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Felony Warrants (Explained: All You Need To Know)

What are Felony Warrants?

Why is a felony warrant issued by a judge?

What are the essential elements you should know!

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s define the meaning of felony warrants and see how they work!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

What Are Felony Warrants

Felony warrants are a type of warrant that a criminal court will issue demanding that the law enforcement find and arrest a person believed to have committed a felony crime.

For a felony crime to be issued, the prosecutor must be able to demonstrate that there are reasons to believe that a specific person has committed a crime and that his or her apprehension and arrest are necessary.

The court will evaluate the prosecutor’s evidence and decide whether the warrant should be issued or not.

In general, for the court to issue a felony warrant, the prosecutor must:

  • File an affidavit to prove the factual basis of the request
  • Demonstrate that a felony crime may have been committed 
  • Prove that the specific defendant was the person suspected of committing the crime

The ultimate decision to issue the warrant is in the hands of the criminal judge.

Typically, a felony crime is issued and will remain enforceable by law enforcement until the suspect is arrested or the court discharges the order.

Types of Crimes

The reason a “felony warrant” is called as such is in relation to the underlying crime for which the warrant is being issued.

In the United States, you have two types of crimes:

  • Misdemeanor crimes 
  • Felony crimes

A misdemeanor crime is a type of crime that is considered less serious than felony crimes and thus result in less punishment.

Felony crimes are considered serious crimes in comparison to misdemeanor crimes.

If a person is suspected of having committed a crime falling in the “felony” classification, then the person’s arrest warrant may be referred to as a felony warrant.

Types of Warrants

There are different types of warrants that may be issued for the arrest of someone.

Here are different types of warrants that may be issued by a judge:

  • Search warrant
  • Alias warrant
  • Bench warrant
  • Capias warrant 
  • Civil capias warrant
  • Fugitive warrant
  • Governor’s warrant
  • Failure to appear warrant 
  • Failure to pay warrant
  • Child support arrest warrant 

A felony warrant is a warrant that is specifically issued to arrest someone that is required to be brought to justice for a felony.

Felony Warrant Definition

To define a felony warrant, let’s first define what is a felony and warrant.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a felony is defined as:

A grave crime (such as murder or rape) declared to be a felony by the common law or by statute regardless of the punishment actually imposed

As such, a felony is a “serious crime” defined as per the laws where the crime is committed.

Now, a warrant is defined as:

A precept or writ issued by a competent magistrate authorizing an officer to make an arrest, a seizure, or a search or to do other acts incident to the administration of justice

In other words, a warrant is a legal document ordering the arrest of another person.

Based on the above, we can provide the following felony crime definition:

An order issued by a competent court order the arrest or a person accused or suspected of having committed a grave crime considered as a felony

Felony Warrant Objective

The main objective for issuing felony warrants is to apprehend and bring a person has committed a felony crime or is suspected of committing a felony crime in the custody of law enforcement.

Once the person is arrested, the person must then be brought before the court as soon as possible to hear the charges laid against him or her and for the criminal proceedings to begin or take their course.

The court does not necessarily need to issue a felony warrant in all cases.

For example, if the police or law enforcement actually sees a person commit a felony, they can immediately move to arrest the person without the need for a warrant.

However, if a person has committed a crime but was never brought before the court for the criminal proceedings to begin, has fled, or is evading the authorities, then a warrant will be necessary ordering the arrest of the suspect.

Another reason why a warrant may be necessary is when a person files a criminal complaint against another or a witness reports a crime committed by someone and where the law enforcement needs to find the suspect and bring him or her to justice.

When law enforcement is notified of a crime committed by someone, they will generally have a warrant issued to find the person and bring the accused before the court.

Felony Warrant Requirements

For the court to issue a warrant to arrest a person for an alleged crime, the prosecutor must present proper and credible evidence showing that there’s probable cause that crime was committed. 

Felony warrants must be quite specific in nature.

