Best Way to Check for Arizona Warrants
The easiest option is to search the state’s public court information database online.
You can perform a simple search with just your last name, though it helps to include your first name, date of birth, and the issuing court.
You can also perform a search based on the case number and issuing court, if you have access to that information.
The other three options to search for warrants in Arizona involve picking up the phone.
First, try calling the Criminal Court Administration Information Desk at 602 – 506 – 8575.
If they can’t help you, call the Arizona Department of Public Safety at 602 – 223 – 2233.
The fourth and final option is to speak with local law enforcement, either with the Sherriff’s office or local police.
This may be necessary if your warrant is issued in a county or city that doesn’t publish court information to the state’s public court information database.
You can also do this in person, though it’s usually best to speak with local law enforcement by phone if you want to avoid being arrested on the spot.
There are some private companies and websites that offer warrant searches, but these are an unnecessary expense when you can get the information on your own for free.
If you’re having any trouble tracking down warrant information, it’s better to speak with an attorney who can check the court records and give you detailed information.
Are Any Cases Excluded From an Online Public Records Search?
You shouldn’t have any issues finding information on warrants using the online public records database, but there are several types of cases that will be excluded from search results.
These include probate cases, mental health cases, sealed cases, witness data, victim data, and any cases with Orders of Protection that have yet to be served.
Some juvenile cases may be displayed online (such as traffic cases), but juvenile delinquency/incorrigible case information is unavailable online.
Finally, any charges stemming from local ordinance violations are not included online.
Courts With a Separate Record Search Web Portal
There are a number of courts that maintain their own web portal for public records. These include:
- The Arizona Supreme Court
- The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 1
- The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division 2
- The Chandler Municipal Court (non-delinquent cases)
- The Gilbert Municipal Court
- The Maricopa County Justice of the Peace Courts (non-delinquent cases)
- The Maricopa Superior Court (non-criminal cases)
- The Mesa Municipal Court
- The Paradise Valley Municipal Court
- The Tempe Municipal Court
- The Pima Consolidated Justice Court (non-delinquent cases)
- The Pima County Superior Court
Types of Warrants Issued in Arizona
There are three types of arrest warrants that are commonly issued in Arizona:
- Bench warrants – a judge will issue a bench warrant when a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing. These are commonly used in child support cases, traffic court, and probation violations. The goal of a bench warrant is to compel the defendant to appear in court, either by appearing voluntarily or by allowing local police to arrest and detain the defendant until they can be brought to court.
- Arrest warrants – sometimes referred to as criminal warrants, an arrest warrant is typically issued when law enforcement presents evidence to the court that a suspect is guilty of a crime. Criminal arrest warrants are significantly more serious than bench warrants, and should never be taken lightly.
- Search warrants – a search warrant may be issued by the court based on probable cause, and it allows law enforcement to search and seize property.
How Long Do Warrants Remain in Effect?
Warrants in Arizona do not have an expiration date.
They remain in effect indefinitely until the defendant is arrested or voluntarily turns themselves in.
A warrant can only be resolved, cancelled, or “quashed” by the court that originally issued the warrant.
What to Do if You Discover That You Have a Warrant for Your Arrest
If you discover that there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Once you retain legal representation, the attorney can confirm the facts of your warrant and file a motion to quash or resolve the warrant.
If a court appearance is necessary, the attorney may be able to appear in court on your behalf so that you can avoid getting arrested.
In some cases—notably when you have a criminal arrest warrant—your arrest may be unavoidable.
Even if the charges against you are false, you may still need to turn yourself in until you can prove your case in court.
The good news, however, is that an experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to work with law enforcement and the court ahead of time to minimize the impact of your arrest, and to arrange for your release on bail as soon as possible.
If you’re lucky the judge may even be willing to release you on your own recognizance, without having to pay bail.
You’ll still be required to appear in court for hearings and comply with any court orders, but at least you won’t have to wait in jail.
What to Do if You Get Arrested
As long as you meet with an attorney before voluntarily turning yourself in, your attorney will ensure you are prepared for the arrest, interrogation, and/or court appearance.
If you get caught by police before you have a chance to speak with an attorney, there are four important things to remember:
- Don’t provide any information besides your name and address
- Don’t offer an alibi, excuse, story, or explanation to the police (you can present a solid defense later with the help of your attorney)
- Ask to speak with an attorney as soon as possible
- Refrain from reaching a deal or agreement with the police or the prosecutor until you’ve spoken with an attorney
Can You Get Arrested for an Out-of-State Warrant?
If you have a state or federal arrest warrant, you can be arrested in Arizona and extradited to the state that issued the warrant.
Bench warrants aren’t always shared with other states, and they may not even be enforced outside of the city or county that issued the bench warrant.
That said, there’s always a credible risk that you will be arrested for any outstanding warrant, so it’s best to be proactive and work with an attorney to resolve your warrant before you are arrested.
Need Help Clearing Up a Warrant in Arizona?
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, contact the defense team at JacksonWhite.
Our experienced attorneys have helped hundreds of clients successfully deal with warrants and other charges, and we’re here to help you next.
Our team, led by attorney Jeremy Geigle, can explore your legal options and offer the counsel you need to get the fresh start you deserve.
Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.