any results, you may want to consider checking common variants of the subject's name. Law enforcement officials sometimes misspell the names of individuals with arrest warrants. For example, an arrest warrant for a suspect named James Smyth may accidentally list the individual as James Smith.

Confidentiality laws can affect the results of a warrant search. While most details in an arrest warrant are a matter of public record, some information might be redacted. This may include information about minor witnesses or suspects as well as certain types of signed witness statements. Also, details on victims of sexual assault are usually absent from a warrant.

You can also use people searches to speed up your inquiries. This site can help you identify places the subject has lived, which is useful for determining where to run your warrant search.

How to perform the best warrant search

A reputable warrant search service can help you find outstanding warrants on any individual. However, once you receive warrant search results, you will need to read them closely.

A warrant search is different from a criminal record. The warrant is not proof that someone has committed a crime. Even if someone has a warrant, they may never be convicted of that crime.

On the other hand, you may have serious reservations about trusting an individual with an outstanding warrant. You may not want to invest time or resources into a professional or social relationship with someone facing arrest, even if you have reason to believe they may be innocent. This is particularly true if the individual misled you by claiming they have never been in trouble with the law.

It is important to make sure you identify the right person when conducting a warrant search. False positives and false negatives can have serious consequences. Make sure to verify information in the warrant record, such as the full name, year of birth, and former residence.

If you locate an outstanding warrant for your subject, you will need to keep several things in mind. If you aid the suspect of a crime after a warrant search, you may face accessory charges. Similarly, if you do not notify the police, you may be guilty of obstructing justice.

If your subject has any outstanding warrants, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement office. This is particularly important if the individual has outstanding warrants for a serious crime, such as homicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, or fraud.

Do not attempt to warn the person that you've discovered outstanding warrants through a warrant search. You do not know how the person may respond, and you could face charges yourself. Informing the wanted person can be a form of aiding the suspect.