Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Warrants in Los Angeles

Posted on: February 26, 2009 at 10:03 a.m.

One legal area that many people in Los Angeles don't fully understand is how to deal with warrants. If people feel they have nothing to hide, then they won't consult a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer regarding warrants that have been issued against them. However, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers know that warrants can create a slew of legal problems and should be treated quite seriously.

Warrants exist for the purpose of allowing law enforcement officials to do their jobs while still protecting the rights of freedom and privacy that Americans and Angelinoshold so dear. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees a citizens right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, which is a stark contrast to other forms of government where law enforcement officials can search and seize property or arrest citizens with no justification or legal process at all.

There are three basic types of warrants issued by Los Angeles law enforcement officials in the United States: search, arrest and execution. While government entities such as legislatures can also issue warrants, typically they are issued by a court or a judge.

Search warrants in Los Angeles are issued for the purpose of searching a criminal suspects home or belongings to look for evidence of wrongdoing. If you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, law enforcement officials must first demonstrate why they believe you are a suspect, then receive signed permission from either a judge or a court to go through your personal property. Otherwise, any evidence they have against you would have been illegally obtained and inadmissible in court proceedings. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will look for specific details such as this in order to defend you.

Arrest warrants in Los Angeles are similar in procedure to search warrants in that they, also, must be signed by a court or judge. They must also show probable cause that a crime has been committed and that the person named in the warrant has committed these crimes. In most legal jurisdictions, an arrest warrant is required for any misdemeanor not committed in sight of a law enforcement official. In the case of a felony charge, however, a warrant for arrest is usually not needed as long as law enforcement officials have the necessary probable cause before making an arrest. A bench warrant is a variant of an arrest warrant and is issued when someone charged with a criminal act fails to appear for a scheduled court appearance.

An execution warrant is really to protect a state or federally employed executioner from being charged with murder. In these cases, if someone is convicted of a severe enough crime and sentenced to death, and usually after all appeals have been exhausted, an execution warrant is issued and must be completed within a specified period of time. If it is not completed within that time frame, another warrant must be issued.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense in Los Angeles, having an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side is the single greatest asset you can have. The attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP will meticulously go through the details of your case and fight for the best possible outcome for you.

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