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New York Warrant Search

A New York warrant search is a process by which inquirers can find warrant-related information on a New York resident. Warrant searches provide information about 

  • The subject (such as their full name, last known address, race, sex, height, and weight)
  • The warrant's issuance date
  • Charge(s)
  • Issuing court name and address
  • The law enforcement agency responsible for the warrant execution. 

A warrant is a court order that authorizes law enforcement to perform a specific action (i.e. make an arrest or conduct a search). A judge or magistrate typically issues warrants at the request of law enforcement. The request process usually involves a law enforcement agency establishing probable cause that justifies the issuance of the warrant. 

In New York, interested persons can find information about warrants by querying law enforcement agencies and criminal courts. A person's official New York criminal history record (CHR) also contains information about warrants issued against them within state limits. Interested persons can request their CHR through the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). Besides government channels like the aforementioned processes, a warrant search can also be conducted through certain third-party websites. 

Are Warrants Public Records in New York?

Under the New York Freedom of Information Act, every member of the public has the right to access records of government agencies, including warrants. Hence, interested persons can obtain information about warrants issued in New York by querying relevant agencies. However, certain records and information may be exempt from public disclosure under FOIA or state or federal statutes. This exemption provision also applies to warrants.

Types of Warrants in New York

Different types of warrants can be issued in New York. Each type serves a unique purpose. Some of the most common types of warrants include; 

Arrest Warrants: An arrest warrant is a court order issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest and detain the person named on the warrant for an alleged offense. 

Search Warrants: Also issued by a judge or magistrate, a search warrant is a court order that gives law enforcement officers the legal authority to search a specific location detailed on the warrant. 

Bench Warrants: A bench warrant is a formal court document that directs law enforcement officers to arrest an individual and bring them before a court. Per NY CPL §510.50, A New York judge may issue a bench warrant when a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled criminal action or proceeding. Before a bench warrant is issued in such cases, the defendant or their legal counsel would first be issued a 48-hour notice for the defendant to appear on their own accord. A bench warrant may also be issued if an individual fails to make a court order payment or appear for jury duty. Once issued, the bench warrant may be executed at any in the state per NY CPL §530.70

Extradition Warrant: An extradition warrant is a legal document that authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest and transfer a specific individual from one jurisdiction to another. This type of warrant is issued when a person is alleged to have committed an offense in a jurisdiction (i.e. county, state, or country) and escapes to another jurisdiction to elude the authorities. 

What is a Search Warrant in New York?

A New York search warrant is a court order that directs a police officer to search a designated place (i.e. a building, vehicle, or person). Under NY CPL § 690.05, a search warrant may authorize the confiscation of property or the arrest of the subject of a bench or arrest warrant. 

In New York, a court or judge may issue a search warrant upon the request of a police officer, district attorney, or other public servant. Search warrants are requested by submitting an application to a criminal court that establishes reasonable cause for the warrant. This application can be made in writing or orally per NY CPL § 690.35. The statute also dictates that the application must contain;

  • The name of the court the applicant seeks the warrant from and the applicant's full name and title;
  • A statement establishing that there is reasonable cause for warrant accompanied with allegations of facts that support the statement;
  • A direct request for the court to issue a search warrant that directs a police officer to search for and seize/arrest a property or person in question;
  • A copy of the arrest warrant (when applicable).

If the court is satisfied with the reasonable cause established in a warrant's application, the application will be approved, and the warrant will be issued. Once issued, the search warrant must be executed within ten (10) days of the issuance date and returned to the issuing court per NY CPL § 690.30. A search warrant may be executed on any day between 6:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M., except if the warrant expressly permits its execution at any time. According to NY CPL § 690.45, search warrants must contain: 

  • The issuing court's name; however, if the warrant was obtained via oral application, it must state the name of the issuing judge and the date and time the judge ordered its issuance;
  • The name and department or classification of the police officer to whom the warrant is addressed;
  • A description of the property subject to the search or the person to be searched for;
  • A description of the place, premise, or person to be searched;
  • Directions on when the warrant may be executed.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Search Warrant?

It varies. A court will only issue a search warrant if the petitioner's application for the warrant satisfies the legal requirements for warrant issuance under state law. Above all, an applicant must establish that there is reasonable cause for the search warrant. Hence, the time it takes to obtain a search warrant depends on how quickly an applicant can convince a court that there is reasonable cause for the warrant's issuance.

What is an Arrest Warrant in New York?

According to NY CPL § 120.10, an arrest warrant or a "warrant of arrest" is a writ issued by a court that directs a police officer to arrest a designated defendant and bring them before the issuing court. New York Judges typically issue arrest warrants at the request of law enforcement officials, provided certain conditions are met. 

To request an arrest warrant, a police officer must prepare and submit an affidavit to a court with appropriate jurisdiction. An affidavit is a written statement containing facts and circumstances establishing probable cause to support the warrant's issuance. In some instances, law enforcement officials may work closely with the district attorney's office in a respective jurisdiction to prepare an arrest warrant affidavit.

