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What Is An Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant gives police the right to find someone and to take them to jail until they see a judge based on probable cause, which means they have enough proof to prove you may be guilty of a crime.

If an arrest warrant has been issued, the arresting officer has to show proof of the warrant upon request and the reason for the warrant.

What Kind Of Evidence Constitutes Probable Cause?

Probable cause exists when there is enough evidence to prove that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed. Evidence enough to develop probable cause is decided by a judge. It can be multiple eye witness statements, a video, a recording, or eye witness by a government official such as a police officer.

Probable cause refers to the amount and quality of information required to arrest someone, to search or seize private property in many cases, or to charge someone with a crime. Legal cause to arrest, search, or seize property exists when facts and circumstances known to the police officer would lead a reasonable person to believe:

  • that the person to be arrested has committed a crime;
  • that the place to be searched was the scene of a crime;
  • that the place to be searched contains evidence of a crime; and/or
  • that property to be seized is contraband, stolen, or constitutes evidence of a crime.

Reference: Find Law

Is An Arrest Warrant The Same As A Search Warrant?

Not exactly. An arrest warrant allows police to find and detain a person, bringing them to jail before a judge. A search warrant allows police to search a home.  Under an arrest warrant police have the right to come into your home, using force if necessary, to detain you; however, if you are a guest in someone else’s home, then the police would need to also have a search warrant.