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New York Warrant Search

A New York Warrant Search is a process to look up information on outstanding warrants issued in the state of New York.

An outstanding warrant is a legal order issued by a court or law enforcement agency that gives them the authority to detain or arrest an individual for a specific crime. If a person has an outstanding warrant, law enforcement officers can take them into custody at any time and place, including their home, place of work, or in public.

Generally, warrant information in New York is considered public record and is available to the public. The laws that make the warrant information public in New York include the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and the judiciary policy on access to court records.

Under FOIL, everyone has the right to seek access to documents kept by state and local entities, including police enforcement. It covers records about arrest warrants, search warrants, and other warrants issued by the court.

But keep in mind that not all warrant information is accessible to the general public, including any private and sensitive information that a court has restricted for the subject's protection.

The information you can find when you perform a New York Warrant Search will depend on the type of warrant and the case's specific circumstances. However, the following information is typically included in a warrant:

  • Name of the warranted person
  • Description of the crime
  • Purpose of the warrant
  • Date and time of issuance
  • Issuing authority
  • Signature of the issuing judge
  • Conditions of the warrant

How Long Does a Warrant Stay Active in New York?

In New York, most outstanding warrants have no expiry date and are valid until the suspect is apprehended or the issuing authority withdraws or cancels the order. Therefore, a warrant remains active for years or unless the subject dies.

In contrast, the term of an active search warrant in New York differs depending on the circumstances. Typically, the court grants a search warrant for a particular time, and the law enforcement officer must perform it within that time frame.

The issuing court determines the precise period of the warrant's validity, which might vary from a few hours to many days or weeks.

Suppose a search warrant is not performed within the allotted period. In that case, it may become invalid, and any evidence gathered as a consequence of the search may be deemed unacceptable in court.

In addition, if law enforcement agents exceed the scope of the request or violate the Fourth Amendment's provision against unreasonable searches and seizures, the court will not admit the obtained evidence.

If you are aware of an outstanding warrant for your arrest, it is in your best advantage to either turn yourself in to police authorities or seek legal counsel. Ignoring a warrant might result in further penalties, such as failure to appear, and make future resolution of the matter more complicated.

What Are the Most Common Warrants in New York?

The Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) and the New York State Constitution govern warrants in New York. And there are several types of warrants you can find during a New York Warrant Search, but the most common ones are the following:

New York Arrest Warrant

A New York arrest warrant is a court order that authorizes law enforcement to arrest and detain a person.

A judge can issue an arrest warrant if there is probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime. Probable cause is enough evidence to support a reasonable conclusion that the person committed the crime. The court will issue a warrant based on a complaint or an affidavit submitted by a law enforcement officer.

Section 120.80 of the CPL allows police officers in New York to execute arrest warrants at any time of the week and any hour of the day or night.

But the New York State Constitution provides certain protections to individuals subject to arrest, including the right to get a notification of the accusations against them, the right to counsel, and the right to a speedy and timely trial.

Can police arrest without a warrant in New York? Law enforcement officers in New York may arrest without a warrant if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a person has committed a crime and is present during the commission or has direct knowledge of the crime.

In addition, authorities may arrest them without a warrant if there are reasonable grounds to suspect they may damage themselves or others.

For an arrest warrant to be valid in New York, it must contain the following information:

  • Arrestee's name or description
  • The crime charged
  • The issuing authority, such as a judge or a court
  • The signature of the issuing authority
  • The seal of the issuing court
  • The date of issue:
  • The direction to arrest

New York Search Warrant

A search warrant in New York is a legal document that authorizes law enforcement to search a specific location for evidence related to a crime.

To obtain a search warrant, the petitioner must present evidence to a judge demonstrating probable cause to believe that the location to be searched contains evidence of a crime. This evidence can include statements from witnesses, physical evidence, or information obtained through surveillance or other investigative methods.

Once a court issues the search warrant, it must be executed within a reasonable time following the specific terms and conditions outlined in the warrant.

