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There are two main types of warrants: (1) warrants for the arrest of a person and (2) warrants to search for personal property, persons, or items.
Arrest Warrants

  • Arrest warrants are issued to police when a judge is presented with a sworn statement to establish a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime.
  • Judges from any court may issue a warrant – Superior, Municipal or Justice Court. Warrants for arrest may also be issued by courts from other states or federal agencies.
  • An arrest warrant stays in effect until the individual is arrested or appears before the court to address the warrant. An arrest warrant can only “quashed or cancelled” by a judicial officer out of the jurisdiction where the warrant arose. A prosecutor can request a warrant be issued, but cannot quash or remove it without order of the court.
Bench Warrants

  • Bench warrants are issued from a court by a judge, magistrate, commissioner, or justice of the peace.
  • Bench warrants are typically issued when a defendant fails to appear for a court appearance or fails to comply with a court order and may result in an arrest warrant for the defendant. In addition, an arrest warrant may be issued for a defendant who fails to pay court-ordered restitution. A.R.S. § 13-810.
  • Defendants can be physically arrested by a police officer once the warrant is issued.
  • Will see judicial officer within 24 hours and release conditions, including bond, will be considered.
  • If you have a pending bench warrant, you may want to contact the issuing court or an attorney to consider your options.
Search Warrants

  • Search warrants are written orders in the name of “the State of Arizona,” signed by a magistrate (judge or judicial officer) upon a finding a probable cause, authorizing the police to search for personal property, persons, or items. A.R.S. §§ 13-3911 to 13-3925.

  • If a judge agrees that probable cause for the warrant exists, a search warrant can be issued to command a search by any police officer of the person or place specified, for the items described in the warrant. A.R.S. § 13-3915.

  • A search warrant is different from an arrest warrant. However, if evidence of a crime is uncovered during the search, it may lead to an arrest.