The Reason Why California Warrant Searches are so Difficult

The Reason Why California Warrant Searches are so Difficult

There are some things that nearly everyone does at some point in their life. Whether that’s waiting in the long lines at the DMV, paying taxes, or getting caught up in traffic. Something that may not be as universal as those things is performing warrant searches. If you live in California, you may have noticed that doing a California warrant search can be a lot of effort at times. Have you ever wondered why that is? We did, too, so we decided to take a look and see if we could crack the code for ourselves.

It is a bit of a complicated topic, so information on it can be a little difficult to find. Fortunately, similar to most things, the internet has provided us the means to find nearly any information we could want or need if you know where to look. It’s a great stroke of luck that we happen to live in the information age and that we have so much information available right at our fingertips at any given moment that we might need it. Let’s go ahead and dive in and see what we can learn about this topic today.

Why are Warrants Available in the First Place? 

Before delving into why warrants are so hard to find in California, it may be useful to understand why warrants are available to the public in the first place. Over the last hundred years, many lawmakers, politicians, and regular everyday citizens noticed a problem with our government. That problem is a simple one with a simple solution, but it makes the relationship between governor and governed a little more stressful. That issue? Lack of transparency in the government. Without transparency in the government, no one knows exactly what they’ve been doing. 

In the 1960s, the federal government stepped up to the plate and established the very first public records law. This first law was called the Freedom of Information Act, and it was a huge step towards a more transparent government. Of course, under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA for short, things were still pretty limited. Most information obtained through this law had to be specifically requested, and as you might imagine, most information doesn’t really need that level of security protecting it. Of course, even to this day, there are pieces of information that can be found by making a FOIA request, and many journalists still make these requests regularly, but there still was a lot of work that needed to be done to deliver the people a more transparent government. 

Over the years, more and more government transparency laws have been passed both on the federal level and on the state level. With each law passed, the average citizen has been able to gain access to certain information more and more easily. Some states are better about government transparency than others, but there are certain pieces of information that are incredibly easy to come by because of these ever-changing laws.

For example, you can easily find real estate records for properties so you can find out how much the property taxes are and how much it’s been purchased for in the past. You can also find business records if the business you want to look into is publicly traded. Most importantly, for our purposes at least, warrant information has become more of a simple process to obtain. These are just a few things among many other things that become a lot easier for the common person to access, but for brevity, we’ll end the list there. 

Why is Warrant Information so Hard to Find in California?

If you’re anything like us, after finding out that warrants are considered public information, you may be scratching your head trying to figure out why it would be so difficult to locate. After all, it’s public information so it shouldn’t be too hard to access it. But when you actually go to look for it, often times you run into major issues that result in you not receiving the information that you’re looking for. Millions of Californians run into this same issue every single year, but why exactly?

It gets even more confusing if you check through multiple counties and find that some counties actually do make this information easily available right on the Sheriff’s department website, while others just have a page saying that you need to email them a picture of your I.D. just to find out if you have a warrant out for your own arrest. That clearly demonstrates that the counties have it within their power to make this information available, but not every county does? The further you go down the rabbit hole the more suspicious it may seem, but there’s actually a reason for it if you know where to find it. 

The simplest explanation is that there’s no law requiring any law enforcement agency to make this information easily available to the public. That means that each county is allowed to set its own rules about what is and isn’t easily available just by quickly searching. The counties that do provide it make the lives of their constituents a lot easier, especially the ones that regularly do warrant searches, so what reason could the rest of the counties have for choosing not to? 

Well, the reason why any particular county would choose not to make this information easily available vary. Some counties can’t afford to keep this kind of database up and running with accurate and current information. Other counties simply don’t see a need for it whether they can afford to or not. It’s also possible that some counties don’t provide this information because the population of the area would prefer not to have it up. After all, if you can access warrant information just by looking through the Sheriff’s Department’s website, the criminals that are wanted can to and that could ultimately lead to more criminals getting away, theoretically at least.

7,203 Arrest Warrant Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock 

In reality, most cases are a combination of the three. Many counties do fully believe that allowing just anyone to access warrant information at any time would lead to more criminals getting away with their crimes. There isn’t enough evidence either way to say for sure, so we simply won’t make a comment on that. Budgets are a big dilemma for getting these kinds of databases up and running for the public, as well. It’s not cheap to keep that kind of database up and running, and talented tech people are both hard to come by and very expensive.

Is There an Easier Way to do Warrant Searches in California?

If you’re the type of person that wants to do warrant searches but keeps running into these same walls, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a better way to go about it. Warrants are considered public information, after all, so you should be able to access them. Well, like with most pieces of information, you can easily find warrants in other places if you know where to look. Fortunately, knowing where to look is the hardest part of this process, the rest couldn’t be any simpler. 

There are many services out there that specialize in finding just this kind of information. They’re highly accurate, reliable, and super fast. For this particular information, you’d likely want to either try to find a good warrant lookup service or, if you want more information, you could try a personal background check service. Both of these are solid options for finding exactly the kind of information that you’re looking for, and they operate in very similar ways. Both of them rely on their systems to scan thousands of databases all over the country to find the information that you’re looking for and report back with the results instantly.

The biggest difference between a warrant lookup service and a personal background check service is the information that they provide. Typically, when using a warrant lookup service all you’ll be able to expect to find is warrant information. If that’s all you want then that will probably work just fine for you. Personal background check services are a little more involved and can also bring up things like arrest records, court records, driving records, criminal records, and a lot more. What you can find by using a personal background check service can vary a lot because the information is being pulled from public records and not everyone has the same things on their records, but you can be sure that you’re finding a treasure trove of valuable information. 

Finding Ways to Make Your California Warrant Search a Little Easier 

People usually value their time or at the very least value the ways they can be spending it. Throwing away hours because of a wild goose chase that ends up without what you were looking for in the first place isn’t ideal for anyone. Fortuitously, if you know where to look that will never be the case and you can always get the highest quality information available with just a few clicks of your mouse.