Warrants For Arrest Reports: FAQ
An arrest warrant is a warrant issued by and on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual.
Warrants are typically issued by courts but can also be issued by one of the chambers of the United States Congress or other legislatures (via the call of the house motion) and other political entities.
In the United States, an arrest warrant must be supported by a signed and sworn affidavit showing probable cause that:
1. a specific crime has been committed, and
2. the person named in the warrant committed said crime.
Hence, the form and content of an arrest warrant may be similar to the following:
Municipal Court, San Diego Judicial District
To any peace officer of the realm: Complaint upon oath having been brought before me that the crime of larceny has been committed, and accusing John Doe of the same, you are hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and bring that person before me. Bail may be admitted in the sum of $1,000.00. Dated: 1 July 2097. /s/ Judge Snyder, presiding judge.
In most jurisdictions, an arrest warrant is required for misdemeanors that do not occur within view of a police officer. However, as long as police have the necessary probable cause, a warrant is usually not needed to arrest someone suspected of a felony. Laws may vary from state to state, in the US.
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Outstanding arrest warrant
An outstanding arrest warrant is an arrest warrant that hasn’t been served.
A warrant may be outstanding if the person named in the warrant is intentionally evading law enforcement, or the agency responsible for executing the warrant has a backlog of warrants to serve, or is unaware that a warrant is out for him/her.
Some states have laws placing various restrictions on persons with outstanding warrants, such as prohibiting renewal of driver’s license or even obtaining a passport.