In many cases, you or an attorney or a bail bondsman can all check for warrants. It is important, however, to make sure you know when checking for a warrant puts you at risk for being taken into custody. Here are some of the ways to check for outstanding warrants.
For Publicly Accessible Warrants Through Your Local Court
There are a variety of ways to check for warrants that are part of the public record: many local court websites contain searchable public records that will include your warrant; if not, you or a bail bondsman can call the clerk of court or county clerk. You should ask about the record but not identify yourself as the individual in question; if it is public record, someone other than you could be calling. Make sure you have the case number as well as your own demographic information, such a Social Security number, handy when you make this call.
Take note that a variety of civil cases may not be accessible this way, including those relevant to restraining orders, juvenile delinquency, and divorce proceedings.
For Federal Court Warrants
Your local district’s federal clerk of court can check on a federal warrant, and you may want to have a bail bondsman make the call to find this information for you; while they will be adept at this, you can make this call or a friend or loved one can do it. You can also look up a warrant in the courthouse itself, on their computers, though this carries the obvious risks of being apprehended and taken into custody in the courthouse.
Handling the Discovery of a Warrant
Some warrants simply mean you’ll need to appear and pay a fine, but others can carry much heavier consequences. Rather than accidentally being taken into custody during a traffic stop or another context where you are unprepared, verify with your bail bondsman what the warrant is and how you should proceed.
Need a bail bondsman to help you discover a warrant and work through what it means? Search the Bail Agent Network for a bail bondsman near you.