Arrest Warrants: Do They Ever Expire or Go Away?
Does an Arrest Warrant Ever Expire?
No. That's the short answer anyway. There's no statute of limitations for arrest warrants. They don't automatically expire after a certain period of time. Sometimes, a record of an arrest warrant may disappear, but this isn't very common and it's not because the warrant expired.
Records of arrest warrants are kept in an index of criminal justice information called the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The NCIC is a computerized data base that is accessible to federal, state and local law enforcement authorities. (link below)
A state or jurisdiction might not renew a misdemeanor arrest warrant after a certain amount of time has passed. However, the vast majority of jurisdictions do. Aside from asking a police officer, one way to find out whether you still have an active arrest warrant is to run your name through one of the various online databases. Generally, a fee is required and I can't speak to how accurate the information is or how often these databases are updated, although many claim to be up-to-date.
If it's making you feel as though you're living life constantly looking over your shoulder, well, I'm not going to say, "Why don't you take care of it?" What I will say is that you probably shouldn't think that it's just going to *poof* go away. Because, generally speaking, it won't.
Now, just don't be mad at me, I'm only the messenger. :-)