Only a court or judge can issue a warrant, but regardless of who issues it, it’s designed to direct a particular act. Warrants typically fall under one of three categories: bench warrants, search warrants and arrest warrants.
If someone has issued a warrant against you, it’s a good idea to talk to a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago as soon as possible so you can get case-specific legal advice. Your lawyer will formulate a strategic plan of action that gets you the best possible outcome on your case.
Types of Warrants in Illinois
The three types of warrants that judges typically issue in the state of Illinois—bench warrants, search warrants and arrest warrants—each have their own justifications and requirements.
If you fail to show up in court on a criminal case (or sometimes even a traffic case), the judge will issue a warrant. A judge or court can also issue a bench warrant if you’ve already been sentenced for a crime but you’ve failed to comply with the terms of your sentence, which is commonly known as a sentence violation.
A bench warrant directs police to take you into custody and bring you before the court; if you don’t appear in court, the court will enter your name into a police database that lets police know they can arrest you on-sight. That means police can pick you up when you’re dropping off your children at school, when you’re walking down the street with friends, or at any other time.
Your attorney can request that the court recall the warrant against you. He’ll go into court with you, file the appropriate motions, and argue to the judge that he or she should quash the warrant.
Judges sign search warrants to allow police to search your home, car, business or other private areas. Naturally, most people consider their homes to be the most intimate and private settings of their lives—and if you’ve never experienced one, you need to know that a search of your home is incredibly intrusive. Police can dig through your dresser drawers, open your cupboards, search your garage… a search warrant gives police the authority to look in every nook and cranny to find what they’re looking for.
However, a search of your home may actually be an unlawful invasion of privacy if police didn’t follow certain procedures. The same is true if the prosecutor or judge didn’t follow the appropriate procedures, and your attorney will immediately analyze the way the police went about getting the warrant against you, the way the prosecutor and judge responded, and how the search happened. If any part of the process violated your rights, your criminal defense lawyer will exploit it to help your case.
A court or judge can issue an arrest warrant when police testify before the court that you have committed a crime, but that they are unable to find and arrest you. The judge issues the warrant against you, placing your name in the law enforcement database and indicating that you have a warrant out for your arrest; police can then arrest you on-sight. Typically, judges only issue arrest warrants if police believe you’re purposely avoiding them so they can’t arrest you.
If you suspect that a judge has issued an arrest warrant for you, call our office immediately. We can verify whether an arrest warrant has been issued and take the steps necessary to ensure your freedom.
Talk to an Experienced Chicago Lawyer About Your Warrants Now
If a judge has issued a warrant against you, you need to act quickly and get the tough, knowledgeable legal representation you deserve. Every minute you wait brings you one minute closer to your arrest or a search of your home, vehicle or other personal property.
Call us at 847-920-4540 for a free case review about your warrant immediately, whether you’re in Chicago, Skokie, Rolling Meadows or Schaumburg. Attorney Matt Fakhoury is a former prosecutor who will work hard to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.