In: Criminal Defense

What Are the Different Types of Warrants in Texas?

The 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects us from unreasonable search and seizure by the authorities. This means that law enforcement officers must obtain warrants before they take certain actions against individuals. The following is a brief overview of the different types of warrants used in Texas, and what you should do if a warrant is out against you. To discuss a specific warrant or situation, contact a Lewisville criminal defense lawyer directly.

Search Warrant

In many cases, police officers gather evidence of a crime by searching individuals, their belongings, their vehicles, or their homes. Unless an exception exists, officers must obtain a search warrant to do so. In order to obtain a search warrant from a judge, an officer must show there is probable cause to believe someone committed a crime and that a search is likely to uncover contraband or evidence of the crime.

There are specific requirements for a valid search warrant:

  • The officer filed for the warrant in good faith
  • The warrant is based on reliable information that creates probable cause
  • The warrant is granted by a neutral and detached magistrate (usually a judge)
  • The warrant must be narrow in its scope and detail the exact places that may be searched and what might be seized

If police arrive at your house and present you with a search warrant, you should cooperate with them. Many search warrants might not meet the above criteria, and a defense attorney can use this to challenge evidence seized.

Arrest Warrant

This is another warrant obtained by a law enforcement officer from a judge, though this type of warrant allows the officer to place you under arrest. The officer must provide evidence and information that creates probable cause that a crime occurred and that you are the person who committed the crime. Once the warrant is issued, officers can show up at your home, place of work, or another location and place you under arrest. For lesser offenses, they might wait until you encounter an officer for an arrest to occur. If you believe you might have an arrest warrant out, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately who can advise you of your options.

Bench Warrant

A bench warrant is similar to an arrest warrant in that it allows the police to arrest you on sight. However, this type of warrant is not requested by an officer, but instead, issued by a judge on their own. This is often due to a missed court date, but it can also be for non-payment of child support, not showing up for jury duty, being held in contempt of court, and more.

Learn How a Lewisville Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

At the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, we help clients address warrant-related issues, as well as examine how a warrant can be used in their defense. Call 940-222-2488 or contact us online to speak with a Texas criminal defense attorney today.