Mar 22 2011

What is an arrest warrant? A bench warrant?

Category: Law


Arrest WarrantAn arrest warrant is an order issued by a judge, on behalf of the state, to bring an accused individual into police custody for a specific crime. When a judge issues an arrest warrant, he will often include an affidavit that will typically identify the details of the crime, the name of the accused, and the judge issuing the warrant. Before an arrest warrant can be issued by a judge, a police officer, the district attorney, and the alleged victim must make sworn statements. Arrest warrants can be issued for both misdemeanor and felony crimes. A bench warrant, on the other hand, is a type of arrest warrant that is typically issued for individuals that have failed to appear in court or were found to be in contempt of court. This type of warrant gives police officers the power to seize the offender and hold them until their court date takes place. To issue a bench warrant, a previous written notice of appearance is often required and when the person is taken into custody they will be entitled to the same rights as any other arrested individual. A bench warrant is different from a criminal arrest warrant because it originates with the judge instead of the police.

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