A warrant for arrest can come in many different forms, and for various reasons. Police in Western Australia can make an arrest with or without one. And while most arrests happen in the spur of the moment and with no warrant on hand, a Justice of the Peace can issue a warrant for the arrest of someone whether they know about it or not.
If you are presented with a warrant for your arrest, it’s important to know your rights: get in contact with a qualified criminal defence lawyer immediately.
What are the types of arrest warrants?
- Pre-court arrest warrant. This type of warrant is issued before court proceedings have started. If the accused or suspect is not able to be found for the trial proceedings a warrant will be issued.
- Breach of the sentence. A warrant for arrest may be issued if an offender has breached a court order such as a restraining order, or failed to complete mandatory community service duties.
- Failure to appear in court. A warrant may be issued if the defendant does not appear in court after being formally notified.
- Warrant for arrest following a sentence correction. This occurs when a legal sentence is formally corrected and a new warrant for arrest is issued.
- A warrant for the arrest of a witness. This occurs when a witness has been summoned but fails to appear before the court. An arrest warrant for the witness will be issued to ensure the witness testifies.
Do police require a warrant to arrest a person?
The quick answer is no, they don’t. This is the most common type of arrest – it happens frequently and often as the result of chance, or an ongoing investigation that suddenly takes a turn. A police officer can arrest someone without a warrant if they suspect a person to:
- Be committing or have committed a crime that involves imprisonment or other serious penalties.
- Continue or repeat such an offense
- To be likely to commit another such offense
- To be likely to cause violence, harm, or endanger your or someone else’s safety
- To be likely to hide evidence or hamper an investigation
- Be legally unable to show their true identity
The above list is non-exhaustive. Police have numerous grounds on which they may arrest a person. Even if the arrest does not result in any charges, it is lawful and binding until the person is cleared.
Do police tell you if you have a warrant?
Police will not reach out and let you know of a warrant for arrest, rather they may inform you upon the arrest of a warrant if they have one. You may ask to see the warrant and the police are obligated to show you. It’s important to check the exact name and spelling, it could be an error. If you believe there to be a mistake, or if the police treat you inappropriately, ensure you take note and get a criminal defense lawyer on board immediately.
Be on the safe side
Knowing your rights before, during, and after an arrest is important. Police are legally obliged to explain that you are under arrest, your rights, and take you into custody. While someone is under arrest they are afforded essential rights such as:
- Outside communication with a lawyer or friend or relative
- Medical treatment
- Reasonable privacy
- Assistance with a qualified interpreter if necessary
For more information, and if you think there may be a warrant for your arrest, get in contact with the team at WN Legal. Our team of specialized criminal defence lawyers is here to help.