1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

How can I find out if there is/was an arrest warrant for me

Discussion in 'Criminal Procedure, Criminal Court' started by Brian777, Jul 19, 2021.

Tags:
  1. Brian777

    Brian777 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Jurisdiction:
    California
    First, what I did I'm not saying was right. I knew it was illegal but did it anyway because I was desperate at the time. About three years I was receiving Food Stamps & General Relief (cash aid), totaling about $425 per month. I intentionally did not report that I was receiving $1000/month from a family member to pay my rent. The application forms are very clear that you must report ALL income. But I didn't, because I was afraid that it would lower my benefits if I reported the $1000. (even with full benefits, I was just barely keeping my head above water)

    My benefits lapsed and I went to reapply. That's when I got suspicious that they'd found out about the $1000/month (I believe they can access your bank records; you must disclose the name of your bank on the application. And they have an entire wall lined with mug shots of people convicted of welfare fraud).

    Some of the staff that I interacted with were acting VERY strangely, so much so that I simply left (more like fled) from the waiting area before meeting with a case worker (she came out and asked me to have my ID ready, which no worker had EVER done before. In addition to that, I saw a sheriff's deputy walk into the secure office where applicants meet with the case worker, wearing latex gloves, which I'd been told they do when about to arrest someone).

    My "Spidey senses" were shooting off fireworks, so I hightailed it out of there.

    Ever since, I've been really afraid to have any interactions with police.
    But I was in a minor car accident recently and might need to go to the police station to file a report. Aside from that I just want to deal with it one way or another so I don't have to live with the constant fear.

    I was told I could hire a lawyer to look into it for me. I'm TERRIFIED of being arrested (especially in a city like L.A. where I live). I've called one attorney but calls aren't returned, so I've been doing whatever I can think of to see if there's an outstanding warrant for my arrest. so far, I've:

    1) visited the courthouse and searched for my name on the "docket sheet" (per the advice of the lawyer's receptionist). The court clerk said nothing came up.

    2) Then I called the Public Defender's office to do the same; they searched my name and said there is no record of a warrant.

    3) I searched my name on the court's website under the "criminal" section and nothing came up.

    But I'm not convinced. So my questions are:

    1) Is there a chance that there WAS a warrant for my arrest, but it was deemed "low priority" after some time had passed and simply discarded or nullified? If so, would I be able to find out about it?

    2) How can I find out *definitively* if there is or ever was a warrant? What's the best way? Hire an attorney?

    My worst nightmare is that I get arrested upon going to the police station to make a report about the minor car accident. This is what I will do ANYTHING to avoid.

    I know there are laws and we must obey them and not feel that we're an exception to them. I just want to make it right and clear this up once and for all so it isn't hanging over my head. But again, I will do absolutely ANYTHING to avoid getting arrested (it happened once years ago, my license had been suspended by my home state which I was unaware of because I'd moved to another state; then I got pulled over in the new state for failing to use my turn signal. The officer saw the outstanding warrant and arrested me on the spot! I spent a night in Brooklyn jail and it was an AWFUL, degrading, humiliating experience).

    I just want to clear this up once and for all. I'll do whatever it takes to clear it up...but WITHOUT subjecting myself to the possibility of arrest.
     
  2. sandyeggo

    sandyeggo Member

    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    77
    Trophy Points:
    18
    What you want and what will happen are two different animals. You don't get to dictate what's going to happen to you after you've broken the law.
     
  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,976
    Likes Received:
    2,134
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I'm not even convinced that you broke the law. Did you report the rent as an "expense", even though you were receiving gifts to pay it?
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    9,575
    Likes Received:
    3,197
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Then you'll be running and hiding for the rest of your life.
     
