Do I Have an Outstanding Warrant in Florida?

 

No one knows for sure how many outstanding warrants are out there. What we do know is that unserved warrants keep piling up in every State. Most are for minor offenses but hundreds of thousands of those warrants are for people wanted for serious crimes.

People ask this all the time. How can I find out if I have a warrant for my arrest ? If you have to ask, you probably have a pretty good idea that somewhere along the way you did something wrong and a warrant is possibly awaiting you right around the corner.

Reasons for issuing warrants

 

While you will be arrested immediately if caught red handed committing a crime, there are three other reasons why an arrest warrant might be issued by a judge.

1. You missed a previously scheduled court appearance.

2. A citizen has filed a complaint of a crime having taken place, followed by an investigation by the sheriffs office or police department and found to have probable cause that the crime was committed by you.

3. Violating a previous court order such as probation, pretrial services or an injunction.

Remedies

 

The following are remedies you can take to cure the problem. Taking care of the warrant is the smartest and most logical thing to do. Based on the circumstance, here is what you should do.

An oversight or confusion about a court date resulting in a failure to appear for a traffic violation or any criminal offense is sufficient for a judge to sign a failure to appear warrant. In this case, at least in Florida, as long as you can make it to court and speak to a clerk before the court day is over, they will recall the warrant and issue another court date.

Realizing a scheduled court date for a traffic violation or any other criminal offense was missed after the particular court date day has come and gone, and without having recourse to reschedule, you are correct in concerning yourself. A warrant most likely has been issued. For some jurisdictions if the crime is a misdemeanor and the date you failed to show up happened to be the arraignment date, you can usually get it rescheduled. Regardless, oversights do happen, you may want to call the clerks office as soon as possible and see it there is any possibility of rescheduling the missed appearance. More likely than not you might have to either hire a criminal attorney to try to have your warrant set aside and request a new court date on your behalf or turn yourself in to the sheriffs office so that they may serve the warrant upon you, and have it removed from the computer system. At this point you will be assigned a new hearing date or one will be mailed to your home.

If the arrest warrant is in direct result of a court violation you will need to surrrender yourself to the sheriffs office or wait to be picked up. Either way you will be taken in front of the magistrate if there is no bail set or you may bond if bail is available.

Bonnie & Clyde-famous fugitives
Bonnie & Clyde-famous fugitives

Running from the Law

If you have intentionally missed court and still have no intentions of taking care of your problem then the warrant will sit indefinitely until eventually it is served upon you. There is no statute of limitation so no, it will not go away after a while.

Signed Warrants

When warrants are signed they are specific as to where they can be served. For instance a warrant might specify for the defendant to be picked up only within the state of Florida, or within local jurisdiction, or anywhere where the defendant may be found.

Misdemeanor warrants are entered normally into the state law enforcement system only. Felony warrants are entered into NCIC which is a national crime information center system utilized by all law enforcement divisions in every State. This is not to say that a misdemeanor warrant cannot be requested to be entered into NCIC especially if the individual is really wanted. It really depends on different factors. I’m sure we can all agree that it is not cost effective to bring someone from California back to Florida for a petty theft, DUI or traffic violation charge.

While you may temporarily avoid getting arrested by fleeing to another jurisdiction, the warrant remains active, an you risk the chance of being detained upon return to the state or jurisdiction of the offense. For a felony, if found anywhere within the continental United States, you will be detained and transported to the nearest facility. From there the State where the offense was committed will be notified and pending their response you may be extradited back to the original State. The length of time you sit incarcerated in a different States facility awaiting transportation back can be lengthy. Sooner or later, the law will catch up.

When warrants are issued an investigation has already been conducted. Determination by the states attorneys office that there is a probability that a certain individual committed a crime is enough to present to a judge for signature. The actual arrest warrant order comes from the judge and for the most part a bail amount has already been set. In no way does this mean you are guilty of the charge. Here in the USA we are considered innocent until proven guilty.

Sometimes for missed appearances you will be notified by mail that you have an active arrest warrant pending. Most of the time law enforcement officers will show up at your house to try to serve it. It is in your best interest if you are made aware of a possible warrant to contact the sheriffs department and arrange to turn yourself in thereby preventing the possibility of being arrested at your place of work, during a routine traffic stop, in front of family or at a more inconvenient time.

