Guidelines for Using the Sheriff Office to Find Warrants and Arrest Records
Thanks to Florida Freedom of Information Act, a large majority of the state and counties' criminal records are accessible to the wide public. The sheriff office is the major law enforcement agency in each of FL counties, and so it is the best place to conduct a warrant search. You can also utilize the sheriff's databases for an arrest inquiry and even obtain court records that specify a person's history of convictions. You will have to arrive at the sheriff office and ask the stuff to help you with your inquiry.
Some sheriff offices will ask for a small fee; others will disclose the information for free hoping that sharing information with the public might give them some useful clues regarding the whereabouts of wanted persons and assist them in solving crimes.The Florida Sheriffs Association website has a directory page where you can find the addresses and phone numbers of all of the state's 67 sheriff offices.
There is one major disadvantage in directly approaching the sheriff office. If your inquiry shows that there is an order for your arrest, you will get arrested on the spot. You surely do not want to find yourself behind bars; therefore, you have another safer alternative which consists of an online search.
Using Online Resources
The Internet may help you come across abundantly valuable information from the comfort of your personal computer or smartphone at home or in the office. The information is highly reliable in most cases as long as you use authoritative sources. The following lines will show you how to use the sheriff websites to obtain criminal data.
Finding Outstanding Warrants
Some sheriff websites contain an electronic search tool with updated information. For example you can find Hillsborough County warrants at http://webapps.hcso.tampa.fl.us/WarrantInquiry. Another example, Polk County warrants can be search using the online wanted persons search at https://www.polksheriff.org/detention/warrants-inquiry. A few sheriff offices will be willing to disclose information on the phone. For instance you can conduct a Pinellas County warrant search by calling their Warrant Desk. Dial 727-582-6192.
Florida Arrest Records
Finding arrest information via the sheriff office will be quite easy since most of their websites contain online lists of the county's arrestees. For instance, you can perform a Broward County arrest search by referring to the sheriff's online inquiry tool (https://www.sheriff.org/DOD/Pages/ArrestSearch.aspx). In some cases, you will need to contact the county's Department of Detention. They are usually responsible for the county jail so they are a good source of information. The sheriff website will contain the department's phone number and physical address.
Using Additional Online Resources
If you did not find the information you are seeking, no need to give up. The state of Florida operates a few excellent search tools that will display useful data.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLA) operates a free wanted person search that will show Florida warrants. All the information is derived from law enforcement agencies placed all across the state, so it is a reliable and updated source.
- The FDLA also has a computerized criminal history search (https://cchinet.fdle.state.fl.us/search/app/default?2) which will show a person's arrests and criminal records. The major flaw of this tool is its price – each search will include a payment of 24 dollars(+ $1.00 credit card fee), so using it more than once can turn out to be quite costly.
- Florida Department of Corrections manages an electronic inmate locator tool (http://www.dc.state.fl.us/OffenderSearch/Search.aspx) which shows current inmates held in Florida jails and prison and past inmates. This search can be categorized according to an inmate's name or DC number.