A Warrant is an Order signed by a Judge authorizing the police to do something. An Arrest Warrant is a warrant that authorizes the police to arrest a person suspected of committing a criminal act. Arrest warrants can be executed anywhere within the jurisdiction or jurisdictions authorized by law. Some warrants are valid only for the specific county in which they were issued and counties immediately surrounding the issuing county. Other warrants are valid anywhere within a given state, and yet other warrants are valid even out of state. Warrants can be executed by any police agency within the area in which the warrant is valid, and can be executed at any time of day and at any location within that area, including a motor vehicle.
Sometimes the police will notify the Defendant by phone that a warrant has been issued, giving the Defendant the opportunity to come to the police station on his or her own to be booked. The advantage of this offer, if made, is that the person has the opportunity to raise the necessary bond or bail money in advance such that they can be released immediately after the booking process is completed. If a cash bond is required, and the Defendant cannot pay it, he or she will be held in jail and taken in front of the judge the next time court is in session for a Bond Hearing. At a Bond Hearing, the judge determines whether a cash bond will be required, and if so, the amount of the bond the Defendant will need to post in order to be released from custody pending trial. Another warrant, often called a Bench Warrant, can be issued by a judge when a criminal defendant fails to appear in court when ordered to do so. The court can also issue a warrant in a civil case relating to collection of a judgment. This type of warrant is called a "Body Writ."
If you receive information that a Warrant or a Body Writ has been issued against you, contact an attorney immediately.