Contrary to common understanding, there is more than one type of warrant to be arrested under in the United States. Crimes are committed every day, some in the open, and others behind closed doors. For this reason, warrants are used as an affidavit of law, to permit police units to search out known or suspected criminals and bring them in to face their charges in court since they failed to catch them in the illegal act itself. Any and all crimes that are committed requires a felony or misdemeanor warrant for arrest. Just because the crime was not witnessed by a police officer, doesn’t mean someone won’t be held responsible for it.
When police have enough sufficient evidence to prove a suspect has committed a crime, a warrant is issued for them and anything possibly related to the crime in question. When their location is discovered, they are immediately arrested and taken into custody. Sometimes this happens when that person is committing another crime, being pulled over for a routine traffic violation, or has some other run-in with police that requires their name to be scanned. Sometimes police will simply show up at a person’s front door or place of employment.
The type of warrant issued is determined by the type of crime committed. There are warrants issued for a variety of crimes, ranging from minor to the very serious. Bench warrants, alias warrants, and felony warrants are a few common warrants used every day in the U.S.
Outstanding Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant is issued by a judge or magistrate to police officials. It permits officers to search out and detain a person that is suspected of a crime. These warrants cannot be officially issued without a sworn statement from a district attorney, victim involved in the crime, or police officer. An arrest warrant becomes an outstanding arrest warrant when it has taken some time to address, or a person has not been found after a while. It just means the arrest warrant is still issued but not yet carried out and completed.
A bench warrant is basically the same as an arrest warrant. The difference is the complexity and severity of the crime associated with the warrant. Bench warrants are issued by a judge, not the police, because they typically address non-violent crimes, such as neglecting court orders, failure to pay child support, failure to appear for jury duty, failure to appear per a subpoena, and other similar violations. They are warrants that literally bring the violator to the judges’ “bench” to face their unfinished business in court.
A felony warrant is a warrant associated with felony crimes, or crimes that are punishable by a prison term that is more than one year under Federal and State law. There are never statutes of limitations on felony warrants; they will not seize to exist until the charges are brought forth on the suspect and carried out in court. Examples of felony crimes would be murder, embezzlement, check fraud, dealing drugs, and other similar crimes.
Also contrary to common knowledge, there are other warrants out there that are not arrest warrants. Civil, alias, and search warrants are not arrest warrants. A civil warrant acknowledges small claims court issues like owed money and possession debates. A person who wants to sue their friend for not repaying a loan will file a civil suit against the friend at the local courthouse. An alias warrant is a warrant issued to a person who has failed to appear for court and has yet to file a plea regarding their case against them. A search warrant allows police to search your personal property, premises, work space, computer, or anything else they believe might be linked to a crime.