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A Brief Understanding of 9 Different Types of Warrants

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Lorenzo Novas
Lorenzo Novashttp://ellarei.com
Lorenzo has a keen eye for detail and a natural gift for storytelling, allowing him to craft compelling content that captivates and informs his readers. Whether he's exploring the latest trends in technology, delving into the intricacies of finance, or sharing his insights on travel and culture, Lorenzo's work is always engaging and thought-provoking.

You might have heard several times the FBI saying that they have a search warrant and then the homeowner allows them to tear the place apart literally. Warrants are such special type of authorization given to the law enforcers. A judge or a magistrate usually issues it.

Warrants are a legal issuance of stopping an illegal act before it can even occur. It is an integral and essential part of criminal justice systems. Along with the type of warrant mentioned earlier, there are several other types of warrants that can be issued.

9 Most Common Types of Warrants

In simple terms, warrants are the legal document of giving the power to the law enforcer to act or search on specific issues. Whether there is a warrant against you or you are issuing a permit, it is crucial to learn about its kinds.

There are many forms of warrants in different countries. However, this article talks about 9 types of warrants that can be found in almost every country in the world.

1. Arrest Warrant

Arrest warrants are probably the most common type of authorization. It is issued by a judge or a magistrate that enables the police to attempt to capture a criminal. An arrest warrant must include the name of the criminal, probable cause of the specific crime, the order to arrest the criminal and a signature of the warrant issuer.

· Bench warrant

A bench warrant is a sub-type of an arrest warrant, where a judge may also issue an arrest warrant if you fail to appear in court. Failing to appear in court is a class 1 misdemeanour.

2.    Search Warrant

As the name suggests, a search warrant is issued to search personal belongings and property of a person. It usually includes arresting as well if any evidence of the crime is collected through the search warrant.

Without a search warrant, no law enforcer can seize possession of your personal belongings, which is a violation of the fourth amendment. Before a judge or magistrate issues a search warrant, the officer must submit an affidavit stating factual information of the crime.

There are 3 sub-type of a search warrant:

I. Judicial warrant

A search warrant is mainly issued from a hunch of the detective or investigator of the crime. But, for a judicial search warrant, the investigator must provide some form of proof against you for the judge to issue such a permit. Another name for a judicial warrant is “Criminal Warrant”.

II. DNA warrant

A search warrant allows the police to seize your personal belongings as evidence. But it does not enable to collect your DNA. For the collection of DNA sample through saliva, hair-strand or mucus, a separate DNA warrant is a must.

III. Administrative warrant

When you violate a civil code, the court can issue an administrative warrant against you. For example, if a health department fails to meet sanitizing regulations, an administrative warrant can be issued.

3. Witness Warrant

If you are given the subpoena to arrive at court and give witness to a crime, you must be present. Failure to be present despite the citation will make the judge issue a witness warrant. The witness warrant has no expiry date, and the police can arrest you any time for failing to appear in court under a subpoena.

The police can arrest you and either take you to court or keep in custody on the ground of a witness warrant. You may be released after the court hearing is completed.

4. Surety Warrant

A surety is a person who is responsible for supervising you during your release. If he decides on not being a surety anymore, he can issue a written application in court against it. Then, your failure to attend in court when your previous bail is testifying against you will result in issuing of a surety warrant arrest against your name.

5. Alias Warrant

If you fail to attempt in court and there is no plea on the case, there will be an alias warrant issued against you. When you receive a citation, you will have to sign it that promises your appearance in court, by mail or in person.

If you fail to follow that, you are committing an offence of “failure to appear” and “violate promise to appear”. As a result, there will be a bench warrant and an alias warrant issued against you.

6. Capias Pro Fine Warrant

Some type of misdemeanor cases ends up by the judge deciding on a fine or communal service agreement of the accused. If you fail to abide by any of that, a capias pro fine warrant will be issued against you.

A police officer can arrest you on the ground of this warrant. You may be released by fulfilling the agreement or after a certain amount of jail-time to satisfy the outstanding balance.

7. Civil Capias Warrant

The civil court issues a civil capias warrant. This is a special kind of apprehension order when the defendant continuously fails to abide by the judge’s orders. It is different from a criminal arrest warrant. Another name for such warrant is Body Attachments and Mittimuses.

8. Fugitive Warrant

Sometimes wanted criminals from one state may flee to another state or country. In this scenario, judges or magistrates can issue a fugitive warrant against your name in that state. If you are under that local jurisdiction, a fugitive warrant will be sent from the place of the crime.

9. Governor’s Warrant

The governor of a state can issue this type of warrant. Under a governor’s warrant, the state you are hiding will capture you and deliver to the state or country you have committed the crime.

Arresting on the Grounds of Warrants

If there is a country-wide warrant against you, any police officer across the country can arrest you.

However, the state police will solely be in charge of your arrest when there is a bench or an alias warrant against you. This is the same case for search warrants as well.

Generally, the law enforcer will not travel a lot of distance if you are accused of minor charges.


Issuing different types of warrants is an everyday scenario in criminal justice systems all over the world. It is essential to understand your right and how different warrant functions differently. It is always wise to have attorney support in fighting any illegal search or arrest warrant.

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