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Washington Warrant Search: How to View Warrant Records in Washington

Washington Warrant Search: How to View Warrant Records in Washington
August 24, 2022

The number of people with outstanding warrants in Washington is quite instructive.

A large percentage of these people are probably unaware of the presence of these warrants until they're forced to contend with them in difficult circumstances. 

A Washington warrant search can help ease your mind (if you have no outstanding warrants) or help you decide on the next course of action (if you do have outstanding warrants).

A warrant search in Washington can also reveal a lot about the background of a prospective employee. 

If you're thinking of carrying out a warrant search in Washington, you'll find this article to be a useful resource. 

What is a Washington Warrant?

Arresting a person or searching and seizing their property fundamentally violates their rights. The only legally acceptable way to perform any of these acts is to obtain a warrant from an impartial judge or grand jury.

A warrant is an official document that permits law enforcement officials to arrest a suspected lawbreaker or search their property for evidence of a crime.

Warrants issued in Washington are valid throughout the state, and any law enforcement officer can enforce an active warrant. 

Before a judge or grand jury signs an arrest warrant, law enforcement officers bringing up the complaint are required to prove that they have valid reasons to suspect the subject of committing a crime.

This is known as probable cause, and it is an essential requirement for the issuance of warrants by Washington courts. 

Types Of Warrants in Washington

In general, there are three types of warrants that are commonly issued by state courts in the state of Washington.

These are arrest warrants, bench warrants, and search warrants:

Washington Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants in the state of Washington are issued by state courts at the request of law enforcement officers.

These warrants authorize law enforcement agents to bring suspected offenders into custody.

Along with search warrants, arrest warrants require the establishment of probable cause by officers making the complaint before they are signed by the judge. 

Arrest warrants are typically issued without the knowledge of their subjects, and law enforcement officers are within their rights to make an unannounced visit to the residence or workplace of the offender and arrest and detain them. 

Washington Bench Warrants

Bench warrants do not require the establishment of probable cause before they are issued.

Typically, law enforcement officials do not bring up a complaint for the issuance of bench warrants; they are signed and given out at the discretion of state judges.

Bench warrants are issued to offenders who are held in contempt of court orders; offenders who fail to show up for their date in court, and people who fail to make child support payments.

It's not unusual for people to have active bench warrants against them without their knowledge, as law enforcement officers do not immediately go after such people. 

Washington Search Warrants

If law enforcement officers suspect that property or space is used for criminal activities, they may get a judge to issue a search warrant (after establishing probable cause) in order to legally search or seize the property.

Such property may then be used as evidence in a trial later on. Search warrants must specify the location or property to be searched, and law enforcement officials performing the search are not permitted to extend the search beyond the specified point. 

How to Find Warrants in Washington

If you want to make sure that you (or anyone else) do not have outstanding warrants in Washington, there are several ways to do it, both online and in person. 

Washington Department of Corrections

The Washington Department of Corrections maintains a handy database of statewide warrant records, accessible to anyone seeking information about their warrant status through a warrant search tool.

You may search by name, county, or DOC number. 

Arresting Agencies

Law enforcement officers who execute warrants also maintain records of these warrants and make them available to members of the public on request.

You may find warrant information on the websites of these agencies. The Washington State Patrol is an example of such an agency, and interested parties can access warrant records on the agency's website after creating an account. 

County Sheriff's Offices

You may visit the offices of County Sheriffs in person to request warrant records in the county. Some counties have these records on their official websites as well, and you may easily access warrant records on them. 

Court Clerks

If you know the exact court where the warrant was issued, you may find out about outstanding warrants by making a request at the court.

Visit the court during business hours and make a request with the court clerk, who will make the information you seek available to you. 

Third-party Websites

Performing a search on a background check website will reveal a lot of information about your subject, including outstanding warrants.

Third-party websites are convenient options for finding warrants in Washington. 

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