Warrants - English
- What is a warrant?
- What is a bench warrant?
- What is an arrest warrant?
- What is a search warrant?
- How can someone clear (vacate) a bench or arrest warrant?
- If there is a warrant against me where will the police look for me?
- Do bench or arrest warrants expire? What about search warrants?
- What is the difference between a Family Court warrant and a Criminal Court warrant?
- How can I find out if there is a warrant for my arrest?
- Can having a warrant against me affect my public benefits?
A warrant is an order made by a judge telling a party in a case (for example a person accused of a crime) to do something they have failed to do – like show up for a court date. A warrant can also be issued by a judge allowing the police to do something, like search your home.
This resource guide explains the different types of warrants.
A bench warrant can be issued by a judge when a person fails to appear in court on a scheduled date, fails to show proof of community service, fails to pay a fine, or fails to appear for sentencing after being convicted.
A search warrant is a judge’s order that tells the police to search a specific place, like a person’s home or office.
The big difference between a warrant issued by a Family Court judge and a Criminal Court judge is what can happen after you are “picked up.”
Once you are brought to Criminal Court you may:
have to post bail (money or assets) in order to be released again (see our “Bail” Resource Guide);
be remanded (ree-MAN-did). Remanded means sent to jail without bail;
be released on your own recognizance (re-COG-ni-zens) (RORed); or
get an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ad-JURN-mint in con-tem-PLA-shun of diss-MISS-al) or ACD, which means that if the accused doesn’t get arrested in the next six months or a year, the adjourned case will be dismissed.
In Family Court, you will usually be released after you have done whatever the judge wanted of you in court (usually to come to a hearing or to talk to you).