Arrest Warrant Guide

Utah Arrest Warrants

Utah has three differing kinds of warrants that are similar and can be related. Search warrants are issued when there is suspicion of evidence at a specific residence. Warrants will be issued through either a magistrate or a judge after petitioning from a criminal defense attorney or law enforcement officer.

Search warrants can expire and will specifically mention the evidence to be searched, the place where the search will happen, and a specific time allotment. If officers discover other evidence they may not apprehend the commodity without another warrant. However if evidence is in plain sight it can legally be apprehended without a warrant.

Arrest Warrants
Arrests can be legally made with and without warrants, though special circumstances can apply. Arrest warrants are required in most circumstances, and if a warrant is issued officers are responsible for apprehending the designated individuals. Arrest warrants are issued when a criminal defense attorney or police officer has probable cause that an individual committed an illegal action. A warrant will not be issued upon suspicion. Warrants will state the individual's name and the crime for which they are to be arrested.

Most individuals are apprehended at either their places of business or personal residences. Prior to an arrest law officers are required to state their presence with both knocking and voice. After assessing a situation, if the officers believe the situation to be too dangerous, they have the option of entering the residence without announcement. These are only the circumstances if the law enforcement officers are in danger, the individual may endanger others, the individual may endanger him or herself, or if critical evidence may possibly be destroyed.

When entering a residence with force, police officers may only use doors and windows. In Utah officers may also use force to enter a residence if the offense for which the individual is to be arrested is a felony offense.

Utah law allows officers to make arrests without warrants when there is suspicion of a felony offense or a Class A Misdemeanor offense, if the offense is committed in his or her presence, or if there is reason to believe the individual may harm others.

Bench Warrants
Bench warrants are issued, like arrest warrants, by a judge but instead are only issued in relation to the court. If an individual on bail does not appear at his or her appointed court date, a warrant can be issued for his or her arrest. He or she will then be brought directly to the court. Bail may then be forfeited and additional charges given. Bench warrants are more severe than arrest warrants because the individual has previously been arrested and now is to be apprehended for court purposes.

Search engines and databases are available through the Internet for the searching of outstanding arrest warrants. Each state, including Utah, has specific sections on each site. Most sites break each state into categories of counties and cities for easy searching. These websites can be very useful for those who do not know they have warrants for their arrest, like in cases of identity theft.