Do I Have a Warrant in Arizona? How to Check
Many people think they would know if they had a warrant in Arizona. This is not always the case. Arizona residents may have warrants for their arrest over something as small as a forgotten traffic ticket. Small matters can quickly become very serious if you are unaware that you have a warrant.
Check for a Warrant in the Public Court Information DatabaseThis is the best way to check for warrants in Arizona.
On the public court information database, you can perform a search with your last name, though it helps to include your first name and date of birth.
If you have access to the information, you can also search by case number and issuing court.
This is the only online method of checking for a warrant in Arizona. The three alternatives involve phone calls.
Alternative Methods of Checking For a Warrant in ArizonaThe first alternative is to call the Criminal Court Administration Information Desk. You can reach them at 602.506.8575.
If the Information Desk can’t help you, your next step is to call the Arizona Department of Public Safety at 602.223.2233.
The final alternative is to speak with local law enforcement. This can be either the sheriff’s office or local police. This might be necessary if the county or city that issues your warrant doesn’t publish information to the public court information database.
It is also possible to speak to local law enforcement in person. But it is usually best to do this over the phone if you want to avoid police arresting you, assuming that you do have a warrant out.
There are private companies and websites that offer warrant searches. But it isn’t necessary to pay for these services when there are free options at your disposal.
If you are having trouble tracking down information about a warrant in Arizona, it is best to contact an attorney.
Are Any Warrants in Arizona Excluded From an Online Public Records Search?There are several types of cases not included in public records searches for warrants in Arizona.
For instance, public database searches will exclude probate cases, mental health cases, witness data, and any cases with un-served Orders of Protection.
There are some juvenile cases that online searches might display, but for the most part, juvenile cases will be unavailable.
Any charges stemming from local ordinance violations will not be available online.
Courts With a Separate Record Search Web PortalThere are a number of courts that maintain their own web portal for public records of warrants in Arizona. These include:
The Arizona Supreme Court
The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 1 and Division 2
Chandler Municipal Court (non-delinquent cases)
Gilbert Municipal Court
The Maricopa County Justice of the Peace Courts (non-delinquent cases)
The Maricopa Superior Court (non-criminal cases)
Mesa Municipal Court
Paradise Valley Municipal Court
Tempe Municipal Court
The Pima Consolidated Justice Court (non-delinquent cases)
The Pima County Superior Court
Types of Warrants in ArizonaThere are three types of arrest warrants in Arizona: bench warrants, arrest warrants, and search warrants.
Arizona Bench Warrants
A judge will issue a bench warrant when a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled hearing. These are common in child support cases, traffic court, and probation violations.
The goal of a bench warrant is to compel the defendant to appear in court. The defendant can either appear voluntarily or local police can arrest them and bring them before the court.
Arizona Arrest Warrants
Arrest warrants are also sometimes called criminal warrants. A court will issue an arrest warrant after law enforcement presents evidence that a suspect is guilty of a crime. Criminal arrest warrants are much more serious than bench warrants. You should not take these warrants lightly, and if you have an arrest warrant in Arizona, you should contact an attorney immediately.
Arizona Search Warrants
Courts can issue search warrants based on probable cause that a person is guilty of a crime. Search warrants allow law enforcement to search and seize property.
How Long Do Warrants Remain In Effect?There is no expiration date for a warrant in Arizona. They remain in effect until law enforcement arrests the defendant or the defendant turns themselves in.
Only the court that issued a warrant can resolve, cancel, or “quash” it.
What To Do If You Discover That You Have a Warrant for Your ArrestWhen you discover that you have a warrant in Arizona, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Once you have legal representation, your attorney can check the facts of your warrant. If a court appearance is necessary, your attorney could possibly appear in court on your behalf so that law enforcement will not arrest you.
With criminal arrest warrants, sometimes an arrest is unavoidable. Even if you are innocent of the crime the courts have accused you of, you may still need to turn yourself in to prove your innocence in court.
The good news is that an experienced criminal defense attorney can work with the courts and law enforcement ahead of time to minimize the impact of your arrest.
What To Do If You Get ArrestedThe ideal situation is that you obtain legal representation before voluntarily turning yourself in. Your attorney can ensure that everything is in order and prepare you for the arrest, interrogation, and court appearance.
If the police catch you before you can speak to an attorney, remember:
Don’t provide any information other than your name and address
Don’t offer an alibi, excuse, story, or explanation to the police. Leave the defense to your attorney. The police can use everything you say against you.
Ask to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Refrain from reaching a deal or agreement with the police before speaking with an attorney.