What constitutes an arrest warrant in California? An arrest warrant is a court order issued by a judge that directs any peace officer to arrest a specified individual charged with a crime, and to bring him or her before a judge for further criminal proceedings. A warrant is usually based upon a declaration by a police officer setting forth facts that the officer believes constitutes the offense listed in a warrant. The facts provided in the officer’s declaration must be sufficient enough to establish probable cause to arrest such an individual. “Probable cause,” “reasonable cause,” and “sufficient cause” are synonymous terms. They all describe the same definition, which is the state of facts that would lead a person of ordinary caution and prudence to believe that a suspect to be arrested is guilty of a crime.
An arrest warrant is directed to any peace officer in the state of California, or any other public officer authorized by law to act in such capacity. A warrant defines the crime that allegedly has been committed, and specifies the name of the individual to be arrested. A warrant also shows the time when it was signed by judge. In addition, when a judge determines that the offense charged is bailable, the amount of bail must be endorsed on a warrant. It means that an individual has to be permitted to bail out in the amount fixed and specified in such a warrant. It is also important to know that an arrest based upon a felony warrant may be made at any time, while a misdemeanor or infraction warrant is primarily executed during the daytime.
Persons arrested on misdemeanor new offense warrants may be released on a citation with a promise to appear in court on a specific date and time, in the discretion of the arresting officer. However, individuals charged with a new felony offense must be brought before a judge without unnecessary delay, and, in any event, within 48 hours after such a person has been arrested by a law enforcement agency. It is important to know, though, that the time authorized by law to bring a person before a judge excludes weekends and holidays, and the clock doesn’t start until the first business day following the arrest. Therefore, an individual who has been arrested on Thursday night may not see a judge in court until Tuesday afternoon. That is, the hearing occurs almost 120 hours after the arrest and yet within the statutorily prescribed period prohibiting unnecessary delay.
San Diego criminal courts ordinarily schedule misdemeanor and felony arrest matters on the third business day following the arrest. Arrest warrants for cases that have already had a court appearance, such as probation violations, for example, are not subject to the “48 hours” rule and are scheduled about 10 days from the date of arrest.
This office handles all types of San Diego County criminal court arrest warrants. For free advice on how to clear a warrant, contact us at [email protected].
For more information on arrest warrants, see the following:
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