Warrant Check

Searches for outstanding warrants are available online by both county and state, free of charge. For particular counties in Florida you can find this out via the sheriffs or clerk websites for each individual county. Some great Florida County Warrant Check Websites are below just enter your name and often times a birth date may be required to find out.

Monroe

Lee

Collier

Hillsborough

Polk

Hernando

Putnam

Alachua

Marion

St Johns

Not all counties are available as some counties will not release information to the public unless you somehow involved with law enforcement but you can always search the Florida warrants website at Florida Department of Law Enforcement. See FDLE Wanted Persons Search. There is a possibility that a warrant has been signed but not in the system immediately. The process of entering warrants in databases can sometimes take up to three weeks or slightly more.

I also find the FBI Most Wanted and the US Marshall sites informational and interesting.

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Comments 33 comments

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you for a very valuable hub on outstanding warrants,Thanks for sharing. I appreciate you. creativeone59


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Thanks Creativeone59 for taking the time to comment. You're such an agreeable fan :)


Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 6 years ago

Interesting hub!


Janet 6 years ago

If yu have a warrant..can you get bail


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Janet

Most warrants already have a set bond. In the event it does not, you normally go before a judge the following day and you may request bail then. Thanks for reading.


nunupearl profile image

nunupearl 6 years ago

Thanks for the info.I did not realize how serious it was to miss a court appearance.You live and learn .Will pass this along.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

Hi nunupearl -

Definitely could complicate matters if you miss court.

You are certainly welcome. Thanks for stopping by.


bountyhunter_ga profile image

bountyhunter_ga 6 years ago from Dwasonville,Ga

Very nice , you girls have it going on.Neat stuff without all the drama that I hear from the left,keep up the work from a life long cop


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

BountyHunter_ga

Thank you for validating our work. You've done an amazing job and service as well. Thanks for stopping in.


aguasilver profile image

aguasilver 6 years ago from Malaga, Spain

We just don't have that sort of thing for petty offences in Europe of the UK.

If you miss a court appearance in the UK, the case is proven automatically to the prosecutors.

In Europe (I live in Spain) nobody will do anything unless you are recognised as a pain in the butt, when the Guardia Civil (which could be an oxymoron) will jump all over your butt and stomp you into the ground.

Normally small stuff just 'goes away' because although we have only 45 million folk in Spain (same size as Oregon) we also don't have too much desire to give hassle to anybody but the bad guys.

80% of traffic fines are never paid. (so they just issue four times as many as they need to balance the books)


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

aguasilver-

Thanks for reading and commenting. I know what you are saying. I suppose that's one of the reasons people run from here and hide over there. Noone there looks for them.


mpurcell10 profile image

mpurcell10 6 years ago from Arkansas

Great hub! I've watched dog the bounty hunter and thought that would be cool but realize that it's tv not real life.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

I've watched every episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter too. It is TV but the pickups are of real life fugitives. Thanks for the comment.


rls8994 profile image

rls8994 6 years ago from Mississippi

great hub. A lot of good information!


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 6 years ago Author

rls8994

glad you found it useful. I like looking up who has warrants just for fun. I know its a bit sick but a career habit.


ColinNC profile image

ColinNC 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Great hub, thanks!


bluedutchie 4 years ago

where do i go to see if there is a warrant issued for me


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

bluedutchie

if your concern is in Florida - go to the FDLE website on the left hand side go to wanted and input your name


darien 4 years ago

i have a 3rd dui with damage property warant in florida and im at europe and i want to come back if i got to south carolina would the arrest me and take me to florida ??????????????????????????????????


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

darien

3rd Florida DUI Offense is a Third Degree Felony (If Within 10 Years). Felonies are extraditable within the states. If you get stopped in South Carolina more than likely you will be returned to Florida.


TMcG 4 years ago

A friend did not pay a moving violation ticket a few years ago and he JUST found out he has a warrant for his arrest in Florida. He lives in Canada. Who can he contact to resolve this in Monroe County?


