Important Types Of Warrants Applicable To Criminal Cases
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. 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.”
As a result the Fourth Amendment requires a law enforcement officer has to obtain a search warrant before officers can enter and search a person’s home or property. There are instances where officers can search a person without a warrant, such as exigent (emergency) circumstances, consent, plain view, and other means, which will be discussed in another article.
However, in this article we focus on some of the types of warrants, such as search warrants, arrest warrants, and bench warrants.
A warrant is a form signed by a neutral and detached judge which describes precisely the property and place to be searched.
A judge issues a warrant upon reviewing affidavits and evidence from the officers. If the judge finds that probable cause exists based on the information provided, then the judge will grant a warrant.
Law enforcement officers then use the search warrant to search a specific area or premises to search for evidence of a particular crime. Thus, a police officer can only search for items and places specified in the warrant, so it is always good for a person notified that an officer has a warrant to search their house to review such warrants.
For example, if a search warrant allows for a police officer to search for an elephant, an officer cannot open the drawers of a person’s home as it is evident that an elephant could not be found there.
An arrest warrant also stems from the Fourth Amendment, which states that a person must be protected from unlawful arrests. An arrest warrant is also known as CAPIAS in Florida.
An arrest warrant is another document signed by a judge that is issued based on the showing of probable cause via a sworn affidavit that a person has committed a specific crime. An arrest warrant must state the person’s name (s) to be arrested and the possible crime that the person possibly committed.
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by an officer that authorizes an individual’s arrest and detention. Simply, a court order to arrest a person and take the person into custody.
There are instances whereby an arrest warrant is not needed to arrest an individual. A prime example is if a person commits a crime right in front of a police officer, a police officer will have more than enough probable cause to arrest an individual right away.