Free FDLE Warrant Search
You can search for an outstanding arrest warrant for free on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) website using the Florida Criminal Information Center (FCIC) Public Records Search Page.
Searching the FDLE website for an arrest warrant is always free, although not all outstanding warrants are immediately listed.
The information on “wanted persons” is reported to FDLE by law enforcement agencies throughout the state. To conduct the search inquiry, use the subject’s first name, last name, nickname, race, sex, and/or date of birth.
The FDLE’s free searchable database contains information on active warrants throughout Florida. The information on the FCIC Public Records Search Page is updated every 24 hours.
Click here for the FDLE Warrant Search
If the warrant is not listed on the FDLE site, go to the county’s sheriff’s office website where the crime allegedly occurred.
The sheriff’s office in each county usually maintains an online database with search features. So if you know the county where the warrant originated, search the sheriff’s office website to find the warrant there.
Finally, you might find information about a warrant on the clerk of court’s website, especially for a probation violation or capias issued after a failure to appear in court.
The arrest warrant might exist even if it is NOT listed on any of these websites.
For example, the law enforcement officer might hold the warrant (sometimes called the “pocket warrant”) before entering it into the system. A criminal defense attorney can contact the investigating officer to present your side of the story and request that the warrant is not entered into the system pending further investigation.
In some cases, the prosecutor with the state attorney’s office might assist in helping to get the warrant withdrawn, especially in a case of mistaken identity or when false accusations were made.
We can help you determine if you have an outstanding warrant in Florida for free. If we find the warrant during the initial consultation, our criminal defense attorneys can help you determine the best way to resolve the warrant and the underlying charge.
Attorneys Help Resolve Warrants in the FDLE Database
If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest in Florida, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL, for help.
We can help you verify that the arrest or bench warrant information is accurate by contacting the local law enforcement agency.
After we confirm the existence of the warrant, we can help you develop the best plan of action to resolve the warrant on the best possible terms.
We also represent clients facing extradition to or from Florida on a felony warrant. In some cases, it might be possible to avoid the lengthy and expensive extradition process, especially if the warrant is particularly old or relates to a violation of probation case.
If you avoid a conviction on the underlying charges, you might become eligible to seal or expunge the criminal history record after the warrant is resolved.
Our main office is in downtown Tampa, FL, in Hillsborough County. We have additional offices conveniently located in New Port Richey in Pasco County, and Clearwater in Pinellas County, FL. Our attorneys fight cases throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.
Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.
Types of Warrants on FDLE’s Search Feature
The FDLE searchable database shows information about different types of warrants for “wanted persons” including:
- an outstanding criminal arrest warrant;
- failure to appear (FTA) capias;
- bench warrant;
- direct capias in the form of a writ prepared by the Clerk of Circuit Court;
- direct file arrest warrant issued by the State Attorney’s Office with a finding of probable cause;
- fugitive or extradition warrant; or
- violation of probation warrant.
A bench warrant can be issued after the failure to appear in court. After the bench warrant is entered into the system by the clerk’s office, it will appear on the FDLE website.
Other Places the Warrant Might be Found
Although the FDLE warrant search feature might be one of the best ways to find an arrest warrant in Florida, you should also look at the search feature used by the law enforcement agency involved in the case.
For example, each Florida sheriff’s office website has a feature to search for a warrant. The warrant search feature for each sheriff’s office in the Tampa Bay area is listed below:
- Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office – Warrant Inquiry;
- Hernando County Sheriff’s Office – Local Warrants Report;
- Pasco County Sheriff’s Office – Active Warrant Search;
- Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office – Warrant Search;
- Polk County Sheriff’s Office – Warrants Inquiry.
You should also look at the clerk of court website to determine if the warrant was filed with the court. Warrants often appear on the clerk’s or the agency’s website before they appear on the FDLE website.
Florida’s Judicial Inquiry System (JIS)
The Judicial Inquiry System (JIS) gives the courts, the judiciary, and other authorized agencies access to multiple criminal justice data sources. The Office of the State Courts Administrator manages the single-entry application system.
JIS is used to query information from multiple data sources (state, local, federal), including:
- National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – Out-of-state arrest and disposition information and NCIC Out-of-State Driver License history information with simultaneous search up to 5 states;
- Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC) – Florida arrest, disposition information, and rap sheet;
- Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV) – Florida driver, vehicle, and vessel information, including photos and signatures (DAVID = Driver and Vehicle Information Database);
- Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) – Florida DJJ juvenile arrest, probation, incarceration, and disposition information, and photos;
- Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) – Florida DOC supervised, incarcerated, absconded, and released inmate information and photos;
- Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers Comprehensive Case Information System (CCIS) – Florida Clerk of Court case information for all case types; and
- APPRISS – Jail booking information and images throughout Florida and other states.
