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How to check for active arrest warrants

Updated February 21, 2017

Having an active arrest warrant is a matter of extreme concern. An active arrest warrant is an order that is based on a complaint that has been signed by a judge, which authorised the police to arrest the named party. When a person is arrested due to a warrant, she remains in jail until bail is posted or the matter goes to court. If you aren't certain that it has been resolved, check for active arrest warrants to be safe.

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  1. Search court records using the Internet. Active arrest warrant information is generally housed with the police department. If there is a case file, whether it's criminal or even traffic related, a copy of the active arrest warrant would be a matter of public record. If you aren't certain as to the court, use brbpub.com. Use the drop-down menus to select the city, state and court. There is a link to the court's website on each court page.

  2. Visit the court's website. Look for the criminal records section. If you are able to do so, search the name for criminal records. If any are located, there may be information listed that indicates whether there is an active arrest warrant.

  3. Go to the county police department or sheriff's website. There may be a section that is just for searching active arrest warrants. Enter the required information in the fields indicated to search for active arrest warrants.

  4. Go to the courthouse in person. The courthouse must be in the same county where the warrant would be issued. If there are criminal case files that may house active warrant information, search for them and view the files or view the case information on the public terminals. The court clerks can walk you through this process.

  5. Ask someone at the police department directly. Either do so via telephone or in person. Keep in mind that if they find out that you have an active arrest warrant that you will be arrested right away. If you call the police department, you aren't likely to receive the information that you need, but it is worth trying.

  6. Tip

    Smaller courts generally won't have extensive online resources.


    An active arrest warrant can lead to your being taken to jail, if you are stopped by the police for any reason.

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About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.

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