Warrants can describe a number of criminal matters. Search warrants, for instance, allow law enforcement to enter a residence and perform a search. Another type of warrant may allow a medical procedure like blood to be drawn from a suspect pursuant to an arrest. However, arrest warrants may be the most well-known type of warrant. When a warrant is issued with your name on it, you will want the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. In the meantime, learn more about arrest warrants by reading more below.
Issued from the Bench
The bench is where a judge sits and presides over cases. All types of warrants are up to judges, but a bench warrant is issued directly from the judge while they are sitting in a courtroom. Bench warrants are almost always the result of someone failing to appear before the judge as previously ordered.
For example, those who are released from jail must agree to return for any upcoming court hearings. When the defendant fails to appear, the judge may issue a bench warrant for their arrest. Bench warrants are as powerful as any type of warrant and allow law enforcement to make an arrest on the spot even if the defendant is not breaking any laws at the time. However, law enforcement seldom has the time or manpower to search out someone because of a bench warrant.
Traditional arrest warrants are usually the result of an affidavit by law enforcement. It is often police detectives that prepare an affidavit for the judge to sign. Cases involving warrants are the result of an investigation into a person's actions that are probably illegal. The affidavit must explain to the judge the reasons why law enforcement wants to arrest someone. For example, an affidavit may be prepared showing the judge the results of an investigation into a child porn case. Detectives may have been monitoring the online activities of a suspect for weeks prior to the affidavit. The judge can issue the arrest warrant based on the information provided by the officer based on probable cause. Here are a few other examples of probable cause to issue a warrant:
- An investigation reveals that a store employee has been stealing merchandise and selling it online.
- A homicide detective has evidence placing a suspect at the scene of the crime.
- A victim has come forward naming a suspected rapist.
If you have been arrested for any reason, you may be facing considerable consequences. This is no time to wait around for law enforcement to realize they have the wrong person. Speak to a criminal defense lawyer about your case soon.