The system creates user role-based profiles for judges, case managers, state attorneys, public defenders, and sheriffs.
How Records / Warrants Technicians Used FCIC
A records warrants technician working for the clerk’s office or a law enforcement agency will use or interface with the FDLE’s FCIC system to perform many of the following tasks:
- entering original warrants, including felonies, misdemeanors, traffic capias, juvenile pick-up orders, and writs into the system;
- confirming warrants;
- issuing warrant numbers and criminal warrants to the fugitive squad;
- notifying detectives and State Attorneys in Florida when fugitives have been arrested on warrants;
- placing holds and/or detainers on fugitives in custody locally and out of the state of Florida;
- responding to law enforcement personnel in the field promptly and accurately in providing warrant information on persons in custody;
- assisting with confirmation via physical identification of the suspect; and
- processing bonds received from outside jurisdictions on criminal warrants to book fugitives in absentia.
Read more about the consequences of being classified as a “fugitive from justice.”
Checking for Outstanding Warrants on a Suspect
If a law enforcement officer checks for outstanding warrants on a suspect or “wanted person,” then the officer will use the FCIC/NCIC criminal history check to find any unrelated outstanding warrant in the same jurisdiction.
If the officer finds such a warrant, the officer has the authority to arrest the suspect even if sufficient probable cause has not been developed for the current case being investigated.
An officer can also arrest on a warrant issued by another jurisdiction, but only if dispatch confirms the warrant with the issuing agency.
Frequently Asked Questions about Warrants
How do I check if I have an arrest warrant?
You can look for the warrant on the FDLE website. Your local law enforcement agency that took out the warrant might also publish a list of outstanding warrants on its website that you can search for online.
If the court issued a capias warrant for failure to appear, you could search your docket on the clerk of court website online to find out when the warrant was issued and whether a bond amount is included. You can also call a bail bondsman to look for the warrant for you.
Or hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to locate the warrant and help you take action to resolve the issue on the best possible terms. In a few of these cases, your attorney might be able to file a motion to recall or quash the warrant so you do not have to go into custody.
If there is a way to clear the warrant without going to jail, an attorney can help you pursue that option.
If you have to go into custody to clear the warrant, your attorney might be able to help you get the bond reduced or ask the judge to release you on your own recognizance (ROR) at the first appearance. The ROR is also known as the signature bond, own recognizance (the OR bond), or personal recognizance (PR bond).
The ROR, OR, or PR bond is a written promise signed by the defendant promising to show up for future court appearances and not engage in illegal activity while the case is pending.
Will I be notified when a warrant is issued?
No, you will probably not be notified that the warrant was issued for several reasons. First, the law enforcement officer that obtains the warrant might want to serve the warrant immediately.
Officers want to keep the warrant a secret so they might have an easier time finding and interrogating you about what occurred. Some people hide from the authorities once they know the warrant has been issued.
Sometimes people find out about the warrant because the victim or a witness in the case tells them: “The police are looking for you and said they have a warrant.” You might find out about the warrant because law enforcement officers come to your home or work looking for you.
Once the warrant has been entered into the system, you might find the warrant online by looking on the FDLE website, the sheriff’s website in the county where the warrant was issued, the local police department’s website, or the clerk of court’s website if a docket has already been created.
How can I check for warrants for free?
Yes, the warrant search feature on the FDLE website is free. It is also free if your local law enforcement agency has a similar search feature.
Any paid resources for finding a warrant rely on these free resources. So it doesn’t make sense to pay for someone else to search for the warrant.
If you can’t find the warrant online but know the officer has one, you might want a criminal defense attorney to intervene. The criminal defense attorney can contact the officer holding the “pocket warrant” to find out the bond amount and negotiate the terms of your surrender so that things go smoothly.
Does an arrest warrant expire?
Warrants do not expire, but the passage of time might raise other issues. For example, an extremely old warrant might be recalled by the prosecutor if they have no good options for proving the underlying offense because of the passage of time.
When the warrant is old, the evidence might have been lost, or memories might have faded. For this reason, if your warrant is old, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to find all the options to resolve the case.
In other words, the warrant doesn’t go away just because of the passage of time.
Another issue involves the statute of limitations. Not only must the prosecutor file the charge within the statute of limitations period, but the warrant must be served within that period as well (unless you reside out of state or the state otherwise cannot serve the warrant after diligent efforts).
