An outstanding arrest warrant is a court-ordered document giving police permission to arrest someone. The term “outstanding” means it is a valid, active warrant that can be used to arrest a person at any time.

How Do I Check for Outstanding Local Warrants?

An individual can check for outstanding local warrants in two ways:

  1. Go to the local court’s website. Type the name of the person in the searchable public records section. It is important to know as much information about the person in question so that they can be properly identified in the public records.
  2. Contact the local court directly. Ask the court clerk if there is an outstanding warrant for the individual. Again, have as much information as possible about the individual, such as the individual’s birth date and any relevant case numbers.

How Do I Check for Outstanding Federal Warrants?

Contact the federal clerk of court’s office directly. Ask if there is an outstanding warrant for the specific individual. Sometimes, going in person to the federal court is an option.

Keep in mind that federal courts are divided into circuits. If there is a possibility of multiple outstanding federal warrants, the person may have to contact each circuit that a warrant may be outstanding in.

What If I Do Not Want to Risk Being Arrested?

If an individual is uneasy about calling because of a possible arrest, they should ask a trusted friend or family member to check for them.

How Do I Get Rid of the Outstanding Warrant?

The answer depends on the type of warrant. For example, a bench warrant may be resolved by going to court. Other warrants may be resolved by paying a fine.

Should I Consult an Attorney about My Outstanding Warrant?

You should check with a criminal attorney before going to the courthouse to check for an outstanding warrant. In most cases, an attorney will resolve the issue for you. Attempts to resolve the warrant may include negotiating your surrender or paying the fine on your behalf.