Have you ever found yourself wanting to find out if someone has a warrant out for their arrest? It might be more common than you think, with hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans in the same boat every single year. Fortunately, doing a Texas warrant search might be a little easier and more fruitful than you’d think. In fact, if you know the right way to go about getting this information you could end up with just what you’re looking for in a matter of minutes, sometimes even quicker depending on where you go.
Warrants are an important part of our criminal justice system here in the United States for a lot of reasons, and it’s only natural that one might want to check into someone else’s warrants for any number of reasons. Maybe you just want to make sure that cute Tinder date isn’t going to cause you a headache right off the bat, or maybe you want to keep an eye on your little cousin to make sure that they’re not getting themselves into too much trouble. Regardless of your reasoning, today we’re going to teach you what you can find on a warrant, what a warrant actually is, and how you can start looking for warrants for yourself!
Warrants: What are They Anyway?
You might be a little confused as to what exactly a warrant is. Hollywood doesn’t do a great job explaining the concept, mostly because Hollywood is more concerned with entertainment than being educational. Not that they should be concerned with realism, that’s not their job. In any case, there are a lot of misconceptions about warrants floating around so before we can dive into exactly what you can find on a warrant, let’s make sure that we all understand what a warrant is.
In the simplest terms possible, a warrant is an order signed by a judge or magistrate that allows for the arrest of a citizen. This is necessary because of the protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Just to be clear, an arrest is considered a seizure where the person being arrested is the thing that is being seized. Search warrants also exist, but those are a lot harder to find information about because law enforcement doesn’t have to provide that and, in most cases, if someone knows ahead of time that there is a search warrant out, they’ll just get rid of whatever contraband they might have been holding onto.
The reason for warrants is actually as old as the United States itself. Way back before the United States declared independence from Britain, it wasn’t uncommon for “general warrants” to be issued by the crown. General warrants provided broad authority for police to search and seize unspecified people by any means the police felt necessary. Early Americans did not like this, and we probably wouldn’t either, so the constitution set up checks and balances in the criminal justice system from the get-go.
Because of these protections that were put in place to prevent general warrants from being issued here in the United States, warrants have to be very specific and have to be approved by a judge or magistrate. Each state is able to dictate exactly what needs to go on a warrant with their own laws, but general warrants are illegal federally. That means that every single state needs to have its own rules about what goes on a warrant and when a warrant can be issued. They have to be for specific people and have enough cause for a warrant to be issued.
What Can Be Found on a Warrant
Now that we understand exactly what a warrant is, let’s take a look at what can be found on a warrant. You might be surprised at just how detailed warrants are and have to be. As we mentioned, every state has its own laws about when a warrant can be issued, where law enforcement is able to execute a warrant, and a lot more. With that in mind, we’re going to be looking at how warrants work in Texas for this article. If you want more information about other states it’s available online and can be found pretty easily.
In the state of Texas, a warrant can only be issued when a judge or magistrate is authorized by law to give the order to arrest a citizen, someone indicates to a judge or magistrate that another party has broken a law, or in any case on the law books in Texas that grants a judge or magistrate the legal right to authorize a warrant. This is important because without one of these three things a warrant cannot under any circumstances be issued. Judges and magistrates do not have the authority to put a warrant out for someone’s arrest for no reason.
There are specific details that need to be included on a warrant. This is important in Texas because warrants cannot be amended to correct mistakes. The warrant must contain the name of the offender if known, if the name is not known then it must contain a reasonable description of the person for which the warrant is being issued, an indication that the person is thought to have broken a law or laws and which law or laws are thought to be broken, and the name of the judge or magistrate’s office with their signature.
The placement of the name of the office is inconsequential so long as it is included in the warrant. It can be somewhere in the body of the warrant, at the header, with the signature, that doesn’t matter. The only important thing is that it is there because if any of these things are not on the warrant it can be considered invalid and thrown out entirely. That can destroy an entire case, especially if it’s a case for something serious enough that the defendant would consider fleeing the country.
Where to Find Warrants
Now to the fun part of the article. If you want to find warrants in Texas, you’re probably going to want to know how to do such a task. It’s just as easy as it is difficult, with the level of difficulty changing based on which method you decide to go with. We’re going to cover the two main methods that can be used for this search so that when you’re done here you can go and find someone’s warrants for yourself. The process can be pretty quick and painless, but it can also be a little tricky. Here’s why.
The first method we’re going to cover is the trickier method. It’s using the databases provided by your county law enforcement. This method can be incredibly easy if you only want information in your county and you just so happen to live in a county that provides this kind of database. Unfortunately, not every county does provide this kind of database and none of the databases that are available are connected. That makes this tricky if you aren’t so lucky and you need to check in multiple counties to be completely sure that the person in question doesn’t have any warrants at all in the state of Texas.
We weren’t able to find any sort of correlation between counties that don’t provide these kinds of databases or counties that do. The biggest theory is that a lot of counties don’t want to for any number of reasons. Some counties probably just see it as an unnecessary task that would waste resources, while other counties probably don’t have the resources to make it happen regardless of their desire to provide this information to the public. Even law enforcement has overhead they have to think about when deciding what they’re going to provide to the public.
There are many warrant search services that you can use, and these services are a golden ticket of sorts. They can find information from warrant databases that are difficult for the public to find and provide it to you, and you can even find warrant search services that specifically search throughout the state of Texas if that’s what you want. This method makes things a lot easier and because they provide instant results, you don’t have to worry too much about it taking a lot of time to get the information that you’re looking for.
Texas Warrants and You
Warrants might feel like a big, intimidating topic, but fortunately, there’s a lot of information available about them to make everything feel a little less intimidating. Lots of people look into warrant information both for themselves and for the people in their lives for a variety of reasons, so even if you don’t plan on doing this kind of search right now it’s a good tool to have in your back pocket for a rainy day. Hopefully you never have a need to look into warrants, but if you ever do, now you know exactly how to do it and what to expect to find on the actual warrant.