| Read Time: 4 minutes | Criminal Defense
how to know if you have a warrant

Having a warrant out for your arrest means the police can arrest you anytime they encounter you.

So you can be arrested if the police pull you over.

You can also be arrested if you apply for a concealed carry permit or renew your driver’s license because your warrant can pop up on your record.

So the best thing you can do is search Florida’s warrant database to find out if you are wanted by the police before getting pulled over, etc. 

If you find out that you have a warrant, you need to contact an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer.

The Orlando criminal defense attorneys from Moses & Rooth have worked in the Florida criminal justice system for nearly 40 years combined.

They can help take care of your warrant and fight to have you released with as few restrictions as possible. Then we will work with you to fight your charges.

How Can You Search for an Arrest Warrant?

Performing a warrant search in Florida is fairly simple. You can start by searching the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) online database.

The Florida Criminal Information Center (FCIC), which is a division of the FDLE, maintains a database that allows the public to search for wanted persons free of charge.

The site contains information about stolen property, missing persons, as well as arrest warrant information.

However, the site will not provide a person’s complete criminal background. The FCIC maintains another website that allows you to search for someone’s criminal history. 

The FDLE warrant inquiry form asks for the person’s name, race, sex, nickname, date of birth, or age.

You should input as much accurate information as you have to limit the search to the person you’re after. 

The FCIC updates the website every 24 hours. As a result, the information you can locate by searching the FDLE page should be accurate.

Law enforcement agencies and courts enter warrants in the state computer system for FCIC to compile. 

The FDLE website cannot account for every possible warrant immediately.

Additionally, the FDLE website merely produces records that correspond to the user’s inquiry. The FDLE does not input the warrant information.

The FDLE cautions users that people with warrants might use fake identifications to avoid apprehension.

As a result, the FDLE cannot say that the information is accurate. The FDLE indicates that you should verify warrant information with your local law enforcement agency to ensure accuracy.

What Are the Types of Warrants on FDLE’s Search Feature?

The FDLE database will only search for Florida warrants. The types of warrants on FDLE’s search feature include:

  • Outstanding arrest warrants issued by law enforcement agencies;
  • Bench warrants;
  • Capias warrants for failing to appear in court;
  • Direct warrants filed by the State Attorney’s Office after a finding of probable cause;
  • Probation violation warrants; and
  • Extradition and fugitive warrants. 

Not every arrest warrant will go into the FDLE system. Law enforcement agents sometimes request paper arrest warrants that do not go into the warrant database right away.

Having a paper warrant gives the officer a chance to lawfully apprehend someone without another officer or agency serving the warrant.

Detectives who want to interview someone might use this tactic so that no other officer interferes with an investigation by arresting someone for a warrant without consulting the investigator.

Where Else Can You Look for a Warrant?

You have a couple of options. Many sheriff’s departments in Florida post warrant information on their websites. However, the information is county-specific.  

To obtain more accurate information, you may have to call or appear at the sheriff’s office to request warrant information.

But going to the sheriff’s office to ask about your warrant status could be dangerous. A deputy will arrest you on a warrant before you have a chance to go to court to clear it up.

Additionally, any statements you make to the sheriff’s office could be used against you in court.

Therefore, you should not speak to anyone about the underlying charge if you have a warrant.

Also, you should ask for an attorney if they begin to ask you questions about the case instead of routine booking questions. 

Calling your local court is a safer course of action. A court clerk should be able to tell you if you have a warrant from anywhere in the state.

The court should also be able to tell you why the warrant was issued and what court the warrant is from.

Calling the court is safer than calling the police because the court clerk will just give you the information you request. They cannot arrest you or interrogate you.

Also, they can give you information about how you can remove the warrant by going to court instead of jail.

How to Know If You Have A Warrant? Ask a Lawyer for Help

The Florida criminal defense attorneys with Moses & Rooth understand the court system in Florida.

As former prosecutors, we learned how the system works. Now, as extremely successful criminal defense lawyers, we work exclusively for you.

Call us now to allow us to help you with your warrant. We offer free consultations and can make appointments off-hours to suit your needs.

Author Photo

Andrew Moses

Andrew has been practicing criminal law his entire career. After graduating from law school he began working as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. During his time as an Assistant State Attorney, Andrew handled all types of cases ranging from misdemeanors to such serious felonies as drug trafficking and armed robbery. His experience as a prosecutor helped him gain perspective of the criminal justice system and how the government established its cases.

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