Will A California Warrant Search Show Federal Warrants?

People all over the wonderful state of California wonder about finding warrants every day. Some people are able to do a California warrant search within minutes, while many other people don’t even have the faintest idea of where to start doing a search of this magnitude.

On top of not knowing where to look, many people don’t have any idea of exactly what they can find by doing this kind of search. It can be more than a little unclear what exactly a warrant search would be able to turn up, especially if this is your first time finding yourself with the desire to do this kind of search.

It’s not uncommon for people to fight any anxiety they might have about a new subject by doing as much research as possible. Others just like being prepared before they do certain tasks so they can be sure that they’re doing things the best possible way.

Whether you’re one of those types or you’re just someone with a thirst for knowledge, we’re going to do our best to teach you a bit more about warrant searches and what you can expect to find when you do a warrant search on a state level. 

What is the Difference Between a State and Federal Warrant?

There are a few different types of warrants that are used in our criminal justice system in the United States. Every state has its own rules for how warrants have to work with some general guidelines from the federal government. 

The most common types of warrants are search warrants and seizure warrants. Arrest warrants fall under the latter because it’s considered to be a seizure of a person rather than their property. People can also be subpoenaed, but let’s not get too deep into that so we can stay on topic. 

Now, there is a bit of confusion about what the difference between a state warrant and a federal warrant is. It’s understandable, our legal system has a lot of ins and outs, so it can be more than a little confusing to try to keep up without a law degree under your belt. 

Let’s break it down to make it a little easier for you to understand:

  • State warrants:
    • These are issued when you’re suspected of breaking a state law. For the purposes of this article, that would mean you’re suspected of breaking a California law. 
  • Federal warrants:
    • A federal warrant is issued when someone is suspected of breaking a federal law. 

These warrants are handled a bit differently. State warrants can be executed by the police, but federal warrants can only be executed by parties that are authorized by the U.S. marshall. That usually means that the police can execute it, but not always. 

If you have a state warrant, odds are you won’t have to worry about the FBI showing up at your door because, well, they’re the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As a federal law enforcement branch, they don’t really handle state matters. It would simply be outside of their jurisdiction. 

On the other hand, if you have a federal warrant, you might be able to expect the FBI to knock on your door. They’re usually authorized to execute federal warrants, which means that you’d be well within their jurisdiction without worrying about stepping on anyone’s toes.

It is, however, law so things can at times be a little fuzzy. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that federal warrants are issued by the feds and state warrants are issued by the state. That’s the biggest difference and the only one that’s unchangeable. 

Will a State Warrant Search Find Federal Warrants?

Alright, now that we all know the difference between a state warrant and a federal warrant, let’s get to brass tacks and figure out if a state warrant search would also be able to reveal federal warrants. It most certainly would be convenient, wouldn’t it?

This is kind of a tricky topic, but the answer is generally no. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, and why it wouldn’t make sense that state warrant searches would turn up federal warrant information. For example:

  • State warrants are handled on a county-to-county basis.
  • Federal warrants are handled by the U.S. Marshall.
  • County warrant databases are not connected.
  • The federal and state warrant databases are two entirely separate systems. 
  • The federal and state warrants are also handled by two entirely separate entities.

Most law enforcement officers have access to the federal warrant database, as well as the state and county warrant databases, but that doesn’t mean that they would include these warrants in their own warrant databases, unfortunately. 

While it would make things easier for the public that wants to look into both kinds of warrants at the same time, this would be an exceedingly difficult task for county law enforcement offices that would provide this kind of database to the public. 

Databases aren’t easy to build and update, and the people that know how to do these things don’t come cheap. This is entirely fair, it takes a lot of knowledge and skill to build and maintain a database like this, even just for local warrants. 

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In fact, most counties that have a public warrant database easily available have someone whose whole just is just to update the database frequently. That can be a full-time job, especially if the engineer isn’t great at automation. 

Adding the federal warrant database to the local databases would add a lot of work to the engineer’s job, and that would either mean giving their existing team a lot of overtime or hiring more and more engineers to help stay on top of the new demand. 

Neither of those options would be very cost-effective for the county, and the police still need to pay their bills on time every month. Just because they’re law enforcement doesn’t mean that they don’t have overhead costs to worry about when they’re budgeting for the year.

Now, there is a way to get this information. In fact, you can get a whole lot of warrant information pretty easily if you know what you’re doing. We’ll be covering both of the best methods for this in the next section, so if you want to know you might want to read on and learn. 

Finding Federal Warrant Information

Now that we understand everything that we need to understand to be at this point, let’s take a look at how you can actually go about getting this information. It’s actually pretty easy, and you can get this information in almost no time at all. 

There are two methods, and both of these methods are fantastic for finding federal warrant information. Which one you’ll choose to go with will heavily depend on exactly what information you’re looking for and how broad of a net you’re looking to cast for this search.

If you’re looking for just federal warrant information and you don’t need or want state warrant information, you can try searching through the U.S. Marshall’s Federal Warrant database. This is pretty easy and is only a few steps:

  1. Head to the U.S. Marshall’s website.
    • You can do this either by Googling “federal warrant search” or finding the URL for their website and going directly there.
  2. Enter the person in question’s name.
  3. Hit enter.

After that, you’ll be able to see the information that they have available about the person in question. It usually doesn’t take too long to find, and most people are able to get this information in as little as an afternoon. 

You could also try using something like a warrant search service or a personal background check service. These services check public record databases all over the country to find any and all publicly available information about the person in question. 

These services can return your search results instantly in the vast majority of cases, which makes them very powerful tools for your warrant search. Most people that do these searches do so on their break at work and are able to look over the information long before they have to go back in. 

This method is good for finding all sorts of warrant information from all over the country, not just one type of warrant from a single county or the federal government. It’s so easy that even the most tech-illiterate person could do it, but we do recommend making sure to check the URL you’re on to be sure you’re on the website you intended to be on. 

Get the Information You Want, Quickly

Getting information quickly is a talent that not everyone has, even in the age of the internet. Knowing how to do so can make your life a whole lot easier, and you won’t have to worry about any given task taking too long, so long as that task involves finding information on the internet.

Different people have different methods that they use for these kinds of searches, and not everyone that’s good at this kind of search uses the most efficient type of search. Fortunately, all it takes is a bit of research and practice to be sure that you’re getting everything you need right when you need it.