How to Check for Warrants

By: Kat Saks August 8, 2012
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You don't have to be a private eye or a police officer to check for warrants. Read on to learn how to perform a background check for warrants.

Why Do a Warrant Check?

Warrant checks aren't just for law enforcement officers. You might have numerous reasons to search for warrants:

  • You need to know if the police have a warrant to arrest you.
  • You need to review the details of your own criminal record.
  • You need to run a background check on a potential hire.
  • You need to know if a potential renter has a criminal history.

How to Check For Warrants Online

Fortunately, checking for warrants is usually pretty easy. You can search for arrest warrants online through third party websites.

To perform your search, you'll need the following information about the person in question:

  • Full name
  • City
  • State (or, perform a nationwide search)
  • Approximate age

Once you provide you'll have access to key information about the person's criminal history, including, but not limited to:

  • Date of offenses.
  • Date charges were filed.
  • Description of offenses.
  • Case types (i.e., felony or misdemeanor, homicide or outstanding traffic ticket.
  • Dates of conviction, sentencing, disposition, and probation, if applicable.
  • Any fines.

These basic police reports will give you a good starting point for a background check.

Offline Warrant Checks

If you don't have access to a computer, you can still perform a warrant check offline. Call the county courthouse or law enforcement agency and ask for information. Some counties will only provide limited information over the phone.

Keep in mind that, should you have any arrest warrants, you risk immediate arrest if you appear in a courthouse or police station. Choose wisely when performing these types of background checks.

Have you ever done a warrant check? Why? How did you run your background check? Tell us in the comments section below.

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