A warrant is a legal document that authorizes the police or some other designated person to arrest someone, search a place or person, or carry out some other legal action.
Often warrants issue for people who have breached a court order, like breach of probation or recognizance. Or, in come cases, Courts issue warrants for witnesses who don’t attend court.
If you have a warrant issued for your arrest, you should contact a lawyer and take their advice. Normally, a person with a warrant is advised to turn themselves in to authorities to have the warrant dealt with. When a person turns themselves in, it tells the court that they are not trying to avoid prosecution of the charges, or trying to hide from the police. In some cases, a person can attend court and have the warrant executed by the Judge.
When the police suspect that criminal activity is occurring within a certain place, they can apply to the court to get a search warrant to search that place. These types of cases often arise when the police receive information about drugs or weapons being sold or stored in a residence.
If the police enter that residence without a warrant, the prosecution will ultimately be required to show that search was reasonable for the evidence found as a result of the search to be admissible in court. It is a warrantless search, therefore the onus is on the Crown to prove that it was reasonable.
If the police obtain a search warrant prior to entering the residence to search, the onus is on the defence to show that the search was unreasonable, otherwise the evidence resulting from the search is admissible.
In order to get a search warrant, the police take the information they received to the court and ask a Judge or Justice of the Peace to authorize the warrant. The Court reviews the information and determines whether there are reasonable and probable grounds that an offence has been committed or that there is evidence to be found at the place of the search.
If you have been subjected to a search, or have a warrant out for your arrest, call Tom Rees & Company to speak with one of our lawyers. We are here to help.