Once a warrant is issued in Texas, it never expires. Whether they get served or not, warrants in Texas remain in force until they culminate in an arrest.
If you’ve been arrested at any time or another in Texas, or you strongly suspect that there’s an active or outstanding warrant on your record, avoiding it is only prolonging the inevitable.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to check your records for warrants of any kind, there’s a variety of ways through which you can do it.
You may even check for relatives, friends, acquaintances, and other third parties. We’ve highlighted some of the easiest and quickest ways of finding warrants in Texas.
What are Texas Warrants?
Warrants are court-issued documents that authorize law enforcement officials to act in specific ways (that would ordinarily be considered illegal) in the pursuit of justice.
For instance, various warrants permit law enforcement officials to arrest, search, and seize the properties of suspected lawbreakers.
In Texas, warrants are issued by judges and magistrates based on the complaints of the leading investigator.
A warrant can only be issued if a probable cause can be proven.
Following a thorough investigation, the requesting officer must persuade the court that there is enough justification to issue the order.
A plausible suspicion of illegal activity could serve as sufficient grounds.
An individual's Fourth Amendment rights may be violated if there isn't sufficient proof of the probable cause.
It is possible for law enforcement officials to be held accountable for malicious prosecution damages if they fail to establish probable cause.
Arrest and search warrants may be executed by any member of a law enforcement agency statewide.
Bench warrants, conversely, may only be executed in the county in which they are issued. In all cases, law enforcement officers are not required to inform or notify offenders of the warrants against them prior to making the arrest.
While law enforcement officers typically move swiftly against offenders once arrest and search warrants are active, they usually do not immediately go after people listed on bench warrants.
Types of Warrants in Texas
There are various types of warrants in Texas, including child support warrants, complaint warrants, and tax warrants.
However, the three most common warrants in Texas are search, arrest, and bench warrants.
Search warrants in Texas enable law enforcement agents to thoroughly search people or properties suspected of involvement in illegal or criminal activities.
Before search warrants are endorsed and issued by judges or magistrates in Texas, the lead investigation officer must convince the judge of probable cause why the person or property listed on the warrant may be reasonably suspected of committing a crime.
Search warrants become invalid after the expiration of the specified window on the document, and only specified areas or people may be searched.
Arrest warrants are issued when an officer convinces a Texas judge or probable cause why a person might be reasonably suspected of involvement in criminal activities.
For an arrest warrant to be considered valid in Texas, certain details must not be missing from it, such as the name and physical description of the offender, the offense they’re suspected to have committed, and the name of the office of the issuing magistrate, along with their signature.
As the name implies, bench warrants are issued by judges, typically without the instigation of members of law enforcement.
Bench warrants are issued against people who are deemed to have held the court in contempt, either by failing to respond to summons, failing to show up for their scheduled court date (resulting in a Failure to Appear charge), or failing to meet their mandated financial responsibilities.
Although law enforcement officers do not actively go after people served with bench warrants, such people may get pulled into custody whenever any officer pulls up the records for any reason.
How to Find Warrants in Texas
If you’re looking for warrants in Texas, you can find them through any of the following methods:
Department of Public Safety
The Texas Department of Public Safety provides a Criminal History Search service on its website.
This service is publicly available, and users of the website can look up the arrest histories, court rulings, and convictions of people detained for crimes that qualify as Class B misdemeanors or higher.
Deferred judgments and Class C convictions that are reported to the Department of Public Safety are also searchable by users.
To access the service, however, interested parties must register an account with the service.
County Court Clerks
You can find out if there are any outstanding warrants against you by paying a visit in person to the county court in your neighborhood and requesting warrant records from the court clerk.
Websites of Local Courts, Counties, or Cities
If your local court has an official website, you may be able to find warrant records on it.
A few of these websites offer searchable databases, while some others may be able to provide search portals.