Criminal Defense

Arrest Warrants

What is an Arrest Warrant?

Arrest warrants are issued by judges when a person is wanted by the police for the commission of a serious crime. Arrest warrants can also be issued when a defendant in a criminal case fails to appear at a set court date. There is also a special civil arrest warrant that a judge can issue if a person is delinquent in the payment of their child support obligations.

The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) staff probably will not check to see if you have any active arrest warrants if you are just going there simply to get state ID card. But you never know. There is no regulation against DOL employees running criminal history reports or watch reports. It is certainly true that the Driver’s License Database in our state certainly is linked to the state’s arrest warrant lists and databases. While DOL employees are not cops and cannot arrest you on a warrant, they can summons police officers to the DOL office who can come to that location and make an arrest.

How Can I Find Out if I have an Arrest Warrant?

If you think you have an arrest warrant, you can also call the non-emergency phone number for your local sheriff’s office or police department. You will have to give your name and date of birth. If you desire a lot of privacy, then you should call only from a public pay phone. The police should be able to tell you if you have any active warrants. Ask when the warrant was issued, in which court, and if a bail has been set. Another effective way to get similar information is to go on line and order a watch report from the Washington State Patrol. There is a fee for ordering this report.

The best course of action is rather than worry about who is going to run your name, is to get an attorney to help you clear your warrant. Clearing the warrant will require you appearing in court; having an attorney there who can provide an explanation to the court as to why you got the warrant, goes a long way.