How To Check If You Have A Warrant? When innocent people are caught up in a crime, they do not know which way to turn. It is unfortunate, but something as minor as trespassing is a criminal offense. If you are charged with trespassing, the commissioner may issue a warrant for your arrest. All the while, you have no idea.
It is rare for someone to be accused of a crime without his/her knowledge. But, it does happen. For example, a law enforcement officer received a statement from a lady who accused her neighbor of trespassing. The officer believed the evidence was enough to establish probable cause for an arrest.
The next step is to submit the evidence to a magistrate or judge in hopes of obtaining an arrest warrant. If the judge or magistrate sides with the officer, you will be facing an arrest in the very near future.
How To Check If You Have A Warrant?
At this point, you may have some suspicion that something is going on behind your back. This is the perfect time to validate the warrant. Not every arrest warrant is a surprise. In fact, most people know when an active warrant has been issued in their name.
Whether the individual was notified by the lead investigator during a phone conversation or an acquaintance of the plaintiff. Once everything is out in the open, the now suspect can take the necessary steps to determine if he/she has a warrant.
If you need quick answers, you can reach out to your attorney. Attorneys are privy to criminal and civil case records. Your attorney can validate your warrant suspicion in as little as a few hours. You do not need a personal attorney to determine if a warrant in your name exists. You can contact any local law firm that specializes in criminal defense to request a warrant confirmation.
Do I Have A Warrant?
For those who do not have an attorney, contact your County District Clerk’s office via phone or email. The District Clerk’s office prepares, issues, archives, and maintains orders of courts, such as warrants, probation orders, court summonses, court pleadings, court appearances.
A worker at the District Clerk’s office has immediate access to the county’s warrant database. If you have a warrant, it will have been filed with your County’s District Clerk’s office. Most counties offer this service free of charge. But, an immediate response should not always be expected. The agency is extremely busy, with the possibility of having loads of documents on the backlog.
It is important to note, some counties split their misdemeanor and felony filings. The County Clerk’s office may be responsible for all misdemeanor filings while the District Clerk’s office is responsible for felony filings. This practice is really not that rare. In fact, many counties opt to go this route to minimize the workload for both agencies.
How Do I Find Out If I Have A Warrant?
Some County District Clerk’s offices have been updated to deliver efficiency for workers and local consumers. With the addition of a state-of-the-art online database, locals can bypass live workers and still obtain the information they are looking for. Be sure to check out your County District Clerk’s official website to view its online services.
You may be required to create a personal account to perform official document and record searches. Creating an account allows the District Clerk to validate the identity of residents requesting court documents. Once you create an account, you will be asked to log in to conduct searches.
If you are permitted to conduct online record and document searches, you can count yourself lucky. Unfortunately, many county agencies in the United States are still behind times when it comes to technology.
If your search renders an active warrant in your name, it is crucial to seek professional advice. All US counties, cities, municipalities, and towns have at least one law firm that specializes in criminal defense. These professionals will review your case to determine if it is possible to have it thrown out of court. If this is not possible, your attorney will look for ways to have your charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, which is an option for first-time offenders.
How to See If You Have A Warrant?
You can skip the criminal attorney and the County District Clerk’s office by utilizing a third-party active warrant search. Choose from dozens of warrant search websites, all of which are government-neutral. With so many options to choose from, it is crucial to conduct extensive because not all are created equal.
To initiate an outstanding warrant search, you may be required to provide the third-party with your personal information. The initial search is generally free. You simply input your name, the state where the offense took place, and warrant type. The results appear within seconds, a list of names similar to yours accompanied by a list of relatives. Age, and related cities and states.
To request an arrest report, you will need to select the name that is closely related to you. Before you receive the arrest report, you must select a plan – single report, 1-year unlimited, and 7-day trial period.
The arrest report consists of the following:
- County, federal, and state felonies, misdemeanors
- Court cases
- Phone numbers, related addresses
- Probation records
- Financial fraud charges.
There are a few downsides to third-party warrant search websites. One particular downside is the report only contains information that the government has deemed public. These services do not guarantee accurate or current information.
The good news, third-party warrant search websites are fairly affordable. For less than $10, you can access unlimited public arrest records for seven days.
What To Do If You Have A Warrant?
There is really only one option available when it comes to an active arrest warrant. This option is to turn yourself in at your local law enforcement agency. However, this is only if the warrant is for your arrest. Turning yourself in could play in your favor by proving to the court you are taking responsibility for your criminal behavior.
While it is a good idea to turn yourself in for an arrest warrant, it can limit your ability to retain a criminal lawyer. Without a criminal defense attorney on your side, you could end up facing more jail time. Retain an attorney and protect your rights as an American citizen.
Reach Out To A Local Bail Bondsman
If you determine the best court of action is to surrender, your criminal attorney may recommend arranging bail in advance. Once you surrender, your options will be limited, even if an attorney is present.
Pay Fine And Avoid Arrest
Some warrants are flexible, meaning they do not always involve an arrest or jail time. To determine your options, you will need to contact your county’s District Clerk’s office. You can request an in-person hearing to discuss the warrant. Depending on the type of warrant, it may be possible to scathe by with a monetary fine.
Traffic-related warrants can be addressed at your local Department of Motor Vehicle “DMV” or country courthouse. If possible, visit one of the aforementioned government agencies with the warrant in hand. Ask to speak with a qualified professional to determine your options.
Most traffic warrants can be cleared with a monetary fine. The amount of the fine will depend on the traffic offense. For example, a petty traffic offense fine will range between $0 and $1,000. A Class B (speeding 26-34 over the limit) has a monetary fine of up to $1,500. If you do not pay the fine, you could end up facing a 6-month jail sentence.
See Also: Difference Between Prison and Jail
How To Handle A Search Warrant?
When local law enforcement approaches you with a search warrant, you need to consider your options before consenting to the search. Unfortunately, your options are limited. You can always request a phone call from your attorney, but this will probably do nothing to help your case. Experts recommend starting with a verbal request to view the search warrant.
Scan the document carefully to determine if officers are at the right address. Believe it or not, law enforcement responsible for writing out search warrants are not above errors. In fact, it is not all that uncommon for search warrants to contain incorrect information.
Address any concerns with the officer(s) before consisting to a search. Once you consent to the search, there will be little else you can do. Your best option will be to ask the officer if it is okay to wait outside. In most cases, law enforcement will be thrilled to oblige to your request.
Negotiation Is Key!
Most court officials are open to negotiation. This is especially true for full-time parents and/or workers. To avoid embarrassment or public scrutiny, you should contact the District Clerk’s office to determine if it is possible to negotiate a time and location to surrender.
If it is possible to buy a little extra time before you surrender at your local law enforcement agency or sheriff’s office, you may need to find someone to care for your children and/or pets while you are away.
If you are facing jail time, it is crucial to prepare in advance. A criminal offense is a difficult topic to discuss with an employer. In this case, it cannot be avoided if you want to keep your job. Many employers will compromise to retain a reliable, trustworthy employee. Honesty is the best policy when facing an arrest, criminal conviction, and jail time.
If your children are old enough to understand what is going on, you will need to sit down with them to explain the situation. Again, honesty will go a long way in keeping your children in your life.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.