Why an Active Arrest Warrant is important (and how to find out if you have one)


What is an active arrest warrant?

An active arrest warrant is a document that grants law enforcement the right to arrest you at any point. It can be given out for matters as benign as unpaid speeding tickets, or items as grave as homicide. Arrest warrants are drafted by a court of law, and are typically only provided to state-level law enforcement. That being said, if a police officer recognizes you, and has seen the warrant, they may turn you over to the department that was granted the warrant.

How can I find out if I have an arrest warrant?

Most courts do not inform the individual on the warrant that they can be arrested. Typically, this is done to provide police officers with time to track you down and perform the arrest. That being said, arrest warrants are a public record, and are available to anyone who knows where to look. Below will be a list detailing the various places, from best to worst, that you can search through.

  • Online public records databases

This is easily the best option. Websites like SpyFly have access to billions of public records, for a reasonable price. All you need to do to begin searching for an active arrest warrant is to type your name, and select the state you believe the warrant was issued to. Results should be relatively easy to narrow down after that. The records of warrants that SpyFly provides identifying information, which can be used to identify if you’re the person specified.

A great advantage of SpyFly is their confidentiality. No government agencies are informed of your search, allowing you to investigate without fear that it’ll increase police efforts to arrest you. Moreover, SpyFly is available for use on a smartphone. THis allows you to check for an arrest warrant even if you suspect that police are waiting at your house to arrest you.

  • Visit a lawyer

If you’re prepared to pay hefty consultation fees, a lawyer or legal office is a viable option. Almost every attorney pays for access to some kind of legal database. These are likely to be more extensive than a public records search, but they’ll be able to provide you with a copy of your arrest warrant very easily.

However, if you’re incorrect, and you don’t possess an arrest warrant, then it’s likely that you’ll be out of a hefty sum of money to turn up nothing, and have wasted your time.

  • Visit a local courthouse

As the warrant must be issued from a court, the court will almost certainly possess a copy of it. Simply visit the courthouse you believe drafted the arrest warrant, and speak with a county clerk regarding the matter. They’ll take your information, and get to your request as soon as they can. However, keep in mind that many county clerks are overloaded with requests, and may take days or even weeks to process your inquiry. Afterwards, you’ll need to wait several days for them to mail it to you, at which point you’ll know if that court had a copy of your warrant. 

However, not only is this option somewhat reliable, but it can also be somewhat dangerous. Nothing is preventing the county clerk from sending a tip to law enforcement that you’ll need to check your mail soon, at which point any remotely qualified police officer can simply stake out your mailing address, and wait for you to grab your warrant. You might get arrested before you even find out if you had a warrant in the first place.

  • Visit a sheriff’s department

All you need to do for this one is head over to the police station, and speak with an officer on duty. They’ll be able to point you to an officer assigned clerical work, who will assist you with your search. Any police department that possesses your arrest warrant must have a copy of it in the station, and it won’t be too difficult to find.

But, you see the problem. If you’re right, and the officer helping you finds your warrant, they’re going to arrest you. Right there. They may not even tell you that you were right before they’ve grabbed their handcuffs. As such, only do this if for some reason, you really really want to be arrested. Which you shouldn’t want anyways.

SpyFly provides consumers affordable, immediate access to public record information. Federal laws prohibit businesses from using SpyFly’s service to make decisions about employment, insurance, consumer credit, tenant screening, or for any other purpose subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq.