“In an interesting twist to the police being one step ahead of offenders with outstanding arrest warrants, people are now able to search online for their own active arrest warrants,” indicated Daniel H. Wannamaker of Wannamaker and Associates, of Austin, Texas, with offices in Dallas and Houston.
This means if a person thinks they have an outstanding ticket and wants to deal with it and get it off his or her driving record, they need to know the status of the ticket. “Finding this out online will avoid the inevitable arrest if courthouse records are searched instead,” said Wannamaker, “which is good; however, if the records are not up-to-date, that’s a problem.”
It is not too difficult to imagine that in the future the general public will be able to search for even more information than just online warrants. Even today there are some sites that will allow people to search for arrests and convictions and other information.
“Information like that floating around on the Internet is a major concern to attorneys who realize this is a direct violation of a person’s right to privacy, even if they have committed a crime and are doing or have done time for it,” indicated Wannamaker.
“It doesn’t take too much of an imagination to see what might happen if an online site has an outstanding warrant for a particular offense (say for instance, unpaid traffic tickets) but not the updated fact that the offender paid the fine two weeks ago,” said Wannamaker.
“As with anything dealing with the legal system, everything is relative to the circumstances of the case and any criminal defense attorney with extensive experience in this area will tell you a case may change on the drop of a dime,” added Wannamaker.