Arrest Warrant Criminal Records

Search For Warrants

Warrants are formal documents issued by a judge, authorizing law enforcement officers to execute specific actions that would otherwise be deemed illegal.

Warrants come in different types, with the most common being arrest and bench warrants. Other types include search, complaint, execution, alias, tax, and governor’s warrants.

For a judge to issue a warrant, law enforcement has to provide an affidavit with probable cause. The judge then reviews the affidavit and determines whether or not to issue a warrant.

If you’re searching for arrest warrant criminal records, we can help!

What Is an Arrest Warrant?

As per the Fourth Amendment, arrests that are made as a result of unreasonable searches are considered unlawful.

If the law enforcement officer believes there’s probable cause—with evidence—that should lead to an arrest, they’ll have to submit an affidavit to a competent authority for review.

Having reviewed the affidavit, the figure of authority (usually a judge) can determine whether or not to issue an arrest warrant. This legal document enables law enforcement officers to execute an arrest.

An arrest warrant must have a few key pieces of information, according to Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Those key pieces of information are:

  • The name and description of the defendant
  • A detailed description of the alleged offense
  • The signature of the issuing judge or magistrate
  • The city in which the warrant is issued
  • An order for the arrest and arraignment of the defendant

If any of these details aren’t included in an arrest warrant, the warrant is considered invalid. Further, after the arrest is made, the arrest warrant has to be returned to the issuing judge. Similarly, if the arrest isn’t executed, the warrant must be returned to the judge in order to be canceled.

You should also keep in mind that after an arrest is made with an arrest warrant, the executing officer must have the defendant show up in front of a judge or magistrate without any delays. The only exception to this is if the court permitted the delay.

Do Arrest Warrants Expire?

Some arrest warrants do expire. It all boils down to whether the warrant is associated with a felony or a misdemeanor. If the warrant is associated with a felony, it won’t expire and can be executed at any time.

On the other hand, if the arrest warrant is associated with a misdemeanor, it will expire once the statute of limitations expires, typically in 180 days to 2 years. That being said, an expired misdemeanor warrant can be reissued if law enforcement deems it necessary.

Other types of warrants that expire after the expiration of their statute of limitations include search warrants and complaint warrants. In the case of a bench warrant, the warrant won’t expire unless it’s cleared by a competent figure of authority, like a judge.

How to Conduct a Warrant Search

There are many ways to conduct a warrant search to find out if you have a warrant, including:

  • Searching your state’s court website
  • Requesting a criminal history record
  • Searching federal court records using the PACER service
  • Searching the official website of local law enforcement

Another way you can go about searching for warrant records is through our site. Simply enter a first name, last name, city, and state, and then hit the ‘Search for Warrants’ button.

Arrest & Warrant Records by State