Being served a warrant without any warning whatsoever is a jarring scenario which nobody ever wants to think of, let alone experience. However, in the event that it ever does happen, it is important for you to have a basic understanding of what they are and how you should navigate them.

Below, we shall discuss how a warrant works, their different categories and how a warrant impacts the rights you have.

What are warrants?

Issued by judges, warrants are orders from the court which allow police officers and other law enforcement agencies to execute an action. Warrants specifically mention the act that it allows the agent to perform – and which typically includes activities such as arresting someone, searching their premises, and finding and confiscating contraband or other illegal items.

How many kinds of warrants are there?

Courts issue different kinds of warrants based on who they are issuing it to and what it is for:

  • Search warrant: These allow law enforcement to search specified premises – like a house or an office building to look for evidence when they believe that a crime has been committed, or if evidence is being hid – in that area
  • Arrest warrant: This kind of warrant gives the police the power to arrest an individual that is being suspected for doing a criminal act
  • Bench warrant: They are a specialized kind of arrest warrant which a judge issues in the event of a person failing to come into court upon being summoned

How should you behave if you have been given a warrant?

Being served a warrant is indeed a jarring experience and it is not unreasonable to assume one would panic. However, this serves no purpose – and would in fact put you in a vulnerable situation – which is perhaps why you need to override it. Take a breath and read your warrant slowly and carefully. Ensure that you are aware of its details, which includes the charges that have been leveled, the power it gives law enforcement, the area court that has issued the warrant, and of course the agency that’s executing it.

Next, even in the situation of a warrant being served, you still have rights – and it is very important for you to know what these are. For starters, you reserve the right to keep silent and ask to speak to your lawyers – you are allowed to exercise these regardless of whether or not you are under arrest. And make sure that all questions go through the lawyer.

As mentioned before, getting a warrant is psychologically disturbing, to say the least. That said, if you know how it operates and how you can navigate it – it will allow you to stay level-headed and keep yourself safe, keep your rights intact and make sure that the law gets followed.