Virginia outstanding warrants do not go out of effect hence information on these orders is circulated among various law enforcement agencies to ensure that the judicial directives get served as soon as possible. To facilitate arrests under these detention decrees, an extensive amount of information about the criminal matter in question is provided with these orders.
The content of Virginia arrest warrants
The original writ filed to procure the order is attached to the directive at its issue. Apart from this, outstanding warrants have clear instructions on how the order is to be served. For instance, misdemeanor warrants will usually have certain restrictions placed on them. Such directives can only be served within the 6 am to 10 pm time limit if police have to enter the home of the accused to arrest him. Also, these decrees are only valid within the issuing county.
The magistrate can of course modify these rules to suit a specific scenario. For instance, out of county and night time arrests may be allowed if the sitting judge feels that the accused has to be taken into custody on a priority basis. In contrast, when these orders are released in connection with felonies, they are almost unlimited in terms of their powers.
So arresting officers can freely detain the suspect in a public place, enter private properties and even gain access to the house of the accused to effect arrests. These detention orders can be served in any part of the country, so details on outstanding warrants is routinely sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and all police officers are expected to run the name of an offender through the central database maintained by the agency when making arrests.
Launching a warrant search in Virginia
The VA State Police (VSP) offers two options to find arrest records and outstanding warrants from the state. The first facility is available to private companies, individuals and the public at large. For this inquiry, you will need to fill form SP-167, get it notarized and send it to the agency by mail.
The second option is available to statutorily authorized non-criminal agencies. Generally, hospices, child and adult care facilities, pharmacies and foster care agencies can use this inquiry method. The applicant will have to fill form SP-230 and send it with a $15 fee to the agency. The processing time for the request is about 12 to 14 days. It is also possible to request an FBI search for an additional $24 and a CCRE search for $13.
These forms are available at https://vsp.virginia.gov/services/criminal-background/. Download the applicable document and send it with the processing fee to the Department of State Police, P.O. Box 85076Richmond, VA 23261. For further inquiries, you can call on 804-674-6718
Is it possible to find information on Virginia outstanding warrants online?
A far less cumbersome approach to the crime history checks offered by the VSP is to simply check out the most wanted lists offered by the central law enforcement agency as well as sheriffs’ departments of various counties. To begin with, it would help to look at the most wanted lists of the Virginia State Police and the Department of Corrections. These are available at:
- VSP: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/WantedPersons.shtm
- DOC : http://vadoc.virginia.gov/offenders/wanted/fugitive.shtm
For county specific information, you can visit the sheriff’s office in person or check out the website of the some of the law enforcement agencies that provide online information about fugitives and criminals who have outstanding warrants to their name but are still at large.
- Arlington County:http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/Sheriff/DeadbeatParents/page56952.aspx
- Caroline County: http://www.carolinesheriff.org/
- City of Charlottesville: http://www.charlottesville.org/index.aspx?page=274
- Fluvanna County:http://www.fluvannasheriff.com/wanted.php?PHPSESSID=52abce1ecb468747e0d9c6d245d7440a
- Prince George County: http://www.princegeorgeva.org/Index.aspx?page=384