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Posted on April 29, 2024 in Criminal Law

What Types of Warrants Are There?

Warrants play a crucial role in the criminal justice system, allowing law enforcement to take specific actions that would otherwise violate an individual’s rights to privacy and due process. There are various types of warrants, each issued under different circumstances with distinct purposes. Understanding these distinctions is important for anyone dealing with the justice system.

The following are some of the most common types of warrants that exist:

Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes the apprehension of an individual suspected of committing a crime. It must be issued by a judge or a magistrate who has determined that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the individual named in the warrant committed the crime.

This determination of probable cause must be supported by an oath or affirmation, often in the form of a sworn statement by a law enforcement officer. The warrant itself must specify the name of the individual to be arrested or, if the name is unknown, a reasonable description of the individual.

Additionally, it must describe the nature of the offense charged. These requirements serve as critical safeguards against arbitrary and unjust arrests, ensuring that the process respects the legal rights of individuals.

After an Arrest Warrant is Issued

After an arrest warrant is issued, law enforcement officers are granted the authority to locate and detain the individual named in the warrant. This phase involves strategic planning to apprehend them with minimal risk to public safety and the officers involved.

Following the arrest, the individual is taken into custody and typically transported to a police station or jail, where they are booked.

Search Warrants

Search warrants are legal documents authorized by a judge or magistrate allowing law enforcement to search a specific location and seize evidence related to an investigation. There must be probable cause, supported by sworn statements, detailing why the search is justified.

The scope of these searches is limited by the Fourth Amendment – officers can only look where specified types of evidence may reasonably be found and for items listed in this warrant.

A search warrant can be for a person as well, which allows officers to detain and search an individual suspected of committing a crime.

Bench Warrants

A bench warrant is issued by a judge when a defendant fails to appear in court as required, whether for a hearing, trial, or to respond to a summons. This type of warrant compels law enforcement to find and bring the defendant to court. Unlike a search warrant, which is focused on obtaining evidence, a bench warrant is aimed at ensuring the defendant shows up in court to face charges or continue with some other legal process.

After a Bench Warrant is Issued

Once arrested, the person may be taken into custody until coming before the judge, who will determine what happens next. This could include setting new bail conditions, imposing fines, or taking other actions deemed appropriate by the judge.

No-Knock Warrants

No-knock warrants allow police to enter a property without prior notification – typically in drug cases when it’s believed that evidence might be destroyed if entry is announced or if there’s a concern for officer safety.

While this can sometimes be a useful tool, no-knock entries can result in violent confrontations. Residents might mistake officers for intruders and respond with force, which puts both parties at increased risk for injury or fatality.

The most notable case involving these warrants is the one involving Breonna Taylor, where a no-knock entry led to her tragic death.

How a Lawyer Can Help if You’re Facing a Warrant

If you’re facing a warrant, a lawyer can be an invaluable resource in navigating the legal complexities and mitigating potential consequences. Here’s how they can assist:

Advising You on Your Rights

They’ll explain your rights to help prevent self-incrimination or other missteps during and after your arrest.

Negotiating Your Surrender

If you’re facing a warrant, a lawyer might arrange for voluntary surrender, which will look better in front of the court than being arrested against your will.

Challenging the Warrant

Your lawyer can review the warrant for any legal deficiencies and may move to have an improperly issued or executed warrant dismissed.

Representing You in Court

They will advocate on your behalf during court appearances, potentially arguing for reduced bail or contesting allegations that led to the issuance of the warrant.

Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today

If you find yourself facing a warrant or have questions about how it might affect you, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.

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