The Facts You Should Know About Arrest Warrants

If you have an arrest warrant in your name, you risk being arrested at anytime and any place, especially if you come into contact with the law for any other reason. They will look up your background record and find out instantly if you have any warrants against you. Then, it's too late. You will be taken into custody and forced to answer to the charges you've been accused of. Throughout the United States there are thousands of outstanding arrest warrants that haven't been served or resolved on an ongoing basis. Because of the way our legal system works, arrest warrants are not always served immediately by law enforcement officials. If you do have an outstanding warrant your chances of being arrested increase with time especially if you engage in other unlawful acts.

Do arrest warrants expire?
The answer to that question is no. Arrest Warrants do not expire and stay on your personal file until you pay the fine or appear in court to resolve the case. That's why it's important to know if you have a warrant in your name to avoid being arrested unexpectedly or being turned down for employment because you have a criminal record.

I have an arrest warrant. Will it show up on a background check?
Yes. All outstanding warrants will show up on a background check. There are many reasons why a background check might be requested - applying for a job, security clearance, criminal trials, a run in with the law, renewing your driver's license, etc. If you have an outstanding warrant it could hurt your working career, take away your driving privileges or end up in a surprise arrest. If you want to know what's on your background report you can use to run a full background check on you or any other U.S. citizen.

What is a valid arrest warrant?
A valid arrest warrant is one that abides by certain guidelines in order for the police to make a lawful arrest. Law enforcement must have probable cause for an arrest and an arrest warrant in the name of the person they feel is guilty of the crime committed. A valid arrest warrant is one that contains adequate evidence of probable cause and is issued by a neutral judge. It must NOT be based on false evidence and must clearly identify the person in question or describe the person to be arrested if the name isn't known. These requirements came from legislation set forth in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protect the rights of all citizens even those accused of a crime.

What is probable cause?
Probable cause must show as clear as possible that it's very likely the person named was involved in the criminal activity that took place. Probable cause must be based on factual evidence not circumstantial information or undocumented witness testimony. Suspicious behavior is usually not enough to prove probable cause. One of the ways probable cause is justified is by the police catching someone in the action of committing a crime or through statements provided by witnesses and victims. Witness testimony will then be broken down for validity. There are some sources that need to be supplemented by valid confirmation, while other evidence is sufficient enough to stand on it's own. A judge will take all information into consideration and decide whether or not there is enough evidence for an arrest warrant to be issued.
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