In other words, felony warrants must contain the following:

  • Name of the suspect 
  • If the name is not known, a description of the suspect
  • A description of the felony crime committed 
  • An affidavit signed by the deponent 
  • The court’s identification
  • The name and signature of the judge 

In the United States, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from unlawful or wrongful arrests.

As such, the authorities must ensure that they take the necessary measures to ensure that the felony warrant is reasonable suspicion and justifiable in law.

Felony Crime Examples

The actual meaning of a felony crime may vary from one jurisdiction to another.

However, in general, we can consider that a felony crime is a serious crime that may result in severe jail or imprisonment, fines, and other punishments.

Some examples of felony crimes are:

  • Murder
  • Rape 
  • Robbery 
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Drug possession
  • Drudge use
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence of drugs 
  • Arson 
  • Burglary 
  • Fraud 
  • Kidnapping 
  • Perjury 
  • Child pornography 
  • Blackmail 
  • Manslaughter 
  • Aggravated assault 
  • Extortion 
  • Grand larceny 
  • Sexual assault 

As you can see from this list, you have a combination of violent crimes (like murder) or non-violent crimes (like fraud or perjury).

When a person is suspected of having committed a felony, the courts may issue a warrant for his or her arrest to have the person appear before the criminal court to answer the accusations.

Felony Warrant Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What’s a felony warrant?

What happens when you have a felony warrant?

In certain cases, a person may commit a felony crime but may not be immediately arrested as he or she escaped the police or the crime was reported by a witness after the fact.

When a person is suspected of having committed a crime or is accused of a felony, the courts may issue a warrant authorizing the police to arrest the suspect for the crime in question.

The police and law enforcement and the legal power to arrest someone in the course of committing a crime.

However, if the crime has already been committed and the police were not there to witness it, they can only arrest someone with the permission of the court.

That’s when felony warrants come in handy.

A felony warrant is an order from a judge authorizing the police to capture, detain, and charge a person with a crime.

Felony crimes do not have a set expiration date and will remain enforceable until it is either executed or canceled by the court further to a countermanding order.

In general, the courts should issue a felony warrant only when there is probable cause that a crime was committed.

Otherwise, the issuance of someone’s arrest may be in violation of the Fourth Amendment rights found in the US Constitution.

If you or someone you know believe that they are subject to an arrest warrant for a felony, you may want to speak with a defense attorney to get legal advice as to your options.

I hope that I was able to provide you the essentials you need to understand the meaning of a felony warrant, why it is issued, and how it works.

Good luck!

Now, let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Understanding Felony Arrest Warrant

  • A warrant refers to an order issued by a judge or magistrate permitting that the police arrest and charge a person suspected of committing a crime
  • A felony warrant is a writ issued by the court to arrest someone suspected of having committed a felony crime 
  • The “felony warrant” must be specific containing the name of the suspect (or a description if name is not known), description of the crime, the court name, name of judge
  • For the prosecutor to successfully request an arrest warrant to be issued, they must present evidence showing probable cause that a crime was committed and the suspect must be apprehended 
1st degree felony
2nd degree felony
3rd degree felony 
Alias warrant 
Bench warrant 
Capias warrant 
Class 4 felony 
Countermanding order 
Determinate sentence 
Felonious assault 
Felony attorney 
Fugitive warrant 
Governor’s warrant 
Jail vs prison
Misdemeanor attorney 
Misdemeanor vs felony 
Press charges for assault 
Probation violation 
Search warrant 
Specific deterrence 
What is a felony
What is a misdemeanor
Accessory to crime 
Accessory after the fact
Convicted felon 
Criminal negligence 
Defense attorney 
Depraved indifference 
Domestic violence 
Drug possession charge 
Federal DUI
Federal felony 
Felony battery 
Habitual offender
Legal consultation 
Mail tampering 
Mail theft 
Misdemeanor attorney 
Sealed indictments
Sex offender 
Solicitation of minor 
Summary offense 
Wobbler offense

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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