What Is an Open Arrest?

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    • An arrest warrant is an order by a judge used by law enforcement officials to arrest a person charged with a crime and bring them to jail.

    Checking Open Warrants

    • There is no centralized database available to the public to check open arrest warrants. The National Crime Information Center is a index hosted by the FBI to help coordinate warrants nationwide, but it is only accessible by law enforcement officials. Many states and cities, however, are starting programs on their Web sites to check. For example, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement System will allow you to look up outstanding warrants.


    • An arrest warrant must specify the name of the person being arrested or a description of the person, name the offense the person is accused of committing and be signed by the judge. Before the warrant is issued, a district attorney, police officer or alleged victim must have already given a sworn statement that the person to be arrested allegedly committed a crime.


    • Any official paperwork or actions that you take involving the government could leave you flagged if you have an open arrest warrant. Examples include applying for a passport or even flying, although it can depend how badly you are wanted.


    • If you have an open arrest warrant, seek legal counsel. An attorney can be extremely helpful in helping you deal with any warrant, even if you feel the warrant is unjustified.

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