How to Find Out if Someone Has a Warrant

Imagine dating someone only to have the cops come knocking on your door to arrest them. 

It may sound like a scene out of a movie, but you’d be surprised that it happens more than people think. It wouldn’t hurt to dig a little about someone, especially when you see some red flags. 

Aside from dating someone, there are other reasons you’d like to find out if someone has a warrant for investment, loan, and other business purposes. 

Read on to learn more about how you can find out if someone has a warrant.

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What is a Warrant?

A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or similar authority that allows law enforcement to arrest, conduct a search, or take other action.

For a warrant to be issued, there must be probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. The person named in the warrant should be the one who committed it.

5 Different Types of Warrants

Some of the most common types of warrants include arrest warrants, search warrants, bench warrants, extradition warrants (sometimes referred to as governor’s warrants), and alias warrants.

Arrest warrant

A judge or magistrate issues this warrant on behalf of a state or local jurisdiction.

It authorizes an individual’s arrest and detention for their alleged involvement in a criminal offense. It is typically issued without notice.

Search warrant

It allows law enforcement officers to enter a home or business and seize any items related to the investigation, typically supported by probable cause that the items may be associated with a criminal offense.

Bench warrant

This type of warrant is  issued when an individual fails to appear in court as required.

These can also be used if someone fails to comply with a court order, such as paying fines, appearing for jury duty, or other legal obligations.

Extradition or governor’s warrants

It directs law enforcement personnel to transport individuals charged with crimes elsewhere to face prosecution.

Individuals fleeing from one state to another on charges might face extradition should they be located in another.

Alias warrant

It is usually issued when an individual does not appear for trial after bonding out pre-trial and provides another option for law enforcement officials to apprehend fugitives other than traditional extradition processes.

How to Find Out if Someone has a Warrant?

Search through official government websites

Depending on the jurisdiction, different websites may offer access to criminal records and information related to active warrants.

You should know that these websites often require registering an account with your personal information before you can do an official search.

Many provide searchable databases where you can key in the person’s name or other details to try and locate the record you’re looking for.

The amount of detail available will depend on the state, but you may be able to go beyond essential warrant records and look up mugshots, criminal histories, etc.

Call the court clerk

To find out if there are any active warrants in your area, contact the local court clerk and explain that you are trying to determine whether someone has a warrant.

They will then be able to access their records and let you know if there is an active warrant associated with the individual’s name. 

The court clerk can provide insight into outstanding warrants issued by a judge or district attorney and warrants related to civil matters such as overdue debts or unpaid loans.

Every state and county has different processes for dealing with outstanding warrants, so you may need to call multiple court clerks to get all the necessary information. 

Check public records at county courthouse

The country courthouse records department can provide various information about any individual, including whether or not there are outstanding warrants in their name.

All you need to do is provide some basic identifying information, and the staff will look up the person’s name in the database.

Use a third party service

Applications like and make it easy to find out if there are any pending warrants on individuals you are searching for.

But of course, you will be subject to a minimal fee like most third-party services.

Is there a Free Warrant Search?

Yes, it’s possible, depending on where you’re from. Some counties with online databases may have free warrant searches available to the public.

However, it may be best to use third-party services to search all active warrants and criminal records comprehensively.

What if I Find an Arrest Warrant on Someone I Know?

The first step is to understand the nature of the warrant and what kinds of legal penalties they may face depending on the type of charge.

Getting them in touch with a lawyer who can represent them throughout the criminal proceedings is also vital. Obtaining legal advice early on can help minimize any potential complications down the road. 

Make sure your friend knows about all court dates and deadlines associated with the warrant so they can attend all critical court hearings.

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to reach an agreement or plea bargain with prosecutors that could work in your friend’s favor.

Lastly, avoid taking action on their behalf without consulting an attorney, which could lead to further complications for both parties involved. 

How to Find Out if You have a Warrant?

Whether you’re a law-abiding citizen or concerned about pending legal matters, it’s important to stay informed of any warrants that may have been issued in your name. 

The most reliable way is to contact the local police department. You can either visit in person or call them directly, and they will inform you whether there is an active warrant and provide further details.

Most city government websites also list public arrest records, so you can check them online.

Additionally, some court systems make active warrants available on their websites for the general public to search. Finally, if all else fails, it may be worth hiring an attorney to conduct a more comprehensive investigation into your records. 


If you’re worried about an outstanding warrant or criminal record, there are several steps you can take to find out more information.

The most reliable way is to contact the local police department and ask them directly. 

You can also check public arrest records on government websites or through third-party services. If all else fails, it is best to hire an attorney to investigate your records comprehensively. 

By taking these steps, you can proactively address any issues arising from a warrant in your name.

bryan rucker
Written by Brian Williams

Brian is an expert in security, privacy, and information. He has studied background checks, criminal, people search, and such topics over the last 5 years. He is also an avid writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge through this blog. Read more of Brian's articles.