The Fourth Amendment grants US citizens certain constitutional rights that cannot be violated without certain provisions being fulfilled.
On the other hand, the California Penal Code spells out the provisions that can call for what would ordinarily be termed a right violation.
A perfect case is the sudden arrest of a person or the search, or seizure of a property by the police.
If the officer carrying out any of the aforementioned actions can show you a warrant, they'd be very well in the right, and you'd be unable to stop them.
In essence, a warrant provides the legal backing for law enforcement officers to perform their duty without hindrance or fear of damages.
So if you do not want to be caught unaware at any given time, you must do well to search for any warrants issued against you. This article discusses the ways that you can use to search for warrants in California.
What Is A Warrant In California
Just like many other states in the US, a California warrant grants law enforcement officers the power to make arrests, and search or seize property without experiencing any resistance.
It is a legal document that is issued by a Judge or magistrate in California to law enforcement officers after the latter must have provided probable cause to justify their request.
They must provide the judge with verifiable evidence that a person or property is vital to a criminal investigation and that an arrest or search of their property is crucial to their cause.
Once this is done, the judge can produce a warrant showing the names of their own office, that of the person or property of interest, the issue date, offense/charge, warrant location, etc.
With the warrant in hand, the law enforcement officers can legitimately carry out their task and the subject of interest(person named on the warrant) would be unable to resist them.
Once you've been shown the warrant, you'd have no other option to obey the letter of the warrant, whether it is to arrest you, search or seize your property, or bring you to court.
Below is a list of places to find warrants in California:
At The Courthouse
This should be the first port of call for anyone looking to find warrants in California. You can stop by the local court in your county and check for the availability of any warrants issued in your name.
The clerk of the court is responsible for the custody of court records and can help you find your case if you have one file there.
So if you have a history with the court, you can use your case or docket number to check for any outstanding warrants.
Some of the courts in certain counties have an online database of case records where you can find relevant case information with the press of a few buttons.
So you can search for warrants against your name, case number, date, or judgment on search portals devoted to court records finding.
The Department of Justice
Individuals can examine their criminal history at the California Department of Justice(DOJ) and find if they have any warrants to worry about.
To do this yourself, you'd be required to fill and submit an application form, replete with the applicable processing fee(usually $25) and fingerprint images.
The terms of the application may vary for people living in or outside of California. However, you can read all about it on the official website of the Attorney General.
At Law Enforcement Agencies
At the federal level, you can find warrants issued against fugitives by the Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA), the US Marshall, or any other agency.
And at the state and county level, the California Police Department and the Sheriff's Office are mostly responsible for matters relating to arrests and warrants.
You may contact a criminal defense attorney to enquire at the Police Department about any warrants issued against you if you're unsure and don't want to risk an outright arrest.
While some California counties publish a list of warrants on their Sheriff's official website, some others provide a search page for looking up arrest warrants.
Orange County is an example of the latter, with a search page designed to provide interested persons with active warrants when they search with a first and last name.
Third-Party websites in this sense are those websites that, without having any links to government agencies, collect tons of public records and create databases of such records.
They allow you to run a criminal background check(which can produce a warrant) when you provide the name and address (state/city/county) of the subject of interest.
If the search subject has a criminal history in the state submitted, they can have a warrant included to show that, they or their property is the subject of an active or concluded criminal investigation.