How to Check for Arrest Warrants in Massachusetts

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If you worry that you have an outstanding Massachusetts arrest warrant, it's best to find out before you suffer the consequences. Order a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI), a print-out of all criminal charges ever filed against you in Massachusetts, or pay for an online arrest warrant search.

Outstanding Warrants in Massachusetts

Outstanding warrants in Massachusetts can result in your arrest. A "straight" warrant, also called an arrest warrant, is issued when the police bring criminal charges against you. The police take immediate steps to try and locate you to arrest you, so you are unlikely to remain in the dark too long.

Massachusetts judges also order bench or default warrants if you fail to show up in court after you get a court document called a summons. For example, if you are summoned for jury duty and you do not show up, or if you have a court date on a traffic ticket or child support issue and fail to appear, the odds are that a default warrant will issue.

While these are not technically called arrest warrants, they can result in your arrest in Massachusetts. For example, if you are stopped for a traffic violation and the police see that you have an outstanding bench warrant, they will arrest you.

Default warrants can have serious consequences. In Massachusetts, when a default warrant is issued, it automatically suspends your driver's license, so if you are picked up for a minor traffic violation, you will also be charged with driving with a suspended license.

Default Warrants in Massachusetts

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to find outstanding default warrants in Massachusetts. You cannot simply go online and tap in your name to learn if a bench warrant was issued against you.

However, if you know that you missed a jury duty call, you can go to the court clerk magistrate’s office at the district court in Massachusetts where you had jury duty and ask. If so, go there during regular business hours and request a default removal and warrant recall. You may have to go to the probation department so that it can gather your information. You will need to appear before a judge to have the warrant removed. You may wish to telephone first to make arrangements to ensure that they will work with you and not take you into custody.

Warrant Checks

To find out if a straight warrant has been issued against you in Massachusetts, pay to get a copy of your own Criminal Offender Record information (CORI) report. If you have ever been the subject of an arrest warrant or charged with a crime in a Massachusetts court, there will be a CORI on you, even if you were found innocent.

Get your CORI report by requesting it in writing or online from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS). To submit a request in writing, complete the application including a notarized signature. The fee must be included by money order.

Private companies also offer online Massachusetts warrant searches. Research the company before you hand over your credit card information to pay the fee.

An attorney can assist with searching for warrants. An attorney can also have warrants removed by filing all motions with the court and appearing on your behalf.

References

About the Author

Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.