How long can a warrant last?
The warrant can last forever (or at least for the lifetime of the person wanted in the warrant). Some counties have an administrative order that vacates orders after a certain period of time.
Can you pay off a warrant without going to jail?
No, if you surrender on the warrant, you must go into custody before you can post bond.
Some counties have a “walk-through” process that only takes a few hours. But either way, if you surrender on the warrant, a record will be created, including a mug shot.
One possible option for avoiding going to jail is to immediately hire an attorney to file a motion to surrender on the warrant in the courtroom so that it might be recalled or quashed.
This option is only available under limited circumstances involving mistaken identity, an extremely old warrant, or if other major problems exist with the prosecutor’s ability to prove the charges at trial.
Do warrants show up on a background check?
Yes, any outstanding warrant will appear in even the most basic background check, especially if the warrant is listed on the FDLE website.
Can a warrant stop you from getting a job?
Yes, an outstanding warrant can keep you from getting a job. Most employers will perform a background check as part of the application process.
Contact an attorney about ways to resolve the warrant under the best possible terms before you apply for a job.
Do hospitals run your name for warrants?
Hospitals do not necessarily run your name for a warrant, but if the hospital finds out you have an outstanding warrant, it is possible they might report that information to law enforcement.
Can a warrant be recalled?
Yes, the prosecutor or judge might decide that the warrant needs to be recalled. The judge or prosecutor might want the warrant recalled if it was issued for the wrong person because of mistaken identity, false allegations, or the offense can no longer be proven because of the passage of time.
Will the DHSMV or DMV know about the warrant?
Going to a state or federal government agency for help might result in the warrant being discovered.
For example, suppose you go to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to obtain a driver’s license or reinstate an expired license. In that case, the DHSMV might notify the authorities that you are a fugitive from justice.
Additionally, the DHSMV won’t allow a “fugitive from justice” to obtain or renew a driver’s license or register an automobile. Instead, they might tell you to return after clearing the warrant.
Some driving offenses might lead to a warrant. For example, if you knowingly drive on a suspended, revoked, canceled, or expired driver’s license, a warrant might be issued for your arrest.
Can I go on a cruise or take a flight at the airport if I have an arrest warrant?
One of the main reasons people are picked up on a warrant is because they go on a cruise or take a flight at the airport.
The cruise line or authorities at the airport might know if you have an outstanding warrant because they might run your name through a database looking for this information. TSA can also check for outstanding arrest warrants.
Of course, if you apply for a passport, a warrants check will be performed. For these reasons, traveling becomes more challenging if you are a “fugitive from justice.” Before you travel, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney about ways to resolve the outstanding warrant.
How long does it take for a warrant to be issued in Florida?
The time it takes for the warrant to be issued in Florida depends on several factors, including whether the law enforcement officer can request an electronic arrest warrant.
Law enforcement officers can sometimes obtain an electronic warrant within a few hours. In most cases, however, obtaining the warrant takes a few days.
Watch a video developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) about their public and law enforcement services.
FDLE Warrant System Interface – Visit the website of the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers to find information on the clerks and FDLE system interface. Federal grant money is provided to FDLE to improve data quality and timeliness to prevent an invalid firearm sales. The FDLE system includes the MECOM website used by Clerks, the MECOM website to transmit data to FCIC, the eWarrants website, the eWarrants Domestic Violence Protection Order, and the eWarrants Search Order.
FDLE Sex Offender and Predator Database – Visit the FDLE website for a search feature for Sexual Offenders and Predators. The FDLE database contains public record information on offenders classified as sexual predators and sexual offenders under Florida law because of a conviction for a sex-related crime. The website contains information related to Sexual Offenders or Sexual Predators that is presently accessible as part of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) public records. Find free information on FDLE’s Current Sexual Predators Registration List and FDLE’s Current Sex Offender List.
Crimeline Warrants – As a service to the general public, Crimeline Warrants provide information about wanted individuals without standing arrest warrants. The Crimeline Warrants website is sponsored by Central Florida’s Internet Warrant System and hosted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. According to the Crimeline Pledge, a person might be eligible for a reward of up to $1000 for information leading to a felony arrest. Find information on the most wanted list published by the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Marshals.
FHP’s Wanted in Florida List – Visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website to find a list of the “Most Wanted Fugitives” by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). Many of these cases involve a fugitive charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI with serious bodily injury, felony leaving the scene of a crash with personal injury, or Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License resulting in death.
This article was last updated by Leslie M. Sammis on Friday, April 7, 2023.