An arrest warrant is granted by a court judge to a law enforcement official, giving them the right and ability to arrest any person of interest regarding a crime. People often confuse them with bench warrants, which are issued when an individual fails to appear at a required court hearing.
With hundreds of thousands of outstanding arrest warrants all across the country (Los Angeles has 1 million, New Orleans 50,000, Baltimore around 53,000), checking whether your children, partner or love interest has trouble with the law is simply a matter of common sense nowadays.
Why Are Arrest Warrants Issued?
As already mentioned, arrest warrants are granted when an individual is suspected of committing a crime. The potential causes include everything from breaking & entering and car theft to rape and murder. Although they are generally issued for felonies and major crimes, judges can also grant warrants for ordinary parking tickets.
When the court issues an arrest warrant, the named suspect can be arrested anywhere at any time. This basically means they can be arrested at their residence, in their place of work, at the side of the road or pretty much anywhere in public.
Can You Have A Warrant Without Committing An Actual Crime?
Because advanced technologies have given birth to identity theft, which is rampaging across the country. Identity thieves can simply steal your identity without you even realizing it and commit serious crimes in your name.
Once the authorities identify “you” as the perpetrator, a warrant is issued and proving stolen identity is extremely difficult in the court of law. Therefore, it is essential that you remain vigilant at all times in order to stop identity thieves before they commit any serious crimes.
This is just one of the reasons why you should perform regular warrant checks on yourself, not just other people.
Warrant Research Methods
The first method of research involves you doing all the work, meaning you have to conduct the research all by yourself whether you are checking your potential warrants or someone else’s.
If you are checking for yourself, the worst thing you can do is approach a police officer and ask them directly. If you indeed do have an arrest warrant, this will most definitely land you in jail. If the officer is in a particularly foul mood that day, they might arrest you even if you do not have a warrant, just in case.
Visiting your local courthouse and asking the staff is a better option since the chances of you ending up in jail are a bit smaller. The problem with this method, however, is that you can have outstanding arrest warrants pretty much anywhere in the US and locating the relevant jurisdiction is next to impossible. This especially goes for cases of identity theft.
If you have a strong belief that there might be an outstanding warrant for your arrest in a certain jurisdiction, you might want to send a friend to check the court’s public access terminal for you. This way, you can avoid being potentially recognized and arrested before you get a chance to consult with your lawyer.
Finally, you can also hire an attorney to conduct a search for you, but keep in mind that you will need to pay a hefty fee for the service.
The bottom line is that these methods are a stab in the dark in most cases and they always put you at risk of being detained and charged with certain crimes. If you are investigating somebody else, on the other hand, this danger does not exist, but you may not be able to find the information you are looking for. In other words, you might get lucky if you have enough information on the person you are investigating, but that is usually not the case.
Background Check Companies
There are many online services that allow its users to check numerous public databases, including criminal records, arrest warrants, personal information, presence on social media, and much more.
Background check companies like BeenVerified and Spokeo only require one’s name to provide you with a full report containing all the information you might be interested in. Searches are extremely cheap and if a person has an outstanding arrest warrant, these search engines are most likely to find it.
They can be used to perform a background check on yourself (which we always recommend) and other individuals. Basically, you can monitor your children and their potential legal problems, make sure your partner is telling the truth, screen potential love interests, and much more.
I Found A Warrant, Now What?
If your search yields an outstanding arrest warrant for yourself, the best course of action is to handle it as soon as possible. Get the best representation you can afford and turn yourself in right away to avoid a more severe outcome.
Arrest warrants do not lapse and do not go away!
Therefore, you should never leave a warrant outstanding. If you turn yourself in and explain the situation, the court will take all mitigating circumstances into account, including the fact that you appeared of your own free will the moment you found out about the warrant for your arrest.
One of the most common mistakes people make in these situations is showing up without an attorney. You should never do this! No matter what, always have your lawyer present in order to avoid incriminating yourself even further and making mistakes that can result in a more serious outcome.