An arrest warrant is a powerful tool. It gives police the ability to arrest a suspect and bring that person before the court that issued the warrant.
Essentially, an arrest warrant is a statement that reasonable grounds exist to believe that a particular person has committed an offence and that person should come before the court that issued the warrant. The warrant gives police the legal permission to do this.
Most often, courts issue warrants when someone ignores or violates a court order, such as failing to appear at court in response to a summons or appearance notice, avoiding service of such a document, ignoring a subpoena, or avoiding service of a subpoena. These specific warrants are called bench warrants.
How Does an Arrest Warrant Work?
To obtain a warrant, the police have to follow a certain set of rules. They must provide information that alleges an offence was committed, including the name or description of the accused, and a description of the alleged offence. Police must swear to the information before a judge or justice of the peace, who will decide whether or not to issue a warrant.
The judge has the option of simply issuing a notice of appearance to direct the accused person to appear before the court. If the judge issues a warrant, arresting officers must have the warrant in their possession at the time the warrant is executed (meaning when the arrest is made). Officers must present the warrant to the accused if asked. Furthermore, officers must inform the accused about the warrant that authorizes the arrest and the allegations that provide the reason for the arrest.
Additional Purpose of a Warrant
Warrants do not simply authorize the arrest of a suspected criminal. They also give the police the authority to conduct a search and seize evidence. Warrants do not expire—they remain in effect until the police have performed whatever action the warrant authorizes. You cannot wait out a warrant just by avoiding contact with the police. Any police officer can arrest you under a warrant and take you to the issuing court under certain circumstances.
Warrants are valid throughout the country under certain circumstances. A superior court judge or an appellate court judge must issue Canada-wide warrants. If a warrant is not Canada-wide, a local judge can make an out-of-province warrant valid in that province.
If You Are Arrested by Police Under a Warrant in the Calgary Area, Contact the Lawyers of Bourdon Defence
If police serve you with a warrant and arrest you, hire the right legal representation. The criminal defence lawyers of Bourdon Defence regularly assist people who face arrest warrants. Reach us at (403) 474-4143 or through our website.