How to Know if you Have an Arrest Warrant Out For You

By Judith Evans - Updated April 13, 2017
Hands in handcuffs.

If you think there is a warrant out for your arrest, you can check official government websites or contact government offices and police departments to find out for sure. Government websites often have information pages that explain how to know if you have an arrest warrant. Commercial websites offer less reliable record searches for a fee.

Search Official Government Websites

Official city, county, state or federal websites end in ".gov" and have free search tools that allow you to check for arrest warrants. These websites let you search anonymously and are regularly updated. Some government websites have information on criminal arrest warrants, while others only provide traffic violation databases.

Check the website of the jurisdiction that you believe may have issued the warrant. For example, Washington, D.C. courts provide a list of active warrants that you can filter by name. The Superior Court of California website for Santa Clara County has a search function only for traffic violations. Enter your name or case number, citation or license number to find out if you have a warrant for an unpaid ticket.

Call Government Offices

Call city, county, state or federal government offices in the jurisdiction that you think may have issued the warrant. The office may have information that has not yet been added to the website database. If you call from your home phone and ask if there is a warrant for your arrest, law enforcement may be able to trace your location from billing information or phone signal. Another person can call the government office for you.

Contact Police Department

You can call or have someone else call the police department in the relevant jurisdiction and ask if there is an arrest warrant for you. Some police departments, such as in Los Angeles County, will only provide this information in person and not over the phone. If you go to a police department to find out if you have an arrest warrant, the records check may result in your immediate arrest.

Check Third-Party Commercial Websites

Commercial background check websites will run a search for a fee. However, these websites are generally not authorized by government agencies and usually provide disclaimers that the information they generate may not be accurate. This type of website will produce a report that pulls data from various sources, but is not guaranteed to include arrest warrant information.

About the Author

Judith Evans has been writing professionally since 2009, specializing in gardening and fitness articles. An avid gardener, Evans has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Hampshire, a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School, and a personal trainer certificate from American Fitness Professionals and Associates.

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