People can check if they have an outstanding warrant in Arizona by the following four ways:
1. Search court records online
A good place to start an online warrant search is with the Arizona Judicial Branch public access case search. It allows people to search by inputting names, birth months, birth years, and specific courts. Or, people can search by case number. This tool shows not only warrant information but also general criminal case information.
The Arizona Judicial Branch public access case search accesses records statewide from 177 of the state’s 184 courts. The few non-represented courts are listed below and linked to their own records search site (if they have one).
- Pima Consolidated Justice (Pima County)
- Pima County Superior (Pima County)
- Chandler Municipal (Maricopa County)
- Gilbert Municipal (Maricopa County)
- Justice of the Peace Courts (Maricopa County)
- Mesa Municipal (Maricopa County)
- Paradise Valley Municipal (Maricopa County)
- Tempe Municipal (Maricopa County)
If a search comes up empty, there is still a chance an arrest warrant or a bench warrant is outstanding. Sometimes the Arizona Judicial Branch public access case search returns incomplete results, or sometimes the person’s name is misspelled, or sometimes the records have not been updated yet with recent active warrants.
2. Search police records online
Try going to a local law enforcement agency’s website. The website may have an online warrant search. For instance, go to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office warrant search lookup here.
There are various public records searches available online, but it is best to stick with websites associated with a specific superior court, justice court, police department, or other government agency.
Disclaimer: It is usually not recommended that people call police officers to do a warrant search. They may use the opportunity to track the caller down and to get him/her to say something incriminating.
3. Call the Arizona Department of Public Safety
Call the Arizona DPS at 602-223-2233, and they will conduct a warrant search over the phone. They will need the person’s name and date of birth to conduct a search.
Note that people who believe they may have a felony warrant in Maricopa County can also call the Criminal Court Administration Information Desk at its phone number 602-506-8575 for a free warrant search. They will need the person’s name and date of birth to conduct a search. See more Maricopa County warrant and court information here.
4. Call a criminal defense attorney, who may be able to recall the warrant
People who suspect they may have an arrest warrant or a bench warrant are always advised to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The lawyer can conduct a thorough warrant search and immediately try to get the warrant recalled.
Arizona arrest warrants issue at the very beginning of the criminal case when police claim they have probable cause to believe the defendant committed a crime. If a person has an arrest warrant, a defense attorney may be able to orchestrate a “walk through” where the defendant surrenders at an agreed upon time and place and gets released on bail or O.R. right after booking.
Arizona bench warrants are issued by a judge whenever a defendant defies court orders. The most common reason for bench warrants is if a defendant fails to appear at a required court hearing. If a defendant has a bench warrant, a defense attorney can file a motion to quash the warrant and set the matter for a hearing. Most of the time, judges are willing to recall the warrant – and let the underlying criminal case proceed – as long as the defendant does not have a long history of missing court.
Anyone with an outstanding arrest- or bench warrant must be careful since they can be arrested at any time, especially during traffic stops. The best course of action is to consult with an attorney about how to get the warrant recalled as soon as possible.
See our related articles on search warrants and setting aside criminal records. (Criminal histories cannot be sealed in Arizona.)