An arrest warrant is a judicial order authorizing the detention and extradition of a person to the court issuing the arrest warrant. A Georgia arrest warrant may be issued in a variety of circumstances, including when a magistrate finds there is probable cause that a person has committed a crime, when a person fails to appear for a criminal court date or when a person is held in contempt of court. The Georgia State Patrol does not have a publicly accessible statewide database of outstanding arrest warrants. Therefore, a person seeking to perform a warrant check must check with the sheriff's office in every county where an arrest warrant may be issued.
Avoid being detained by any law enforcement official if you are checking for an arrest warrant for yourself. Law enforcement officials in Georgia have access to a statewide database of outstanding arrest warrants. If you have an outstanding arrest warrant and are detained by a law enforcement official, you will be arrested and extradited to the Georgia county that issued the arrest warrant. However, if you are performing a warrant check on a different person, a Georgia law enforcement official will not be able to perform the warrant check for you.
Determine which Georgia counties may have an outstanding arrest warrant against the person. Make a list of any Georgia counties that the person has lived in. You may also want to check surrounding counties.
Check any relevant Georgia counties that maintain an online database of arrest warrants (see Resources). Most Georgia counties maintain limited lists of "most wanted" outstanding criminals. Of the 159 counties in Georgia, only Chatham, Cherokee, Clarke, Columbia, Crawford, Emanuel, Glynn, Habersham, Houston, Johnson, Laurens, Long and Troup counties maintain a full online database of outstanding arrest warrants.
Place a phone call with the sheriff's office for any Georgia counties that do not maintain an online database of arrest warrants.