Section 690.05 of CPL stipulates that local criminal courts may issue search warrants at the request of the police, the district attorney, or other public officials for an official purpose. Also, New York search warrant petitions might be oral or written.

Upon obtaining a search warrant, police officers and other authorized personnel in New York may search homes, offices, and vehicles among different property types.

However, in New York search warrants, the state laws provide protections for citizens, such as the right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The contents of a search warrant in New York typically include the following information:

  • The name and title of the issuing judge
  • Warrant issuance date and time
  • Description of search location, including the address, building, and specific areas within the location
  • Description of the items or information to be searched and seized, such as evidence related to a specific crime
  • The names of the authorized individuals to conduct the search
  • The warrant execution date and time
  • The signature of the issuing judge

The information in a search warrant must be specific and accurate since any mistakes or omissions may render the warrant unlawful and any evidence gathered by it inadmissible in court.

New York Bench Warrant

A bench warrant in New York is a type of warrant issued by a judge to arrest an individual who has failed to comply with a court order or court appearance. It happens if the individual misses a court date, fails to pay a fine, or violates the terms of their probation or bail agreement.

In New York, "failure to appear" refers to the failure to appear in court as required by a summons or a subpoena.

A summons is a written notice that requires a person to appear in court for a specified date and time, while a subpoena is a legal order that requires a person to appear in court or to produce evidence.

Failure to appear in New York is a misdemeanor. But the punishment will not go beyond 15 days in jail.

In contrast, "failure to pay" in New York refers to the failure to pay a legally owing debt or duty. These obligations include fines, taxes, child support, and rent. When a person fails to pay a debt, the creditor may pursue legal action to collect the obligation.

In addition to issuing a warrant, failing to pay in New York may result in the imposition of civil assessments and suspension of licenses.

Note that bench warrants issued by District Courts, Superior Courts, or New York City Criminal Courts are valid everywhere in the state, including during traffic stops, according to section 530.70 of the CPL.

When you have a New York bench warrant, it typically gives you the following information:

  • The warranted person's personal information and physical description
  • Court-issued bench warrant date and location
  • Charges or offenses underlying the bench warrant
  • Any amount of bail or bond required
  • Name and contact details of issuing court
  • The warrant-executing law enforcement agency's name and contact information

New York Eviction Warrant

The last common type of warrant in New York is eviction.

An eviction warrant in New York is a court order issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement to remove a tenant from a rental property. The judge gives this warrant when a landlord wins a housing court decision for possession and the tenant fails to comply.

When you have this warrant, you only have 14 days to relocate. But if you own a mobile home in a mobile home park, you have 30 or 90 days to move.

In New York, the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL) governs the eviction process by outlining landlords' steps to remove tenants from rental properties. The RPAPL requires landlords to give the proper tenant notice and obtain a court order before attempting to evict a tenant.

Furthermore, the law provides certain protections to tenants facing eviction, including the right to a fair hearing, the right to challenge the warrant validity, and the right to representation by counsel.

In addition to subject, court, and law enforcement agency-related details, an eviction warrant must have the following information to be valid:

  • A description of the rental property, including the address
  • The terms of the eviction warrant, such as the tenant's move-out date and time

Other types of warrants you may encounter when you perform a New York Warrant Search include child support enforcement, tax, and fugitive warrants.

How To Perform Warrant Search in New York?

The National Crime Information Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation keeps all warrants in New York. And only the New York City police, the state police, and the naval police can get to these warrants.

Therefore, you need to contact the New York City Criminal Court Information Line or the local police department in the area where you believe the warrant was issued to perform a New York Warrant Search and identify current warrants.

Another option is to visit or call the appropriate county sheriff's office that issued the warrant. They can assist you in finding information on the warrant.

You can also get information about outstanding arrest warrants issued by the New York City Police Department online with this tool. Similarly, New York State has a Tax Warrant Notice System where you can get electronic data for tax warrants remotely.

Moreover, most warrants are in the public New York criminal records. Thus, you can ask the New York State Office of Court Administration or check the New York State Unified Court System's online database.

Consider hiring a private investigator if the above methods fail to get information from a New York warrant you need.


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