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Domestic Violence Warrants

There are typically three types of warrants that are issued by a Judge. The most common type of warrant is a Bond Forfeiture warrant, which is commonly referred to as a Bench Warrant. The others include Arrest Warrants and Search Warrants.


When a person is arrested for a criminal offense they are required to post a bond to ensure their presence in court. A Judge will conduct a hearing to consider what type of bond should be issued. The Judge will consider the nature of the charges, the defendant’s criminal history, and all other factors that may make the defendant a flight risk or danger to society. After considering those factors the judge will also listen to the defendant’s reasons why they are a productive member of society and pose no threat. The hearing is very short proceeding and at the end the judge will decide what type of bond to issue. The bond set can be an I-Bond, D-Bond, C-Bond, No-Bond, or a Property Bond. If they fail to post the bond the individual will be held in custody during the duration of the proceedings, or until they are able to post the required bond for release. There can be conditions of the bond that can include things like home monitoring, curfews, not leaving a specific geographical area, GPS ankle bracelets, not possessing a firearm, and proof of the source of the money that is posted in order to ensure that the money is not from illegal proceeds.

If an “I-Bond” is issued it means that it is simply a signature bond and all the defendant has to do is sign their name without posting any money and guaranteeing their appearance in court.

If a “D-Bond” is issued then the individual will have to post 10% of what ever dollar amount the Judge determines is appropriate to secure their release. For example: If the Judge issues a $25,000 D-Bond the defendant will have to post $2,500 to be released from jail.

If a “C-Bond” is issued the defendant has to post the full amount of the bond to secure their release. For example: If the Judge issues a $25,000 C-Bond the defendant will have to pay the full $25,000 to be released.

If a No-Bond is issued there is no amount of money that a person can post to secure their release and they will stay in custody for the duration of the proceedings.

Bond Forfeiture Warrants / Bench Warrants

When a person on bond, no matter whatever type of bond they had to post, fails to appear in Court the Judge may issue a Bench Warrant for the defendant’s failure to appear in court or failure to comply with any condition of the bond. The Judge usually issues a No-Bond warrant for the defendant which gets sent to the sheriff’s office and the local police. The local police and sheriff have special departments specifically devoted to looking for and finding people with bond forfeiture warrants. The best thing that can happen if a person has a bench warrant is that they contact their attorney and have the case brought before the Judge and make an attempt to quash and recall that arrant.

Arrest Warrants

If there is a criminal charge lodged against a person, before they have actually been physically arrested, a judge may issue an Arrest Warrant. Most criminal charges start with a physical arrest wherein the police take the suspect into custody at the scene of the offense or closely nearby within a short period time of the offense. However, and common in Domestic Violence Cases, the complaining witness goes to the police and makes a complaint about the criminal offense. The police will then get approval to issue an Arrest Warrant. The arrest warrant means that there is probable cause to arrest a certain person for the accused offense without the police personally witnessing the offense. The police can also issue something called an Investigative Alert that will also flag the suspect for detention and further review of the complaint. If a person is aware that they have an Arrest Warrant or an Investigative Alert the best practice is to hire an attorney and schedule a turn in date with the police agency that has issued the warrant. The importance of having an attorney is mostly to protect the rights of the accused and make sure that the police are aware that they cannot question the accused.

Search Warrants

There are constitutional rights and protections that we all have against unlawful searches and seizures. The fourth amendment to the United States Constitution protects all of our rights against the unlawful searches and seizures. The police are not allowed to search your home, person, or possessions without a duly issued search warrant. Often during Domestic Violence issues and arrests the police will want to search a Respondent or Defendant’s phone, computer, clothes, and other possessions. Unless there is immediate probable cause to conduct these searches they are unlawful. If there is no immediate probable cause the police will go before a judge and ask for a search warrant which will allow them to collect whatever evidence they believe is potential for trial or hearings. After the judge has an informal hearing wherein the police the Judge will review that sworn statement affidavit of the officer and determine what items are to be looked for, the scope of the search, and a time period to allow the search. As defense counsel our office always questions and challenges search warrants when it is appropriate. There are many legal grounds to suppress search warrants and then quash the results of any items that they may produce.

If you are subject to any type of warrant it is important to contact an attorney immediately. The Domestic Violence Firm of David Olshansky is always available for a free consultation at (312) 203-5500.