In Franklin County, there are around 100,000 outstanding arrest warrants at any given time. You may even be asking yourself, “are any warrants out for my arrest?”
An arrest warrant may have been issued against you because you are suspected of a crime, violated a court order, or disobeyed your probation conditions. Fortunately, finding out if you have an outstanding arrest warrant in Franklin County is relatively straightforward.
Search the Franklin County Municipal Court Database
The easiest way to find out if you have a warrant in Franklin County is to search the county’s municipal court website records. Simply enter your name, case number, or ticket number into the search engine.
You can filter search results by name, year of the case, and the status of the warrant. If you find that you have a warrant, the court website will detail the charges of the warrant and when it was issued.
Search the Columbus City Attorney’s Website
The Franklin County Municipal Court’s database stores the most up-to-date warrant records, but another resource is the website of the Columbus City Attorney. The website lists outstanding Franklin County warrants for common crimes such as OVI, theft, and hit-and-run.
Contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department
Another option for finding out if you have a warrant is to contact the Records Department of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. The Records Department is responsible for maintaining arrest warrants and can tell you if you have a warrant. Their contact information is as follows:
370 South Front Street, 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Why Arrest Warrants Are Issued
Most people think that a warrant only gets issued if you committed a serious crime, but the reality is more complicated. A court could have many different reasons for seeking your arrest, some of which you may not even be aware of. An arrest warrant could be issued due to:
Suspicion of Criminal Activity
Everyone knows that the police can arrest you if you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor. But a court can also issue an arrest warrant for minor offenses, such as traffic infractions that you have not paid.
Warrants must be supported by probable cause, which means evidence that shows a reasonable likelihood that you committed the offense. This evidence could be the testimony of the police or a sworn affidavit from any person with knowledge of your actions.
Court Order Violations
One of the most common reasons people find themselves subjected to an arrest warrant is for a failure to pay court-ordered child support, fines, or other court costs. If someone has taken out a restraining order against you and they report you for violating it, a court could put out an order for your arrest.
When you are sentenced to probation, your freedom is usually conditioned on several requirements, such as performing community service, quitting drugs/attending substance abuse classes, and avoiding the company of criminals. If there is evidence that you have violated one of these terms, a court may order the police to arrest you.
What to Do If You Have a Warrant Against You
If a warrant is out for your arrest, you can’t just wait for the problem to go away on its own. Law enforcement will catch up to you, and you can be arrested at any time. The longer you wait, the worse it will be for your case.
A warrant was issued in Ohio doesn’t mean it won’t show up on background checks in other states if you try to relocate.
If you have an outstanding warrant, your best course of action is to contact an attorney and turn yourself in. Surrendering allows you to maintain some control over the situation and avoid the embarrassing and uncomfortable situation of being arrested in a public place.
Contact our Defense Attorneys for Help
Having a warrant doesn’t mean you are guilty – it just means that you need to go to court and face the charges. You still benefit from all the rights afforded to the accused and will have the chance to defend yourself.
You cannot outrun an outstanding warrant, and criminal matters are often won or lost in the initial stages of the justice process. So, the sooner you respond to a warrant, the sooner a lawyer can begin acting in your defense.