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What Is an Arrest Warrant?


Before a law enforcement officer can conduct certain acts in relation to a criminal case, the court must issue a legal document that authorizes such an act. One such act may involve the arrest of a person suspected of committing or having committed an offense. This document is referred to as an arrest warrant. This is done in order to process the trial of a criminal in a lawful manner and to respect the affected individual’s civil rights or human rights.


Before a court can issue a arrest warrant, the law enforcement officer or the prosecution’s legal counsel must provide probable cause to the judge. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution ensures that there must be probable cause before an arrest warrant is issued in order to protect the person and his or her property. Ergo, it must be proven that an offense has been committed by an individual or is most likely to be committed by the individual. The arrest warrant details the name of the accused individual as well as the crime he or she is accused of having committed. The criminal warrant also includes other relevant information such as the date it was issued and the name of the judge who issued it. The most important information written on the criminal warrant is the act that the law enforcement officer must do.


There are different types of arrest warrants. One type is a misdemeanor warrant wherein a police officer is given the ability arrest a person on the suspicion or confirmation of having committed a misdemeanor. Another type is a felony warrant, which is an arrest warrant issued for the arrest of a person suspected of having committed a felony.

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