What You Need to Know About Warrants
The fourth amendment protects your rights and prevents your person or property from being searched or seized without a warrant. In any type of legal situation, warrants may come into play. Understanding warrants and how they affect you can benefit you in the future.
Types of Warrants
The first thing to know is that there are more than one kind of warrant. Different warrants are used for different situations. A common type of warrant is an arrest warrant. With this warrant, someone can be arrested if they were not taken into custody at the scene of the crime. If someone avoids arrest or is unaware of a warrant, then an outstanding warrant can be put in place. Often, these warrants are open for years at a time until the suspect is brought in. If an officer wishes to search your property, they will obtain a search warrant. These warrants allow the officer to search a specified piece of property. Finally, there are bench warrants which are issued if someone misses a court date, missed jury duty, failed to pay a fine, violated probation, etc.
How Warrants Are Obtained
With most warrants, the process begins when a law officer comes to a judge requesting a warrant. They must have probable cause and a signed affidavit that swears they know the suspect or property involved to be truly associated with the crime. Technically, they do not need to have proof that you did it, but they need strong probable cause. In any case, the judge must be impartial when issuing a warrant. For a bench warrant, the process does not begin with a law officer and is instead issued by the judge.
Even if a warrant has been issued against you, you still maintain certain rights. If an officer presents you with a warrant, you should be aware of what your rights are before complying. Warrants are often specific about what can be searched, where you can be arrested, what the warrant is for, etc. There are conditions in place. Make sure you are able to read the warrant and know what those conditions are.
Warrants exist as a way for law enforcement to search property or apprehend suspects. If you are on the receiving end of a warrant, you need to know exactly how that warrant will affect you. In many cases, it’s beneficial to have an attorney on your side to interpret and understand the warrant.
If you are in need of an experienced criminal law attorney, contact the Law Office of Bradley Corbett.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.