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

If the warrant has already been issued he would have to turn himself in to get a new court date. He could contact Monroe County Bail Bonds to verify the warrant and offer help with the surrender and bail or to find out if hiring an attorney to file a motion to quash the warrant is an option. All cases are slightly different so I suggest to make the call so we can check into the circumstances of his particular case. Hope this helps.


yourlaw 4 years ago

Anyone who turns themselves in is a fool!! Contact a lawyer and have them handle it. I know this comment will bring a lot of negative remarks, but hiding out until a lawyer can file a motion stop the warrant and get a new court date, is far better than sitting in jail waiting. I never received notice of my court date and neither did my bail bond company. Not my fault, but I'm the one in the long run who would have lost my freedom because of the court error. That's our wonderful Florida tax payments at work, too cheap to send notices with a signature verification.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

your law

I'm glad it turned out well for you by hiring an attorney. There are some situations like yours when a judge will quash a warrant and issue a new court date but there has to be good reason for it as in your particular case. Your attorney was able to prove lack of sufficient notice, another reason would be if you were hospitalized or in jail elsewhere.

Judges have a pretty good idea when your and your attorneys excuse is legitimate and when you are trying to skirt the system. In your case it worked but it doesn't work out this way for the majority with warrants out there.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to post your comment.


ughhhhh123 4 years ago

I am 19, I was stopped by an officer and was told I was "street racing". Well, I have been going to court for this for almost a year now. Switching attorneys and everything. It's been a huge mess, I haven't missed ANY days for my court appearance in the past and I have a clean record and have not been in trouble for anything. I missed a court day on the 1st that I had no CLUE about it and today my mom looked on the website to see if i was given a date or something and she saw I have a warrant out for me since the first of February. So it's only been 8 days. I am going to court tomorrow with my attorney. Do you know if I will be arrested or not? I have been going through so much with this case, I have extreme anxiety and suffer from panic attacks. Any heads up or advice? It would be VERY appreciated. Thank you!


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

Ughhhhh

If you have made all your other court dates timely and have not missed any, it is possible that someone dropped the ball and failed to give you and/or your attorney proper notice. If that is the case I doubt they will arrest you. The judge can quash the warrant at your next hearing and continue with the proceedings. I would however double check with the clerk to make sure they have your most current address.

Normally when you look up the warrants it tells you what it's for. If it's for failure to appear then you should be fine as it probably was an error.


Unsuccessful Joe 4 years ago

In June of 2011, I got my first ticket for driving with no insurance in Dade County, and I had lost my job, and was homeless[living in my car] because I was trying to work fixing computers to have money for gas and food. I ended up getting a second ticket for the same issue 2 weeks later, and due to God's grace was not arrested on the spot as I was transporting a federal agent to his worksite. I have a warrant for FTA for the 1st ticket, but I cannot afford an atty, or even pay the costs I incurred. I want to clear my name but I can't even drive a car anymore since I sold my car to leave Florida to take care of my family. I am NOT a criminal, I am a victim because the company I was working for fired me for no work for me. I really need help, I don't want to continue to look over my shoulder everywhere I go now.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

Unsuccessful Joe

I'm real sorry to hear about your troubles. This is exactly why some people get caught up in the system. You lose your job, all of a sudden can't pay bills including required ones like auto insurance and before you know it the law is after you. In your case this traffic citation is inconvenient and if you plan to return to Florida you need to take care of it. It does not however make you a criminal. To clear it, pay it when you get a chance and call the clerk to see if anything else is required of you. After payment chances are they dismiss it.


david 4 years ago

I have some legal problems in America due to some people I was involved with. I want to go to Canada, would this come up when going through the airport?


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 4 years ago Author

David

I would need more information to accurately answer your question but I would venture to say probably not unless you are on the FBIs most wanted Or watch list.


David 4 years ago

I cannot imagine I am, but how do I check the watch list?


giovanni 4 years ago

hey i was stop the other day and told that i wuz street racing wich i wasent so i went to court and i told the judge that i am not guilty so no i got another court date wut you think they going to do to me


Suzi 3 years ago

Innocent until proven guilty, NOT the case in the majority of Georgia. Old time, backwoods, hillbilly thinking, if you know the sheriff or judge, you have it made. Very dangerous state to go to court. CAREFUL everyone!

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