Are warrants public records?
Yes, they are. The state has had Public Records Laws since 1909, and these expressly state that “all” records in the custody of government agencies should be made available for inspection upon request. The fact that the FDLE provides online access to its warrants database is a testament to the fact that Florida Laws allow the disclosure of information about warrants.
What does the FDLE investigate?
Created between 1967 and 1969, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is responsible for protecting the citizens of Florida as well as visitors to the state and strengthening domestic security by pooling the resources of local, state-level, and federal criminal justice agencies.
The FDLE maintains its presence all across the state with 7 Regional Operations Centers. Through its 5 divisions, the agency offers the following services:
- Protection and Security
The investigative services of the agency include a gamut of multi-jurisdictional facilities involving independent investigation as well as coordinated investigations that see the FDLE collaborating with local, state, and federal criminal justice offices. The agency focuses on 6 crime categories:
- Economic crimes
- Counterterrorism and domestic security
- Narcotic/drug crimes
- Violent crimes
- Computer/cyber crimes
- Public Integrity
Given the focus areas of investigation, the agency handles a broad range of cases, including those that involve civilian victims and those in which a law enforcement agent is accused of using undue force. For instance:
- The FDLE frequently investigates Florida Department of Corrections officers who are accused of shooting or physically harming a person, leading to severe injuries or death.
- The agency also tackles reports of cases involving missing people and abducted children.
- The FDLE also provides intelligence support and its investigative services towards enhancing the state’s preparedness against terrorism threats.
- Also, the agency assimilates and analyzes crime records to identify and monitor issues about the law and order landscape of the state.
- Furthermore, the agency maintains a state-level database of information on gang activity, violent crimes, cyber threats, economic crimes, sex offenders, missing persons, wanted criminals, and narcotics. This information is shared with all state and national level criminal justice agencies.
What shows up on a Level 2 background check?
The requirements for these checks are different, as are the results of the inquiries. The terms level 1 and level 2 background check are exclusive to the FDLE and refer to the extent of the information offered in response to a criminal background search. The terms also clarify the screening tier required for various employment positions and sectors.
How do I find out if I have active or outstanding warrants?
Through an FDLE background search: Because active warrants will show up in an FDLE background check, this is one way to look for the arrest orders in your name. To initiate the warrant check through this option, you can file an online request for a criminal background search at https://cchinet.fdle.state.fl.us/search/app/default?0.
You will have to provide your full name and credit card details. The agency charges $25 ($24 fees + $1 credit card processing cost) for the inquiry, and the results are displayed immediately on your screen. You will have to pay the fee even if no criminal records are found. Similarly, if you find multiple records with the same name and want to access more than one subject’s criminal history, you will have to pay $25 for each inquiry.
You can also request a criminal background check through the mail. For this, fill out the form at https://cchinet.fdle.state.fl.us/search/app/faq?9-2.ILinkListener-CrimInfoFormLnk. Mail the completed form along with a money order or check for $24 to The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, User Services Bureau, Criminal History Services, PO Box 1489, Tallahassee, FL 32302. In case of problems/questions, you can call the agency at (850) 410-8109.
Through a local criminal records search: You can also request a local criminal history search through the Office of the Sheriff’s Department of your county. Usually, this will cost you no more than $5 to $10. In some areas, the police offer this facility free of cost. However, they can only provide criminal records from within their jurisdiction. This means you will only be told about arrests and warrants from that one county and not from all of Florida.
Hire the services of a private investigator: Of all the options; this will be the most expensive. In fact, you can expect it to set you back by at least $1000 or more, depending on the amount of information you need and where the subject lives. The upside is that this option will get you the most pertinent and extensive information about your subject.
Undoubtedly, PIs have access to several non-public databases, but they also refer to publicly available data to compile their reports. So, it would certainly make sense to check out the free resources mentioned in this article before availing of the services of a professional. However, this kind of due diligence is indeed not called for unless you intend to put your subject in a position where he/she can cause harm to your family or your professional interests.
Use an online private criminal records search service: This is an easy and affordable option and one that can get you criminal records from all over Florida and sometimes also from all over the country. These are name-based searches,, and the tools are configured to pick up details from publicly available and non-public sources. The report will typically include the arrest records of the subject as well as information on all warrants against this person and details on all ongoing criminal cases.
In addition to the above, there is one more way in which you can launch a warrant search. But, this option only works when the warrant check is meant to find the arrest orders in your name, and you intend to sort these warrants out. Yes, I am talking about approaching bail bond agents/agencies.
These services use public databases as well as their connections in law enforcement and judicial agencies to find out about active warrants. Plus, if they do find arrest warrants in your name, they can also tell you about the options available to handle the matter, including if the warrant has a preset bond.