Are You Wanted by Police? 3 Ways to Check for Arrest Warrants
There are a variety of different types of warrants, from local bench warrants to extradition and federal arrest warrants. And, while we like to think only “criminals” have warrants out for their arrest, the truth is that you could have an outstanding warrant without even knowing it. Maybe you forgot to pay a traffic fine or appear in court. Whatever the situation, the last thing you need is to be taken into custody while you’re at work or with your family or friends.
If you know that you are the subject of an active or pending warrant, you can take preemptive steps to mitigate the impact or even quash the warrant. But, how can you find out if you have a warrant out for your arrest when you aren’t sure?
If you search online, you’ll find a number of websites offering state or even nationwide arrest record and warrant searches. The appeal of these sites is natural – they’re easy to use and you can pull results from multiple jurisdictions without all that tedious mucking about on the internet. But, it can be difficult for these sites to guarantee accurate, updated, and complete results. In most cases, you will already know the jurisdiction(s) in which you may have a warrant, and you can go directly to the source for a more reliable warrant search.
The following three straight-forward options can help you check for local or federal warrants.
1. Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you believe there may be a warrant for your arrest in Arkansas, the easiest and most sure way to find out would be to hire a criminal defense attorney. In many cases, an attorney will be able to identify outstanding warrants and resolve them for you. Resolving warrants may involve paying a fine, showing up in court, or negotiating your surrender.
2. Check the Local Courts
Many local courts make it easy to search for outstanding warrants on their website. If you are having trouble tracking down arrest warrants online, or if you prefer to talk to someone directly, you can contact the court and ask about any outstanding warrants. Benton County provides an arrest warrant database, or you can call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Department at 479-271-1010.
If you are concerned that you might be arrested if you contact the court to ask about a warrant, you can have your attorney or a trusted friend or family member call and ask for you.
3. Check Federal Courts
If you believe you may have an outstanding federal arrest warrant, your first step should be to consult with a criminal defense attorney, like Ben T. Roberds, who has experience handling cases that involve federal law enforcement agencies. Barring that, you should contact the court’s office by phone or in person. Remember that federal courts are separated into different circuits, and you may need to contact multiple courts if the warrant could be outstanding in different circuits.
Outstanding arrest warrants can sneak up on you, and even traffic warrants cause significant personal, professional, and financial trouble. By taking time to identify outstanding warrants early, you can take steps to mitigate the impact they have on your life.
Attorney Ben T. Roberds and the Roberds Law Firm have experience working with law enforcement agencies and clients with active or pending arrest warrants or who may be the subject of extradition. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, or if you believe you may have a warrant or be the subject of extradition, call (479) 464-0904 for a complimentary, confidential consultation.