do warrants show up on background checks

What Types of Warrants Show Up On A Background Check?

Last updated on April 20, 2021

An arrest warrant is an official document which is issued by a judge or magistrate which gives police authority to arrest or detain an individual or to search or seize goods from an individual’s property.

There are several different types of warrants that can be issued and these include: arrest warrant, bench warrant, witness warrant, surety warrant, and search warrant. In this article, we look at the different types of warrants issued and look at whether warrants show up on background checks. We will reveal the best background check services and talk about what information they reveal. Read on to discover more.

What Are The Different Types of Warrants?

Arrest Warrant

Signed by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the state, an arrest warrant authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual. The issuing judge must have probable cause for an arrest which is based on a sworn testimony or written statement (confirmed by oath) to be used in evidence for court. Arrest warrants aren’t specifically required to arrest an individual but if a police officer witnesses a crime or has probable cause that an individual has committed a crime they can request an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant needs to include: name of person to be arrested, the criminal offense they are accused of committing, probable causes used to obtain the warrant, time and place issued and signature from the judge or magistrate.

Bench Warrant

This type of warrant is issued from the “bench” (judge or court) and is issued against people who have failed to appear in court, held in contempt of court or failed to pay a fine. If the judge feels you have intentionally avoided court they will issue a bench warrant.

Witness Warrant

This type of warrant is issued for the arrest of a person who has failed to appear as a witness under subpoena. If you have been given a subpoena (a writ ordering a person to attend court) and failed to show then you will likely be issued a witness warrant, which gives police the power to arrest you.

Surety Warrant

If your surety (person who has promised to supervise you during your release) has applied through court to be removed as your surety, then you will be issued a surety warrant for your arrest.

Search Warrant

Like most warrants, a search warrant will differ from country to country and state to state. Generally speaking, a search warrant is a document issued by a magistrate or judge which gives the law enforcement authorization to conduct a search of a location, person or vehicle, in order to look for evidence of a crime.

Do Warrants Show Up On Background Checks?

Background checks used by law enforcement, individuals and private companies can show a wealth of personal information on their systems, but one of the most commonly asked questions that people want to know is whether they show warrants. Unfortunately, there is no blanket answer to this question as it depends on the type of search conducted and by the person conducting the search.

Here’s a little more information that may make this issue clearer:

How To Find Out If There Is A Warrant for Your Arrest

If you are trying to ascertain whether there is a warrant out for your address/someone else’s then you can call your local city, county or state offices to see if there is a warrant out under your/their name or address. Government websites will hold this information and so they are a go-to place to discover if you/ someone else you are checking is on their list. Official websites which can end in .gov usually have a search function enabling you to search this information freely. The good news is that this information will be up-to-date too. Internet searches are anonymous too.

So, to come back to our original question regarding background checks and warrants let’s look at the different types of background checks that can be performed and what can actually come up when you perform a background check.

Search Engine Background Check

It is possible to find this information via a thorough search engine check, but the problem with search engine checks is that they only tend to show surface-level information and unless you are familiar with in-depth research then you might find navigating around government websites tricky. You might also not be able to find access to such sites, which is why many people tend to get help from a third party background check company.

Professional Background Check

The difference between performing a background check yourself and paying for professional service is that professionals have more experience when it comes to searching for information and therefore know where to look. Warrants don’t always show up on standard criminal background checks as different states have different laws regarding warrant access. Also, it’s also worth noting that arrest warrants do not usually form part of a criminal record until the warrant has been executed.

Bench warrants suffer from the same fate and will not show up on a criminal record check, they will, however, show on a court record check and therefore usually show up on court record background checks. A professional background check service knows how to search and where to search and so it’s vital to choose a company that has specific experience when it comes to warrant background checks and the correct agencies to communicate with in order to find out the right type of information.

What To Do If You Have A Warrant In Your Name

The most essential thing to do if you have discovered that there’s a warrant in your name is to act fast. There may be many reasons why a judge has issued a warrant for your arrest and this can include failure to turn up to court, contempt of court or criminal activity. If you suspect there’s an outstanding warrant out for you then you should contact an attorney right away who will assist you through the legal process.

Top Background Check Companies To Check Warrants

When performing a professional background check it’s important to work with a company with an excellent reputation in order for you to get the best service. We have researched many background check services and found the best one:


Another highly recommended service, TruthFinder has a great reputation for delivering a highly efficient and accurate service. This is a flexible service which is good for customers who are wishing to run basic background checks, as well as those who are looking to perform more detailed searches, such as those looking for warrants. The service isn’t dissimilar to BeenVerified, in that it’s relatively simple to use and provides clear and easy-to-read reports. The type of information that TruthFinder can uncover ranges from aliases, possible relatives, contact information, social media profiles, current and past addresses, nearby sex offenders, arrest records, criminal records and traffic records. If you are looking for a more comprehensive report with detailed information then the “Premium” reports can contain information such as: weapon permits, bankruptcies, professional licenses, traffic accidents and more. One of the benefits of TruthFinder is that it has capabilities to run deep web searches, which means that it is more likely to find warrant information that may be held on government websites.

Usability is straightforward with TruthFinder and it works in the same way as many of its competitors. If you’re looking for warrants to show up on a background check then TruthFinder is likely to find information if it’s out there on the net. Running deep web searches, as well as searches on criminal records, court records, and reverse phone look-ups are performed in a similar way to the more basic kind of searches. The more information you have on the person that you are searching for, the better. So you are usually required to input at least a name and city.

TruthFinder is one of the most widely used background check services in America and with its range of fairly-priced subscription plans, alongside its robust checks, it’s easy to see why. Want to know more? Check out our review here.

Reasons Why You May Be Issued A Warrant

If you’ve actively committed a crime then you’re likely to have a hunch that there’ll be a warrant out for your arrest. Unfortunately, there are people out there that may have warrants out against them and not even realize this. Did you know if you miss a court date you can be issued with a warrant? Even petty crimes can land you with a warrant – for example, if you have a speeding ticket which you have failed to pay you can be issued with a warrant.

If you have any reason to suspect that there may be a warrant out in your name then the best thing you should do is to run a background check and search online in the first instance. Just note that this method isn’t 100% accurate as the information that the check finds may not be up-to-date but it’s a good way to start.

Conclusion To Do Background Checks Show Warrants

It’s easy to check warrants online by running a quick search engine check. The problem with this type of search is that it rarely brings up court reports and criminal records. The best way to obtain information regarding warrants is to use a professional background check company. The benefits to using a professional service are endless and for a relatively small fee, you can feel confident that if there is information to be found then these companies will trawl millions of websites and databases and find if there is any up-to-date information.

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