Warrants 101: What Are They & What to Do if I know I Have One?

Posted on April 14th, 2020 by Danielle Giannola

What is a Warrant?

A warrant is just a legal document that gives law enforcement officers the power to do something that they otherwise are not allowed to do. There are three different kinds of warrants: arrest, search, and bench warrants. Each type of warrant allows law enforcement to take a different type of action.

  • Arrest warrants are the type that most of us are probably familiar with – they give the police the authority to arrest a specific person for allegedly committing a specific crime. If there’s an arrest warrant out for you, the police can arrest you anywhere, anytime they find you.
  • A search warrant, like its name suggests, gives the police permission to search a specific location for a specific item, usually evidence that a crime has been committed. This could mean your house, apartment, car, locker at work, storage unit, luggage, etc.
  • A bench warrant allows law enforcement to force a specific person to appear before the court. Most of the time, bench warrants are used when someone fails to appear in court in response to a court order. If you receive a subpoena, summons, citation, etc., and you don’t show up to court, the judge may issue a bench warrant to find you.

As always, Giannola Legal LLC’s criminal defense, and the surrounding counties, are here to guide you through the criminal process.

 What if I Know There’s a Warrant Out in My Name?

If there’s a search warrant out for your property, you generally won’t hear about it ahead of time. The police will probably show up unannounced with the warrant, so there isn’t much you can do to plan. 

However, you may hear that the police are looking for you because you have an arrest or a bench warrant. If that’s the case, the best course of action is to consult an attorney like the experienced criminal defense lawyers in DuPage County, Illinois, at Giannola Legal LLC before you do anything. Your attorney can advise you on the best course of action for your specific case. 

Generally speaking though, it’s best to turn yourself in to the authorities if you know they’re looking for you. If you turn yourself in peacefully, you look more responsible in the eyes of the court. The judge is more likely to release you after your bail hearing if you’ve cooperated with the warrant than if you try to run or hide from law enforcement.

Contact one of Giannola Legal LLC’s criminal defense lawyers in DuPage County, Illinois today to discuss your warrant.

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