Michigan Warrant Searches

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In the state of Michigan an officer can arrest a suspect of a crime without the necessity of an arrest warrant. Although the law states that there must be enough probable cause present in order to place a person under arrest, the officer has the power to determine what merits probable cause based on their own judgement.

Situations that allow arrests without warrants can be:

  • When a crime or any law violation is committed in front of a peace officer
  • The person is accused of committing a felony
  • The peace officer has reasonable cause to believe the person committed a felony
  • The person was caught on video committing a crime

Regardless of the situation, if an officer has enough probable cause to indicate that a person was involved in any crime they have the authority to place that person under arrest for further questioning.

If you believe that you or somebody that you know has a warrant, we recommend that you do a Michigan warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.

Michagan Warrant Types

The most common warrants that are executed in the state of Michigan are search warrants, arrest warrants and bench warrants. Although they are all warrants, the way that they are executed are different from each other.

  • Search warrants give permission to search property
  • Arrest warrants give permission to arrest a suspect
  • Bench warrants are placed by a judge from the bench

Each type of warrant is a signed document by a judge or magistrate that is put into action and stays active until the warrant is executed or satisfied.

Search Warrants in Michigan

Michigan, just like any other state, has the authority to issue search warrants that allow peace officers to search the premises and the personal property of a person that is accused of criminal activity.

A search warrant has to be signed by a judge in order to be valid. The judge must be satisfied that there is enough probable cause to merit the issuance of the warrant.

There are laws in place that are stipulated in the US Fourth Amendment to reduce the number of harassing searches by law enforcement agencies that like to bend the rules and abuse their power.

Although these laws are in effect, if the circumstances that surround the necessity of the search are those of the safety of the general public, any arguments against the search will have to be addressed in court after the search has been executed.

Circumstances that merit a search warrant can be:

  • Evidence of crimes against children
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Possession of material that was used to commit a crime
  • