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We receive referral fees from partners
(advertising disclosure)

The information we provide you is free of charge and a result of extensive research by our home warranty experts. We use affiliate links on our site that provide us with referral commissions. While this fact may not influence the information we provide, it may affect the positioning of this information.

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Pennsylvania Warrant Search -
The Ultimate Guide 2024

Delve into an in-depth exploration of Pennsylvania’s arrest warrants through our comprehensive guide. This resource furnishes step-by-step instructions on conducting your own search for arrest warrants within the state of Pennsylvania.

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Pennsylvania Warrants Search

Pennsylvania’s legal landscape is outlined by Rule 421 and 430 of the Pennsylvania Court Procedures, delineating the process for authorizing various legal documents including citations, summonses, bench warrants, and arrest warrants. Under these segments of the state criminal code, a complaint is presented to a tribunal, and the magistrate exercises discretion to decide the issuance of appropriate legal instruments.

In any accusatory instrument submitted to the court for consideration, a comprehensive depiction of the criminal incident and the underlying allegations against the individual must be included.

Arrest Warrant

The authority responsible for issuance assesses the circumstances to determine whether a summons, bench warrant, or active warrant is warranted based on the incident’s nature. Typically, a summons is issued when a civilian affiant files a complaint that is substantiated.

Bench and Arrest Warrants in Pennsylvania

The issuance of active arrest warrants hinges on the magistrate’s assessment of evident probable cause, which can be substantiated through written evidence or witness testimony presented to the court. This evidence must showcase the accused individual’s connection to the warrant’s issuance. Likewise, if a civilian submits the accusatory instrument, the magistrate must possess substantial grounds to believe that the defendant might disregard a summons issued by the civilian.

Additionally, an arrest warrant can be granted when an attempt to deliver a summons or citation proves unsuccessful, leading to its return unopened.

Pennsylvania Outstanding Warrants

Peace officers possess the authority to breach doors and windows, traverse county and state borders, and effect arrests at any hour to execute outstanding warrants within their jurisdiction. However, these privileges are applicable exclusively in cases of crimes or significant misdemeanors linked to the warrant’s issuance. Conversely, when a bench warrant is linked to an ordinance violation, it typically designates the fine amount on the warrant itself.

When an officer serves such an order, they facilitate the defendant’s acknowledgment of their not guilty or guilty plea by obtaining their signature. Simultaneously, the officer collects the complete payment of the specified fine or costs listed in the order. If a court appearance follows detention, the schedule for this appearance is established. Should the individual’s apprehension occur outside the hours of 6 am to 10 pm, their presentation before a magistrate is promptly arranged at the earliest opportunity thereafter.

Conducting a Warrants Search in Pennsylvania

Conducting a Warrants Search in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, you have the option to request a warrant search from multiple government agencies simultaneously. For a general inquiry related to warrants, visiting the local sheriff’s office can provide access to the county’s list of most wanted criminals and fugitives. However, if you’re focused on a specific individual, turning to the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History page (PATCH) is more advantageous.

Both registered and non-registered users can submit queries to the PATCH website. The agency’s response to a warrant search encompasses details on convictions, arrests, and charges that are within a three-year timeframe, along with information about cases involving issued warrants. A $10 fee is required for each inquiry, and you can also reach out to the organization through their dedicated PATCH hotline number.

For information on criminal history and personal background reports, two alternative routes are available. One option is to approach the local clerk of court’s office, where they can run your details through their comprehensive court dockets database. This office maintains records for both civil and criminal cases. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository service for further details. Before they conduct a warrant search on your behalf, you’ll need to complete the crime history information form available for download.

Pennsylvania Criminal Records

Criminal records in Pennsylvania are official documents that outline an individual’s criminal history over a specific timeframe. These records are housed in a government repository and encompass arrest records, charges, dispositions, and conviction information for individuals involved in the legal system as suspects or convicts. Often referred to as rap sheets, these records are maintained across different levels of jurisdiction, from municipal to county to state, drawing information from various criminal courts.

Pennsylvania Arrest Records?

When a suspect is apprehended, their arrest record becomes a part of their criminal history. This record contains details about the circumstances, time, and location of the arrest, the reason for apprehension, incarceration information, and the responsible authority. It’s important to note that arrest records don’t always equate to a criminal record, as innocent individuals can be mistakenly arrested and charged with a crime. Additionally, if a suspect goes to trial and is not convicted, their arrest may not result in the creation of a criminal record.


Arrest warrants in Pennsylvania are issued by court officials, granting law enforcement the power to detain individuals who have violated the terms of their release. While officers can make arrests if they witness a crime or have reasonable suspicion, obtaining an arrest warrant is essential when these conditions aren’t met. These warrants are created based on sworn affidavits from police officers, sheriffs, or district attorneys. Judges or court magistrates then authorize searches or seizures through the warrant. Local and state authorities issue these warrants, signed by judges or magistrates, with a specific validity period after issuance, unless specified otherwise.

Disclaimer: OurPublicRecords mission is to give people easy and affordable access to public record information, but OurPublicRecords does not provide private investigator services or consumer reports, and is not a consumer reporting agency per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You may not use our site or service or the information provided to make decisions about employment, admission, consumer credit, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance.

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