  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,035
    Likes Received:
    1,190
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You don't have to walk into the police station to report the accident. The LA police have a web site where you may report, among other things, minor traffic collisions. You'll find that here:
    File A Police Report Online - Los Angeles Police Department

    You are required to report the accident to the police, so you don't want to compound your existing problems by failing to comply. And if the accident resulted in death, injury, OR property damage exceeding $1,000 you need to report that to the State DMV. The form for that is found here:
    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/file/report-of-traffic-accident-occurring-in-california-sr-1-pdf/


    Then consult a criminal defense attorney. If the benefits you were getting were from the federal government then you'd want a lawyer experienced in defending federal criminal charges, preferably with some experience in federal welfare fraud. If you have a warrant out for arrest, though, you'll at the very least need to appear at the court for setting bail and you'll likely have to be booked too. It's not going to be a fun experience, but believe me it's better if you arrange to do things in circumstances where you can at least have some control of events. If you get pulled over and the warrant is found, you'll be arrested on the spot and you won't have any control over how that goes.
     
    Brian777 likes this.
  6. Brian777

    Brian777 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Wow I bet you're a lot of fun at parties!
    Listen, I do get to control whether or not I voluntarily address it. I also get to control if I move out of the state.
    If you're going to attempt snark, you can at least answer the questions
     
  7. Brian777

    Brian777 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I did report my rent (nearly $1000), but here's what's weird about receiving cash aid (aka GR, or General Relief): the county says that it MUST go towards paying rent. But I found a document/memo online pertaining to the passing of the law for disbursing GR, which stated that GR is for any expenses and not exclusively tied to one's rent. So I felt like I had to "fudge" a little in order to qualify for it.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,976
    Likes Received:
    2,134
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Sorry - you may wish to speak to an attorney.
     
  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    34,066
    Likes Received:
    5,606
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You can go to your local police department, Highway Patrol Office, or sheriff's station/sub-station.

    An officer/deputy/trooper can conduct a search to see if a warrant for your arrest exists in CA.

    Assistance on locating and retaining an attorney:

    Finding a Lawyer - getting_started_selfhelp


    There are three ways a person in California can find out if he/she is subject to an outstanding arrest warrant.

    Noted below are the three ways:

    1 = Search the sheriff’s website or the court’s website for the county where you think an arrest warrant was issued.

    2 = Search the Superior Court of California’s website for free.
    HERE ===> Superior Courts - superior_courts .

    3 = Conduct a criminal background check on any of the websites that offer arrest warrant searches. Any search engine will produce dozens of such sites, but choose wisely so you don't get scammed.

    Okay, there is one more way to determine IF an arrest warrant exists.
    You can call any licensed bail bond agency.
    MOST such agencies will search to see if an arrest warrant exists, and if the warrant allows you to post bail.
    You don't run the risk of being arrested.
    You will receive accurate information upon which you can decide your next steps, as in getting your bail money together.
     
    Brian777 and justblue like this.
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    34,066
    Likes Received:
    5,606
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You might want to investigate these web sites.
    I am NOT recommending any website, just illustrating they are on the web.

    California Arrests

    In Orange County, a person can search the Orange County Sheriff’s Department website Arrest Warrants .

    If you're worried a bout an LA County warrant, here you go Los Angeles County CA Arrest Warrants Search - California Arrests .

    If a person suspects a warrant is active in San Diego County, he/she can search here San Diego County CA Arrest Warrants Search - California Arrests .

    California Superior Courts website warrant search requires:
    subject's full name,
    date of birth,
    driver’s license number,
    and/or a court case number.

    Find Your Court - superior_courts

    This CA site might also be educational:

    Public Records

    Finally:

    What to do when you have an Arrest Warrant
     
    Brian777 and justblue like this.
  11. Brian777

    Brian777 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thank you!
     
  12. Brian777

    Brian777 Law Topic Starter Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Wonderful, thank you! I've seen similar websites, but was hesitant to enter my credit card info even for the free trials. I'll get a prepaid (disposable) Visa card so I can do a free trial without worrying about being billed monthly and see what comes up.
     

Share This Page