Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions that come up regarding "warrents" (warrants) and the answers
to help you with your own personal situation. If you have a question that isn't answered here or need more information please email       

Do "warrents" (warrants) for arrest show up on a background check?
Absolutely. Active "warrents" (warrants) will show up on all background checks. If you're applying for work or a background check is ordered for any reason, you need to know what your record will show or it could stop you from getting hired. The best way to find out is to do an online search.

I had a "warrent" (warrant) in the state of Ohio and moved to California. I missed my court date. Do I have a "warrent" (warrant) for my arrest?
If you have an arrest "warrent" (warrant) in your name and moved out of the state the "warrent" (warrant) was issued, you still have an outstanding "warrent" (warrant) regardless of where you live. Failure to appear in court will result in an active arrest "warrent" (warrant) which means you can be apprehended at any time by law enforcement. It's imperative to take care of any court dates or legal steps pertaining to issued "warrents" (warrants) since "warrents" (warrants) do not expire or disappear just because you no longer live in the state the crime was committed.

Can you get a "warrent" (warrant) for delinquent child support?
The answer is yes. The government doesn't take delinquent child support lightly. If you fail to pay child support and your partner files a complaint with the court, you now have an outstanding "warrent" (warrant) in your name and can be apprehended at anytime.

There's a "warrent" (warrant) in my name but I did not commit the crime in question. What can I do about this to clear my record?
If someone has stolen your identity and committed a crime in your name this is considered criminal identity theft. If this has happened to you, then you could have many active "warrents" (warrants) without even knowing resulting in an unexpected arrest. The sooner you find out an arrest "warrent" (warrant) exists the sooner you can deal with the issue and resolve it. The easiest way to find out if you have an outstanding "warrent" (warrant) is to do an online search. It's easy, confidential, and secure.

If I have an outstanding "warrent" (warrant), can I be arrested at work?
Yes, the law in all United States allows law enforcement to conduct arrests in any location especially for crimes of a serious nature. That's why it's important to know if you have a "warrent" (warrant) for your arrest to avoid the embarrassing situation and almost certainly loss of job.

If the police arrest you for an outstanding "warrent" (warrant) do they need to have the "warrent" (warrant) in hand?
No, the arresting officers DO NOT need to have the "warrent" (warrant) in their possession. The knowledge that the "warrent" (warrant) exists is enough for them to apprehend you.

Can you be arrested when you renew your license if you have an outstanding "warrent" (warrant) in another state?
This concern is valid since at some point you will need to renew your driver's license if you have one. The answer is no you can't be arrested if there is a charge in your name in another state. Each state has its own laws separate from each other. Do not let the fact you have an outstanding "warrent" (warrant) stop you from renewing your license. The penalty for getting caught without a valid driver's license will only get you in more trouble with the law.

How long can you go to jail if you neglect a "warrent" (warrant)?
The answer to that question is determined by the nature of the crime, the state the crime was committed, whether or not you have legal counsel, and even the judge who is residing over your case. Since a number of factors go into play the time you can spend in jail is variable and out of your control.

In general, arrest "warrents" (warrants) do not carry a statute of limitations and don't expire. A "warrent" (warrant) remains valid until the person is taken into custody or voluntarily presents themselves to authorities to resolve the issue in whatever manner is required.

If you're arrested and can't pay for the "warrent" (warrant), you will remain in jail to wait for a court date and will be at the mercy of the residing judge as to bail and release. His decision is based on the nature of the crime, how much the "warrent" (warrant) is for, and the laws within that state.

What kind of charges do states extradite for drug offenses?
It's impossible to predict whether a particular state will choose to extradite you or not because there are too many variables in play. But, I can tell you this, all states and territories of the United States honor each other's requests for extradition. There are no 'safe-haven' states for you to hide from your offense. Extradition will depend on the type of offense, the seriousness of it and/or how badly they want you returned to the state in which you committed the crime.
Note: most states WILL extradite for felony offenses.

Can I see my friend/relative in prison if I have a "warrent" (warrant) for my arrest?
No. If you have a "warrent" (warrant) for your arrest you will be refused visitation for any person in custody. Your record must be clear before they will allow you to visit. I highly recommend if you have a "warrent" (warrant) to stay away from prisons and all types of law enforcement until you can resolve the issue so you can avoid being detained yourself.

I have a "warrent" (warrant) for a crime and am thinking of turning myself in. Is that a good idea? What happens if I do?

Procedures will vary according to what kind of "warrent" (warrant) it is but the process is as follows: You will be formally arrested and be brought to booking where you will be finger-printed, identified and photographed. You will be held in prison for the next court session and a determination will be made by the judge regarding the charges. At this time you will be offered the chance to post bond and be released from jail.

Even though turning yourself in seems like a dumb idea it can be the right decision. It allows you to deal with law enforcement on your own terms instead of being handcuffed and arrested by surprise. Turning yourself in gets rid of the "warrent" (warrant) so you don't have to look over your shoulder and worry about it sneaking up on you. You have the chance to pre-bond which allows for less time in jail. Also you have the advantage of seeking legal counsel before hand so you can be prepared to deal with the situation with confidence.
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