A warrant is an official document that government bodies sanction, which authorizes officers of the law to search premises, make arrests, withhold property and perform a range of activities to effectively administer justice.

A warrant can be authorized by either the court magistrate or a Supreme Court official. The warrant is put into force by law enforcement agents.

Types of warrants

  • Search warrant
    Search warrants legally authorize police officers to search a person’s place of residence or the place of work. These warrants are issued if the judge believes that a person is hiding important evidence at their premises or some criminal activity is underway on the premises.
  • Arrest warrant
    If a public official has enough probable cause and some evidence which points to the culpability of an individual in a misdemeanor or a crime, he can authorize an arrest warrant against the accused. This warrant allows officers to arrest and detain the accused in custody until further action is taken.
  • Bench warrant
    If a person, despite having received an arrest warrant, fails to turn up at court, a bench warrant is issued in his name. With this, the police can forcibly take the accused to court.
  • Fugitive Warrant
    If the accused is suspected to have fled to another state, a fugitive warrant is issued for his capture.
  • Alias warrant
    If a person has a citation in his name or has been summoned for a court date and fails to visit the court for the same, an alias warrant is issued to bring him to court. An additional charge of “failure to appear/contempt of court” may also be added to the warrant’s existing charges.
  • Capias pro fine warrant
    If a person has been declared guilty of an infraction, violation or misdemeanor and has failed to comply with the judgment of the court, a capias pro fine warrant can be authorized. This warrant authorizes officers to collect fine or jail the accused as directed in the original judgment.
  • Civil capias warrant
    This warrant is authorized against a guilty defendant who fails to comply with court orders consecutively. The Civil capias warrant is an apprehension order which seeks to get the accused to the court for a trial or a sentencing.
  • Governor's warrant
    Similar to a fugitive warrant, the Governor's warrant is issued to recover a fugitive who has fled to another state. But while the fugitive warrant comes from the court, the Governor's warrant comes from the Governor’s office.
    Ignoring the warrants and preventing officers from doing their job is the worst thing anyone can do. Complying with law enforcement officials is the best way to prevent complications.