What is a Warrant?

What is a Warrant

A warrant can be issued for any number of reasons but if there is a warrant for your arrest then you need to understand what is going to happen.  If the police have charged you with a crime, even it is only a misdemeanor or traffic ticket you are given a date to appear in court.  If you miss that court date then the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest.  That is just one example of how you can get a warrant.  Warrants are essentially special permission to search or detain someone.  Let’s look closer at how they work.

The 4th Amendment

There are all kinds of different situations where a warrant can be issued, typically warrants are issued by a judge giving the police permission to arrest or search the property of a suspect.  The Fourth Amendment was written to protect citizens against unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement so warrants aren’t handed out in every case.  The police or the prosecutor’s office must show “probably cause” and they must take an oath, describe what they are looking for and why they expect it to be found on your property.  Here is how the Fourth Amendment works.

Types of Warrants

Arrest Warrant: This is the most common type of warrant and once it is issued by a judge or judicial officer then the police have permission to arrest you.  Arrest warrants come after there is reason to believe that you have committed a crime.  The warrant must be specific about who is being charged and what the charges are.

Search Warrant:  Search warrants are issued by a judge and it gives the police permission to search a specific piece of property looking for evidence of a crime and those findings will be used in a court of law.  Again, law enforcement must demonstrate probable cause for searching a person or their property and they are granted based on a sworn affidavit given by a police officer.

Bench Warrants:  Lastly, bench warrants are issued when you fail to appear for a summons from the court.  Bear in mind that you don’t have to be the defendant to have a bench warrant issued.  If you were subpoenaed to testify in court and don’t show up the judge has the power to issue a bench warrant to compel you to show up.  While bench warrants aren’t as serious as an arrest warrant you can still find yourself in a jail cell.

Warrants need to be taken seriously and if you have any kind of warrant, be it search or arrest then it is time to contact an attorney.  You want to make sure that your rights are protected and a criminal attorney can help make sure they are.

The Three Times in Your Life You Will Need an Attorney

There are many instances when you will need a competent and experienced lawyer. Minor infractions for example as speeding can be handled without an attorney. These kinds of offenses have well defined fines or penalties known to the general public. You can typically handle them on your own. There are some cases you will become involved that are very complex.  You can not represent yourself in such cases. Many complex cases require lots of research, a deep understanding of all applicable laws, and the skill in presenting evidence in an compelling and organized way. The following are the three times that you will need a competent attorney.

1. When you are facing Criminal Charges

No one can predict the events that will take place in life. You might find yourself in a situation that might lead to criminal charges. In some instances, you might be guilty or you might be innocent. Either way, you will require a competent lawyer.

2. During Business Transactions

If you are planning to conduct some business transactions, you definitely require an attorney. You might be planning to start a new business or purchase an existing one. You might also be planning to expand your business overseas. Many business transactions are complex and lengthy. They often require huge amounts of paperwork.An attorney will often b e critical you are planning to conduct business transactions.

3. Divorce

Marriage is blissful when it lasts. Marriage can often become nasty when disagreements over various issues occur between spouses. Divorce is a very expensive and very painful event. It often traumatizes both partners and leaves them with permanent emotional scars. A divorce attorney is crucial when settling divorce cases. There are many reasons you need an attorney. The first reason is custody. The attorney will fight on your behalf for your child or children. The second reason is property and money. Couples will often acquire property together or separately. Property and money are a very thorny issue when it comes to divorce. Couples often have disagreements over money even when they are married. When they divorce, the issue rears its grotesque head in public. An attorney will ensure that your property is safeguarded.

When you are engaging the services of an attorney, it is critical to find one who has specialized in the field you are involved in. A commercial litigator will not be of use to your divorce case. You will need to conduct due diligence. You should research level of their experience in identical cases, the success rate , the zeal for their work, and the fees they charge. It is advisable to always engage their services.