While no one ever claimed that the phrase "I need to find out if I have a warrant" is a barrel of monkeys, getting pulled over and finding out that a warrant is out for your arrest when the officer runs your ID is a far worse alternative. In terms of active notices, the Shasta County warrant search requires you to make an in-person appearance at the sheriff's office, which might just be a little more incentive to get the issues behind the warrant resolved.
Checking on an Active Warrant
At the Shasta County Sheriff's Office, as in most sheriff's departments around the country, it's the duty of the Records Unit to keep track of the dynamic information that informs local law enforcement personnel. The Records Unit – under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Justice – gathers, records and disseminates documents for the investigative, arrest and judicial processes. Which means that the business of maintaining warrants naturally falls to them, particularly to the Warrants Officer in Shasta County.
To determine if you have a warrant out in Shasta County, you'll need to visit the Records Department with a valid photo ID in hand. As per its official policy, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office Records Department will not give warrant information over the phone. Ask for the Records Department when you reach the office at this address:
- Shasta County Sheriff's Office
300 Park Marina Circle
Redding, CA 96001
The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Read More: How Long Does an Arrest Warrant Stay Active?
Will I Be Arrested?
Of course, visiting the sheriff's office when there is potentially a warrant out for your arrest sounds a little scary – and that's for good reason.
Straight from the horse's mouth, the Shasta County Sheriff's Department says, "If you have a warrant, you may be taken into custody, or you may be cited and released."
Whether you're arrested or simply cited depends entirely on the severity of the crime in question and is at the discretion of law enforcement. As an alternative to visiting in person, you may choose to hire a criminal defense attorney to determine if there is a criminal warrant out for you. In some cases, your attorney may be able to ascertain the bail amount and possibly even clear the warrant in court before you have to spend time in jail.
More Ways to Contact Law Enforcement
While visiting the sheriff's office in person is the only way to find out if you have a warrant, you can contact law enforcement in other ways if you have further questions about your visit, about Shasta County warrants in general or about related issues.
General law enforcement-related questions, including questions about crime reports, are fielded by phone during office hours at (530) 245-6025. You can also email the Sheriff – Sheriff Tom Bosenko, as of 2019 – at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related, the California Public Records Act passed in 1968 guarantees that California citizens have the right to access government records upon request (with the exception of a few records that may be sensitive to ongoing law enforcement proceedings). Warrants are included in the CPRA's coverage. If you're curious about a warrant from the past, the Shasta County Sheriff's Office has a special email address for CPRA requests: PRASheriff@co.shasta.ca.us.
Heads Up: Warrant Phone Scam
"But wait," you might be asking yourself, "If the Shasta County Sheriff's Office doesn't disclose info about outstanding warrants over the phone, why did someone just call me about a warrant?" The answer is: It's a scam.
In 2018, Chico's Action News Now reported that some Shasta County residents received a call from a person – who may refer to himself as "Sergeant Stokes" – informing them that there was a warrant out for their arrest. The caller then attempts to arrange a money transfer from the recipient.
Don't fall for this hustle. As Action News report, "the Shasta County Sheriff's Office does not call people with warrants." If someone calls you posing as an officer of the law, contact the real Sheriff's Office at (530) 245-6025.
In Shasta County, you'll need to visit the Records Department at your local sheriff's office to check on active warrants.
- Shasta County Sheriff's Office: Records
- Shasta County Sheriff's Office: Records Frequently Asked Questions
- Shasta County Sheriff's Office: Home
- League of California Cities: The People's Business: A Guide to the California Public Records Act
- Action News Now: Shasta County Sheriff Warns Public About Phone Scam
- Shouse California Law Group: What to Do If You Have an Arrest Warrant in California
- LegalMatch: How Can I Find Out If There Are Any Warrants Out for My Arrest?
- Accessing information online can be more convenient than going to the courthouse.
As a freelance writer and small business owner with a decade of experience, Dan has contributed legal- and finance-oriented content to diverse sources including Chron, Fortune, Zacks.com, Motley Fool and MSN Money, among others.