Arrest warrants can literally rip your life to shreds in only a few minutes. Your car could break down on the road one day, and a routine “police assistance” stop could turn into some time in jail. You could be hanging out with your family and have the police interrupt your barbecue. The police could take you into custody at work in front of your bosses and coworkers and then everyone will be wondering what you went to jail for. A lot of embarrassing situations can occur when you have a warrant for arrest. That’s why you should try as hard as you can to do a warrant check and make sure that you don’t have any active arrest warrants on your record. Here’s some additional information about the matter.
What Is an Arrest Warrant?
The arrest warrant definition is quite simple. A warrant is an order that judge signs that give the police the right to bring you into custody. A warrant may also give the authorities the right to search your property if someone suspects you of possessing some property that you should not possess by law. This is a common tool when the police are investigating a theft charge or a drug possession or sale charge. If the authorities come to your home, office or other location with a warrant, you will have to either go with them or face severe legal repercussions.
Why Might You Have a Warrant for Arrest?
A judge could issue a warrant for you for your arrest a number of reasons. One popular reason is that you are one of the suspects in a recent case investigation. The detectives or police would have to have some solid evidence to indicate that you may be responsible for such a crime before they can serve you with a warrant. Another reason that a judge may write a warrant for you is if you fail to show up for court on your assigned court date. The term “bench warrant” is most commonly used to describe that type of warrant. You may have a contempt of court charge attached to that warrant, as well.
Ways to Do an Arrest Warrant Search
It would be in your best interest to conduct an arrest warrant search the moment you get an opportunity to do such. You can ask participating parties, “Do I have a warrant for my arrest?” in a number of ways. The smart way to handle yourself is to do before you get into a situation where police take you away from your job. Here are four ways to do so:
Conduct a Free Public Record Search
You may be able to find some information about a warrant by checking online through a public records search. Many arrests and warrants are a matter of public record, and anyone can get access to them. You may be able to enter some basic information about yourself to cause the system to dig through the database. After the system digs through the database, you may have to pay a small fee to get the records that you desire. If you conduct your search in person at a county courthouse, you may not have to pay for the retrieval of those records. However, you must call the courthouse and ask someone to find out for sure. It’s always best to bring cash with you just in case you do have to produce some. It will be worth it to pay a few dollars to get the information that you need.
Visit Your Local Police Department
You could conduct a warrant search at your local police department if you are feeling overly confident. Be prepared just in case you do have a warrant that you need to deal with. Ask the police officer or clerk to check and see if you have some outstanding warrants.They will let you know how to proceed.
Call the Court Clerk
You may be able to call the court clerk on the telephone if you are unable to appear for personal security reasons. You may be able to get some information by simply asking if you have an arrest warrant. You can ask without letting the clerk know that you are the person that you want to know about. It may be wise to call from a number that is not yours if you aren’t prepared to deal with the warrant immediately.
Tips for Making Sure You’re in the Clear
You need to conduct a thorough check for warrants if you want to ensure that you are clear. Therefore, you’ll want to check any place you have lived. If you lived in different states, for example, you’ll want to check those other states just to make sure that you didn’t miss something that may mess you up in the end. Check all the separate cities that you have lived in as well just to be extra sure.
What to Do if You Have a Warrant for Your Arrest
If you find out that you do have a warrant for your arrest, you are going to have to do something to fix the situation. you don’t want to have it hanging over your head because you won’t be able to live your life with it that way.
Ask the officer what the warrant is for. Some warrants are payable, which means that you can pay the original fine and the additional fees to avoid going to jail. The case will be closed, and then you can go on with your life after you pay the money that the court wants. Other warrants are for criminal activities or suspicion of such activities. In that case, you will need to show up in person to the jurisdiction that wants you, and you may have to stand trial for something. It’s always best to turn yourself in rather than to have the police come and get you. That won’t make you look very cooperative in court. If you were not properly served with legal papers, you will have to battle that out in court. You are not going to be allowed to just run and escape the case.
Contact an attorney as quickly as possible, and don’t say anything that is going to incriminate you further. That’s the first thing you learn when you get arrested. The less you say about the crime of which you are being accused, the better off you are until you speak to your lawyer. Your attorney can come up with a solid defense and help you to fight the charges that are against you. He or she may even be able to get those charges dropped or reduced. you never know.
Those are just a few tips for finding out if you have warrants for your arrest. Conduct your check today and set your mind at ease.