Posted: November 30th, 2013













Research on warrants

            Warrants are issued by a judge on behalf of the state. These warrants authorize a criminal’s arrest and detention. It also authorizes searches and seizure of a person’s property. A criminal warrant is a legal document ordering the law enforcement officers to carry out some of the activities in line with a criminal case. These warrants may be issue without the accused person’s knowledge. The criminal may not be aware of being accused of a crime when this warrant is issued. However, it may also be issued after the accused has been ordered to appear in court. The judge issues the criminal warrant in order to obtain evidence or ensure belief that the accused has actually committed the criminal act. Included in the warrant is written information about the case, the criminal’s name and the crime he is accused of. The warrant also included the name of the judge who issued it and the issue date. These warrants entail the actions the officers should undertake. However, the warrant’s format and details differ depending on the court’s location.

At times, the arrest warrants contain realistic mistakes. These mistakes may include misspelling the suspect’s name or stating a wrong crime. In such situations, the suspect should be shown the warrant by the police. After this, if the suspect is able to prove himself not to be the real criminal, then the orders specified in the warrant will not apply to the suspect. However, in most cases the police do not show the warrant to the suspect. Mistakes such as wrong identity are usually resolved later. Errors such as clerical are never considered enough proof to terminate the warrant. These criminal arrest warrants are provided after a complaint has been filed. This complaint is based on a judicial finding. This finding ensures a probable cause. However, the probable cause warrants is just one the examples of the criminal arrest warrants (Cole & Smith, 2010).

When they began and why 

            The European arrest warrants were introduced in 2004 to enable direct issuance of the warrants by a judge. This enabled the direct enforcement of the warrant of arrest presented by the judicial authority by one member state to another member state. This enables the issuance of the arrest warrant for any offence punishable by imprisonment for a maximum sentence of at least one year. When the accused person has already been sentenced, this crime should provide a four months imprisonment. The warrants were introduced to reduce the great time that was taken before extraditing a person from one of the European states to another. This also enabled the   criminals to find it difficult to evade justice. It also equalized the freedom of movement within the European Union countries and increase safety.

Since then, this has proved to be effective. This has also enabled the fugitives to face justice. The introduction of the warrants enables the tracing and arresting of the criminals. Thereafter, they are brought before the magistrate’s court where the magistrate fixes the hearing date that is usually within twenty-one days of arrest. The accused are informed on the contents of the warrants by the court. This enables them to agree to the accusations leveled up against them or disagree with them. The person then remains in custody or is bailed. The arrest warrants enabled all these acts to be possible. Therefore, this is the reason why it was important for them to be implemented (Schmalleger, 2012).

What are they used for

There are many kinds of warrants. Arrest warrants are documents issued by the court to authorize the arrest of criminals. The police take these suspected criminals in to custody and hold them until trial. The person arrested is always listed on the warrant. In some cases, the judge can state the amount of bail in the warrant. The warrant should also state that there is a probable cause for believing that the accused committed the crime. Another type of warrant is a search warrant. This is usually issued to enable the law enforcement officers to investigate a crime. This warrant enables the officers to carry out a search on a criminal and to carry out a search on a person’s property. This search is done to find out if the accused has any relations to the crime he is being accused of committing. In case the law enforcement officers find evidence, they can seize it as part of the investigation. Example, a search warrant can enable the officers to search the house of a person accused of murder. In case the officers find weapons such as guns or a knife stained with blood, the officers may seize the weapon to act as evidence in court.

Another warrant is a bench warrant. The judge issues this warrant in a criminal case. In case the accused fails to fulfill the court’s requirements, a warrant is issued to take the accused person to custody. A case of absenteeism in court by the accused makes the judge to serve a bench warrant to the police in order for them to bring the accused to court. In addition, this warrant is issued on failure to pay fine or on lack of community service performance as ordered by the court. However, before issuing these warrants, the judge must ensure that the person had a court notice on when to show up in court or that the person had an order by the court to pay the fine on a particular date or perform the community service on specific days. This warrant is only issued with sufficient cause unlike other warrants that are issued with probable cause. This is because the judge only requires sufficient evidence in order to issue the warrant. In addition, the bench warrants are the only warrants applicable in the civil cases (Stoddart, 2006).

When and how the warrants are served

            To obtain a warrant, the police present a written sworn statement to the judge or the magistrate. The sworn statement that is usually given under oath must give sufficient and accurate information to ensure a probable cause under arrest warrants and sufficient cause under bench warrants. This is to ensure that the crime was committed or the accused failed to satisfy the court’s requirements. There should be certainty that the name contained in the warrant belongs to the person who committed the crime. A broad description of the person accused of the crime does not apply in the issuing of the warrants. Example, a judge will not issue a warrant based on an affidavit that Smith was robbed by a tall black man and Steve matches the description. This is a vague description and it would apply to many people since there are countless tall black men everywhere. Therefore, this description does not establish a probable cause that Steve robbed Smith. Therefore, the probable cause to arrest Steve would be sufficient if the affidavit included accurate information on Steve.

This sufficient information may include at least more than one witness and a photo of Steve. The officers obtain the arrest warrant when they need to arrest a criminal. This is usually after a case is leveled up against the criminal. The judge issues the arrest warrant in order for the criminal to face trial. A search warrant is issued when the officers need to conduct an investigation and obtain evidence that can be used in court. In most cases, people do not allow the police officers to search their premises or work place for evidence without search warrants. Therefore, the judge issues search warrants in order to enable the police to have an easy work obtaining evidence. In cases of absenteeism in court by the accused, the officers obtain a bench warrant The judge issues this warrant in order to enable the police to find the suspect and bring him to court for him to face his trial. In addition, it is also issued when the accused fails to pay his fine or when he fails to perform his community service as required (Schmalleger, 2012).

State’s rules on warrants

            Different states have different rules on warrants. The Canadian police officers obtain the arrest warrants from the judge or the peace justice. The judge issues these warrants as per the Canadian criminal code. This code requires that upon the issue of the warrant, the officer arresting the accused should give a notice to the accused. This notice is on the order to arrest the accused and the basis for its issue. The officer then presents the warrant upon request. In the United Kingdom, the arrest warrant is also issued by the justice of peace. This is under the 1980 court rule. In this state, information laid before the justice of peace in writing concerning a criminal offence is only approved for persons over the age of eighteen. These arrest warrants are only issued for a person over eighteen. The offence the person is being accused of should be one punishable by imprisonment. On the other hand, the magistrates issue the warrants in Northern Ireland.

The court issues the warrants in the United States. However, the United States congress or the legislatures can also issue them. In this state, the warrant should be supported by a sworn statement. Therefore, this satisfies the probable cause. In addition, the officer making the arrest should present the criminal before the magistrate as fast as possible. The officer making an arrest in accordance with a warrant that is presented upon complaint should follow some basic rules. The person should be presented before the magistrate without unnecessary delays. The government attorney should move to the district where the warrant was issued to terminate the complaint. The defendant cannot be arrested without a warrant since the probable cause rule will not have been satisfied. However, upon the absence of the magistrate or judge, the accused appears before the state or the local judicial officer (Cole & Smith, 2010).


Cole, G. F., & Smith, C. E. (2010). The American system of criminal justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Schmalleger, F. (2012). Criminal justice: A brief introduction. Boston: Prentice Hall.

Stoddart, C. N. (2006). Criminal warrants. Edinburgh: Butterworths.

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Verified by MonsterInsights