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Three Ways to Conduct a Warrant Search


If you believe that a warrant has been issued by a court for your arrest, you want to act quickly to find out if it is true. The best way to find out is with a warrant search.

Imagine being stopped by the police for a minor traffic violation and being placed in handcuffs because of an outstanding arrest warrant, or you could lose your job if the police came to you place of employment and took you into custody. There are three easy ways to conduct a warrant search that could help you to avoid disruption in your life. Once you know there is an outstanding warrant you can seek legal representation and arrange to surrender and deal with the warrant while avoiding an embarrassing arrest.

Online warrant searches

Governments on the federal, state and local levels have websites you can access to do a warrant search. Most of the websites will give you the warrant number, the name of the court, the charges and the reason the warrant was issued. Some websites also provide you with the amount you must pay to clear the warrant if it was issued for your failure to pay a fine.

Some jurisdictions allow you to pay fines and other outstanding charges online to clear a warrant. Once the payment is made, the warrant is cleared from the system. If you must appear in court, the warrant search will provide you with the procedure you must follow to clear the warrant. This usually involves appearing before a judge.

You should consult with an attorney before you go to the court or to a local law enforcement agency to surrender under a warrant. It is a good idea to have an attorney with you when you are taken into custody. An attorney arguing on your behalf would be helpful if the judge hearing the case decides to set bail.

Calling the local court

Calling the local court that issued a warrant is an option in case you cannot do a warrant search because online searches are not available in your city or county. Some court clerks will give you the same information you would get with an online search, but other jurisdictions might limit the information they give out to only an acknowledgement that a warrant exists and instructions on how to address it.

Conducting a warrant search at the courthouse

If you know the court that might have issued a warrant, you can go to the court to conduct a warrant search. The usual procedure is to go to the clerk's office, obtain the information about the charges and the circumstances that led to the warrant being issued, and then filling out a form to be added to a judge's calendar to have the warrant recalled or rescinded.

Again, it is never a good idea to go to court without an attorney representing you if there might be a warrant out for your arrest. Unless you are conducting a warrant search online, you best course of action is to have your attorney make the inquiries with the court clerks about it.

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