Being wanted by the police can be frightening. Many people have warrants out for their arrest, and they aren't even aware that these warrants exist.
It's important that everyone knows how to tell if they have an active warrant so that the issue can be resolved before a surprising arrest.
Here are three tips that you can use to help identify if you have an active warrant at any given time.
1. Monitor Your Mail
Some jurisdictions will send out warrant notices to individuals for whom a warrant has been issued. If your jurisdiction does send these notices, the paperwork will likely come to the address listed on your driver's license.
If your jurisdiction doesn't send out warrant notices, you may still be able to use your mail as a resource for identifying when a warrant has been issued.
Attorneys will regularly conduct warrant searches and send mail advertising legal services to people with active warrants. If you suddenly start to receive a lot of unsolicited mail from law firms, you may have an active warrant.
2. Contact the Sheriff's Office
Your local sheriff's office can be a valuable partner when it comes to determining if you have an active warrant. All of the warrants that are issued by the court are forwarded directly to the sheriff's office for processing and distribution.
Officers maintain a database of active warrants that they can search through when making a traffic stop, responding to a call, or interacting with the public.
Phoning the sheriff's office will let you determine if you have an active warrant, and you can obtain information about the court that issued the warrant so you can resolve your legal problems with ease.
3. Search an Online Database
Many privately owned websites are able to connect you with the information contained within the court database. Since arrest warrants are considered public records, anyone can access a list of active warrants at any time.
You could contact the court clerk directly, but this may not provide all the information you need. Warrants issued in other counties or states will not appear during a search conducted by the court clerk.
Private websites that specialize in warrant searches can cast a wider net so that a warrant from a jurisdiction other than the one where you reside will not be missed.
You can't take care of a warrant unless you know that you have one. Rely on a warrant search to help you identify your active warrants and avoid an arrest.