Warrants are official documents issued by a legal or government official that grant law enforcement the authority to carry out certain actions as part of the legal process. They play critical roles in certain procedures undertaken by law enforcement. 

For individuals facing potential legal issues, understanding the various types of warrants can be important because they can dramatically impact one’s rights. 

Types of Warrants in Kentucky

There are several types of warrants in Kentucky, each serving a different purpose within the legal system. Some common types of warrants include:

Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is issued by a judge or magistrate when law enforcement has demonstrated sufficient probable cause to show that an individual has committed a crime. The process requires police to submit a sworn statement to the court, outlining evidence or testimony that establishes a connection between the suspect and the criminal activity in question.

Search Warrants

A search warrant allows law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a specific place for specific items that could be relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation. To obtain a warrant, police must establish probable cause and provide detailed information in support of their request to a judge or magistrate. This typically includes outlining the connection between the evidence sought and criminal activity and why they believe the particular place should be searched.

When issuing a search warrant, courts demand specificity about the location to be searched and items expected to be seized. The language used must be clear in order to prevent overly broad or arbitrary searches, meaning law enforcement officers must limit their search to the areas and items detailed in the warrant.

Bench Warrants

A bench warrant is a legal document issued directly by a judge ordering law enforcement to take an individual into custody. The most frequent instances leading up to this type of warrant are failures to appear at court hearings, not paying court fines, or refusing to follow other judicial orders given. 

Bench warrants do not expire – they must be dealt with for them to be resolved and go away. If you’re pulled over by the police for speeding, they will run your name and typically see that you have a bench warrant and take you into custody – even if the warrant is decades old. 

No-Knock Warrants

No-knock warrants allow law enforcement officers to enter a property without first announcing their presence or providing prior warning, typically aimed at preventing the destruction of evidence in criminal investigations. 

Following significant controversy and public outcry after high-profile cases, such as the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor during a no-knock warrant, these warrants have come under considerable scrutiny for their safety risks to both police and occupants. In response to this incident, Louisville has officially banned no-knock search warrants following a unanimous vote by the Metro Council.

Probation Violation Warrants

Probation violation warrants are issued after a defendant on probation disregards terms mandated by the court. These terms could involve meeting regularly with a probation officer, refraining from drug use, or attending counseling sessions. 

Violating any of these conditions allows a judge to issue a warrant that authorizes police to arrest and detain someone on probation so they can appear before the court to have a hearing over the alleged violations.

Parole Violation Warrants

Like probation violation warrants, a parole violation warrant is issued when an individual who has been released from incarceration on parole fails to adhere to the established conditions of their release. These terms might encompass restrictions similar to those placed on someone on probation, such as checking in with a parole officer, maintaining employment, avoiding contact with specific individuals, or staying within a certain geographic area. 

When these conditions are breached, the parole violation warrant enables authorities to arrest and bring the parolee back before a court or parole board. 

Contact the Louisville Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today If You’re Facing a Warrant

Given the various complexities and consequences of warrants, it is critical to manage these issues proactively. If you find yourself facing a warrant or have questions about one, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC. Give us a call today at (502) 371-7000 or visit us at our Louisville Law Office.

Suhre & Associates, LLC – Louisville
214 Clay Street, Suite A
Louisville, KY 40202
United States