How to Find Out if You Have A Warrant in Nevada
As soon as those flashing lights appear in your rearview mirror, you know you’re about face a situation that will at best be inconvenient- but at worst be life-altering. Anytime you’re stopped by the police, they will run your ID, and they could find an outstanding warrant that you aren’t even aware of. When this occurs, what should have been a routine traffic stop can turn into a harrowing ordeal for both you and your loved ones, as you are arrested and taken into custody. And it doesn’t just happen with traffic stops- what if you are applying for a job, visiting a courthouse or detention center, and a surprise warrant turns up on your background check?
Don’t let these situations happen to you- understanding how warrants work, how to find out whether or not you have one, and the steps to take to avoid jail time if you do will help you be better prepared.
How can you have a warrant you don’t know about?
Most arrest warrants are issued without the knowledge of the subject, but as long as they are issued by a judge or magistrate, are based on probable cause, and have a physical description of you, they’re valid. Your lack of notification may be due to an address discrepancy, or, as in most cases of unknown warrants, the jurisdiction may just be too backed up to serve every warrant on file.
Unfortunately, lack of knowledge of a warrant isn’t a good enough reason for law enforcement to let you off. If a police officer finds a warrant on your record, they will be taking you into custody, whether you had prior knowledge of it or not.
Types of warrants
Knowing the type of warrant you’re facing will give you a better idea of what to expect, so here are some things to remember with different types of warrants:
- Bench warrant- A bench warrant is a court summons that typically occurs when a subject has failed to meet a legal obligation, like missing a scheduled court appearance, or failing to pay child support. In cases of bench warrants, officers aren’t required to actively search for the subject of the warrant, but they are required to arrest them if they come across them during the course of a traffic stop or other interaction while on duty.
- Arrest warrant- An arrest warrant is usually the result of a suspected criminal offense, and is typically issued without notice, so as not to alert the subject that they are a wanted person. An “outstanding” arrest warrant simply means that the subject has not yet been arrested. Police officers are actively on the lookout for those with outstanding arrest warrants.
How to find out if you have a warrant
To avoid the nightmare of a surprise arrest, it’s important to stay on top of your record and know if you have outstanding warrants. Here are the best ways to do that in our area.
- City of Las Vegas- The City of Las Vegas Marshal has a Warrant Search where you simply enter in your first and last name and your social security number, and any warrants for your arrest will show up. You can also search alphabetically by last name.
- Clark County, Nevada- The Clark County District Attorney website does not have a search feature like the Las Vegas site, but it does provide some contact numbers for municipal and justice courts in and around the Las Vegas area that you can call to check your warrant status.
- Nevada (state) and Federal- State and federal records are available to the public through a free public records search, using a service like FreeBackgroundCheck.org or SearchQuarry.com.
What to do if you are arrested
Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself in a sticky situation with an outstanding warrant- but the good news is that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to jail. Contacting a reputable bail bondsman like 8-Ball Bail Bonds to help you post bail can allow you to forgo jail time, giving you the chance to sort through your legal issues with the help of family and friends who can then assist you in securing a lawyer.
Check out our blog to find out more about the best ways to handle warrants and arrests.
8-Ball Bail Bonds is a fully licensed and insured bail bonds agency located in Las Vegas, Nevada. They offer 24-7 service for clients in need of assistance in stressful and oftentimes overwhelming situations. By tailoring services with each client’s individual needs, the highly knowledgeable and educated staff at 8-Ball Bail Bonds is able to provide exemplary and specialized customer service. For more information or to speak with a representative directly, feel free to contact us.