What Are the Different Types of Warrants?

The 4th Amendment protects citizens from unwarranted searches and seizures that violate your freedom. Read on to learn more about the different types of California warrants.

Do you have a warrant out for your arrest? Learning that law enforcement is looking for you can be a frightening and stressful time, especially if you weren’t expecting it. A warrant can be executed by both state and federal authorities, and they can show up at your home or place of employment at any time. Not only can it leave you feeling scared, but it can also jeopardize your reputation. 

If you have learned that you have a warrant out for your arrest, the first thing you should do is contact a San Diego warrant attorney. At the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein, we have worked with hundreds of clients to help them develop the right strategy to navigate their warrant. For more than 25 years, we have helped clients improve their chances of obtaining a positive outcome in their case. 

Read on to learn more about California warrants and then contact the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein for your free consultation with our experienced San Diego warrant attorney. 

Schedule your free consultation today. Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Joni Eisenstein.

3 Main Type of Warrants 

The 4th Amendment to the Constitution states “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” 

In essence, this means that the police cannot search you or your property unless they have probable cause. There is no specific definition of probable cause in the Constitution; however, in regard to warrants, it generally refers to circumstances in which there is a reasonable likelihood that evidence will turn up during a search or arrest. 

In addition to having probable cause, police may search you without a warrant if you are in the act of committing a crime. 

There are three primary types of warrants that are commonly issued in the state of California. In all cases, the police or the District Attorney must first have probable cause before they can request a warrant from a judge. 

Arrest Warrants 

An arrest warrant gives law enforcement permission to find you and arrest you because you are suspected of committing a crime. In some cases, a Grand Jury reviewed the evidence and determined that there was enough evidence to place you under arrest. Arrest warrants can be issued for a variety of crimes, including misdemeanors and felonies. 

It is rare when an individual knows that there is a warrant out for their arrest. Typically, they find out when police come knocking on their door or show up at their place of employment. Once found, the police will take you into custody. 

Bench Warrants 

A more common type of warrant, a bench warrant is generally issued when a defendant does not show up to civil or criminal court on their scheduled date. Known as a failure to appear, a bench warrant can be issued by a judge when a defendant: 

  • Misses a scheduled court date
  • Does not pay parking fines 
  • Fails to appear in traffic court 
  • Fails to appear during probation hearings 

If a bench warrant has been issued for you, you will be arrested by the police and placed in custody until you can post bail or until your court date. 

Search Warrants 

Search warrants are issued when the police or DA have probable cause that they would find evidence of a crime if a search was conducted. Police cannot search you, your vehicle, your home or business without a valid warrant. Search warrants can be issued for a variety of reasons and for a variety of crimes. 

The laws around search warrants are complicated. If you have been searched by the police, you should contact an attorney to be sure that the search was legal and that your rights were not violated. 

What Happens After a Warrant is Issued? 

When a judge issues a bench or arrest warrant, the police will be actively looking for you to place you under arrest. As we have mentioned in previous posts, it is not recommended that you answer any questions without the presence of an attorney. Statements that you make to police can be used against you in court.

Contact a San Diego Warrants Attorney  

At the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein, we specialize in helping clients understand their rights when they have an arrest or bench warrant against them. If you are facing an arrest or were searched by police, contact our attorney today for your free consultation. 

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Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.