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Do airports check for warrants?

I recently saw that if...

I recently saw that if one has an outstanding warrant in the US, and one travels internationally, on return they will be arrested. This is because US customs automatically checks for arrest warrants. I'd like to find out if the TSA or other law enforcement agencies currently do a similar check for outstanding warrants for domestic air travel. And if so, if the warrant is in a different state than the one the person is flying in and out of, does that affect the probability of TSA or other agency checking? The person has already been detained in three states and in the all three cases, the state holding the warrant declined to extradite.

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Answered in 18 minutes by:
11/1/2012
Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,469
Experience: 17 years practicing criminal defense.
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No, the TSA does not perform checks on all passengers on domestic flights by using the National Crime Information System (NCIS) database that shows all existing warrants that have been entered into that system. It would simply be too time consuming for them to do so. Unless they have some reason to run someone's ID (i.e. someone is noticed in the "spot" checks as behaving like he has a warrant, his name is ***** ***** somebody on the watch list, etc) he should be fine getting through security.
Passengers are usually screened by TSA's Secure Flight database. This database requires certain identifying information and then matches it against certain government databases. But the TSA only checks data maintained by the FBI and Homeland Security. It is highly unlikely you'll find a state warrant on either one, murder, arson, rape and kidnapping excepted.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

I'm very appreciative of your answer and the clarity you provided. Better than I had hoped in the 'clarity' dept. ;-) I'd like to fine-tune a bit by asking if there is any way if I can find out if I or my partner are (weirdly!) on any watch lists.

Well, unfortunately no, they don't disclose who is on their watch list as it is not public knowledge and highly guarded. Literally the only way to find out is to be denied boarding when you try to get on the plane. You hear about this in the news when people have similar names to terrorists and others that have made the "no fly" list.

Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,469
Experience: 17 years practicing criminal defense.
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Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,469
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