Your home and personal effects are generally protected from police searches and seizures. However, judges and other magistrates are able to grant warrants for searches and arrests, so long as the property or individual can aid in the investigation of a crime. California recognizes three different warrant types: search, arrest, and bench. Here is a look at the differences between these legal writs:
Search Warrants These types of warrant grant police the right to enter your home or vehicle without your permission and search its contents for specific illegal items or evidence. Police officers must formally petition a judge to approve a search warrant, and are required to submit formal paperwork detailing the exact items they will be searching for. If police overstepped their legally approved boundaries and searched your home in an inappropriate way, you may be able to throw out evidence as the fruit of an unlawful search.
Arrest Warrants Similar to a search warrant, an arrest warrant grants police the power to detain and arrest you without your consent. A criminal defense attorney can intervene right after an arrest to prevent you from spending a night in jail. Your lawyer can help you post bail and alleviate the problems associated with incarceration.
Bench Warrants These types of warrants are not issued for suspected criminal activity, but rather granted by a judge during a standard court proceeding. As a result, bench warrants are the most common types of warrant issued in California. This warrant is granted when an individual has not fulfilled a court order such as paying a mandatory fine, appearing at a court hearing, or completing community service.
Warrants can often be improperly obtained or exceed appropriate scope. If you have been served a search, arrest, or bench warrant in California, the criminal defense attorneys at Hinkle, Jachimowicz, Pointer & Emanuel can help. We have over two decades of experience helping San Jose-area residents fight back against unfair charges, so call us at (408) 916-1413 for an appointment today.