Is an arrest warrant only good in the state in which it was issued or it it good nationwide?

I was issued arrest warrant in MA for not paying child support. If I understand correctly such warrant is not criminal I’m not in the U.S. right now. If I were to enter to the country, will I be arrested in the airport? Let’s say I enter in N.Y. or other state. How can I verify whether will have a problem entering the U.S?

Asked on September 16, 2017 under Family Law, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Are you sure that it is not a criminal warrant?  Because the state of MA can indeed issue them for this type of offense.  The arrest warrant goes in to a National database that is accesible by all law enforcement.  So anyone that runs your name will find it.  The issue is what they will do: arrest you and hold you is an option but then the issue becomes will MA officials come and get you. You can not "verify" anything.  You are taking a chance. Clear up the arrears. Get a lawyer to help.

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