Once prepared, a police officer may submit the arrest warrant affidavit and other required documentation to a New York Judge or magistrate for review and approval. The judge or magistrate has the legal authority to issue the arrest warrant if they find enough probable cause for the warrant's issuance. Once issued, arrest warrants are usually executable anywhere in New York. Furthermore, arrest warrants do not expire and may remain valid until the issuing court cancels them, the subject's arrest, or death. If someone finds out they have an outstanding arrest warrant, they are advised to turn themselves over to the authorities. They can also consult with a criminal defense lawyer to ascertain if there is any other way to resolve the warrant.  

Arrest Warrant Lookup in New York

In New York, interested persons can look up arrest warrants locally by querying law enforcement agencies (i.e., a county Sheriff's Office or a local police department) and criminal courts. 

Most law enforcement agencies publish information about active warrants issued within their jurisdiction on online tools or directories hosted on their website. Some agencies, like the Madison County Sheriff's Department, provide an Active Warrants list directory. Meanwhile, others provide a searchable active warrant database. Some examples include the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office active warrant search database, the Erie County Sheriff's Office warrants portal, and the Washington County Sheriff's Office warrants page. These databases are searchable using a subject name (usually their last name). 

Local criminal courts generally maintain records and information on the arrest warrants they issue and make these records available to the public on request. Record seekers can contact a local court to get information about an arrest warrant the court may have issued. Some courts maintain a dedicated "information line" record seekers can call to inquire. For instance, an individual can call the New York City Criminal Court information line at (646) 386-4500. Contact information of other courts is available on the Court Information Directory. Besides government agencies, like local law enforcement and courts, individuals can conduct arrest warrant lookups through third-party websites offering such services. 

It is worth noting that although the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) maintains a central database, The Spectrum Justice System (SJS) is the system that features statewide incident, arrest, and warrant records. The SJS is, however, only accessible to law enforcement agencies.

How to Find Out If You Have a Warrant in New York

When any warrant is issued in New York, information about the warrant is maintained by the issuing court and the law enforcement agency that requested or is responsible for executing it. 

An individual can find out if they have an active warrant in New York through the New York court system by conducting a Statewide criminal history record search (CHRS) through the State Office of Court Administration (OCA) or by querying local courts. A CHRS would reveal public records, including warrants relating to criminal cases from all County/Supreme, City, Town, and Village courts across New York. Inquirers may conduct a CHRS online utilizing a subject name and date of birth (both must be an exact match) as search criteria. Note that a CHRS request costs $95.00. 

Alternatively, individuals can query local courts to find out information about any warrant the court has issued against them. A good rule of thumb is contacting local courts in the city or county where one formally or currently resides. 

Similarly, local law enforcement agencies may also be queried about warrants issued within their jurisdiction. As previously stated, most law enforcement agencies publish information about warrants issued within their jurisdiction on their website. For instance, Oneida County Sheriff's Office Warrant List and Ulster County Sheriff's Office Outstanding Warrant List. Where such information is not published online, inquirers can contact the law enforcement agency by phone, mail, or in-person to make inquiries, depending on what the agency permits.  

In-person inquiries are generally ill-advised as a bench and arrest warrant can be executed once discovered. This can result in the immediate arrest and detainment of the inquirer. Nonetheless, inquirers must provide a valid ID to make in-person inquiries about warrants at a local law enforcement agency or court. 

Free Warrant Search in New York

Interested persons can conduct a free warrant search in New York, through online tools and resources provided by law enforcement agencies. Alternatively, inquirers may also directly query a law enforcement agency or local court about the existence of a warrant for free. Users must provide certain information about the warrant to help identify it. Usually, the warrant's subject name suffices. Other information, such as the subject's date of birth and a case number, may also be provided.

How to Find Out If Someone Has A Warrant Online

Interested members of the public can find information about warrants issued against different people through online resources provided by local law enforcement agencies. These resources are usually hosted on the agency's website and searchable using a subject's name. Alternatively, a statewide criminal history record search (CHRS) through the State Office of Court Administration (OCA) may be conducted on a person to discover any warrant they may have. Note users charge a $95.00 fee for a CHRS request. 

Interested persons can also search for New York warrants online through third-party websites and service providers. The upside of conducting warrant searches through a third-party website is that searches are not restricted to specific jurisdictions. Hence, search results may encompass warrants issued across the county, a specific state, or county. Note that searches made through these third-party websites require a subject's full name and usually involve a fee or subscription.  

How Long Do Warrants Last in New York?

Arrest and bench warrants issued in New York do not expire and remain active until they are resolved or the subject dies. Meanwhile, a search warrant expires ten 10 days after its issuance per NY CPL § 690.30. However, a search warrant may be re-issued when necessary.

New York Warrant Search
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!