Many people think they would know if they had an arrest 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.
In this post, the criminal defense lawyers at Belén Law Firm discuss the various ways you can check for a warrant in Arizona, as well as general information about warrants. If you learn that you do, in fact, have an arrest warrant in Arizona, you need to act fast. Call top Phoenix criminal defense attorney Belén Olmedo Guerra right away to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options regarding your warrant.
Do I Have a Warrant in Arizona? How to Check
There are four ways to check if you have an outstanding warrant in Arizona. The best way to check for warrants in Arizona is through an online warrant search via the Public Court Information Database.
On the public court information database, you can perform a free warrant search with your first name, last 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 an arrest warrant in Arizona. The three alternatives involve speaking with another person directly via phone calls.
Alternative Methods of Checking For a Warrant in Arizona
The first alternative for an Arizona warrant search 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 directly. This can be either the sheriff’s office or local police officers. This might be necessary if an online warrant search isn’t possible due to the fact that your county or city that issues your warrant doesn’t publish or update information on 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 for your arrest.
There are private companies and websites that offer warrant searches, but often at a price. It isn’t necessary to pay for these services when there are free warrant search options at your disposal.
If you are having trouble tracking down information about a warrant in Arizona, it is best to contact an attorney.
Types of Warrants in Arizona
There are three types of arrest warrants in Arizona: a bench warrant, an arrest warrant, and a search warrant.
Arizona Active Bench Warrants
A judge will issue an active bench warrant when a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing. A bench warrant is common in child support cases, traffic court, and probation violations in Arizona.
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. These are much more serious than a bench warrant. A court will issue an arrest warrant after local law enforcement presents evidence that a suspect is guilty of a crime. You should not take these warrants lightly. If you have an arrest warrant in Arizona, contact the criminal defense lawyers at Belén Law Firm immediately.
Arizona Search Warrants
Courts can issue a search warrant based on probable cause that a person is guilty of a crime. A search warrant allows law enforcement to search and seize property.
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 unserved Orders of Protection.
There are some juvenile cases that online searches might display, but for the most part, juvenile cases in Arizona will also be unavailable for public safety reasons.
In addition, any charges stemming from local ordinance violations will not be available online.
Courts With a Separate Record Search Web Portal
There 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
How Long Do Warrants Remain In Effect?
There is no expiration date for a warrant in Arizona. They remain in effect indefinitely or 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 Arrest
When you discover that you have an arrest 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 you have a bench warrant and a court appearance is necessary, your attorney may be able to 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 Arrested
The 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.
Have A Warrant in Arizona? Contact Belén Olmedo Guerra
Belén Olmedo Guerra is a Phoenix Arizona criminal defense attorney with years of experience in court trials. If there is a warrant for your arrest in Arizona, call The Belén Law Firm at 602-715-0908. You can also fill out the form below to receive a confidential free initial consultation.