You have almost certainly heard the word “warrant” in relation to police officers. You may not be aware that there are several different types of warrants that may be issued, each giving the police specific powers. Each type of warrant must be issued by the courts, has certain requirements to obtain, and has limits on its execution that law enforcement must follow. If the laws regarding warrants are not properly followed, your arrest or any evidence obtained as a result of the warrant may be in violation of your rights. An experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer can stand up for your rights regarding warrants and can help make the process as painless as possible for you.
The following are the most common types of warrants in Illinois:
A search warrant gives permission to the police to search a certain person or place. The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizure, therefore police must obtain a search warrant to search your person or property unless exceptional circumstances exist. In order to obtain a search warrant, police must demonstrate to a judge that probable cause exists for the search, and must present information to support that probable cause. A valid search warrant must particularly describe the place to be searched and for what the police are searching. Police should obey the scope of the search set out in the warrant, though this does not always occur.
In order to obtain a warrant for a person’s arrest, police must provide an adequate showing to a judge that there is probable cause for the arrest. There may not be intentional falsehoods in the police’s affidavit of probable cause, and the judge issuing the warrant must be a neutral party. In order to be valid, the warrant must specifically describe the person who is to be arrested, and it cannot be vague.
A bench warrant is a type of arrest warrant issued by a judge, usually without a request from police officers. Judges issue bench warrants on their own after a person has failed to appear at a court date or failed to comply with a court order. A bench warrant gives police permission to arrest a person on sight.
If you know you have missed a court date or believe you may have another type of warrant out, you should always contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney may be able to get a bench warrant withdrawn or make sure your rights are protected if a search or arrest warrant is executed. An attorney can go over any options you may have in regard to your warrants so you may try to avoid any embarrassing encounters with police in front of friends or family.
Steven Goldman is an experienced Chicago defense lawyer who knows how to deal with law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges with your best interests in mind. Contact Goldman & Associates today for free case evaluation.