Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Kosnett Law Firm understand there is significant confusion regarding warrants in California. Specifically, the uncertainty regarding why they are issued, and what they do or allow once they are.

For general purposes, a warrant is the result of a court order signed by a judge that allows or directs law enforcement to take some type of action.

The most common types of warrants in California include:

  • Alias Warrants
  • Arrest Warrants
  • Bench Warrants
  • Extradition Warrants
  • Search Warrants

Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles County strive to provide our clients — and our fellow California residents as a whole — with the knowledge they need to understand the differences between the most common types of warrants.

What is an Alias Warrant?

A California judge usually issues an alias warrant when an individual either fails to appear in court for a scheduled court date before any plea has been entered or responds to a citation in person or by mail.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

A California judge issues an arrest warrant when there is probable cause that you were engaged in criminal activity or committed a criminal offense.

An arrest warrant is typically issued after sufficient evidence is presented to a judge by law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, or following a Grand Jury indictment, and allows an officer to execute an arrest of the person listed.

What is a Bench Warrant?

In California, a bench warrant can be issued for multiple reasons, including:

  • The willful failure to pay fines or restitution before the date the court set for you to pay.
  • Failure to appear for a scheduled court date.
  • When a defendant commits a probation violation.

There are also civil bench warrants that apply to child support, custody, and evictions, which do not apply in criminal cases unless they are tied to criminal proceedings.

What is a Search Warrant?

A search warrant is issued by a judge when there is probable cause that a location — or locations — contact evidence of criminal activity. Once issued, it allows law enforcement to search a particular place for evidence of a crime. If any evidence is discovered, it can be seized and used against the defendant during their criminal case.

What is an Extradition Warrant?

An extradition warrant is for the arrest of an accused fugitive that commits a specific crime in one jurisdiction or state, and then flees to another. This warrant provides the legal approval to extradite the individual to the state or jurisdiction where the offense was allegedly committed.

You have the right to have an attorney with you when responding to the warrant, and should have a criminal defense lawyer accompany you, so your rights are protected immediately upon your response.

If a warrant has been issued for your person or property in California, contact our skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Kosnett Law Firm today by calling (310) 445-5900 or by contacting us online to review your unique circumstances and provide straightforward legal options on how we can help.

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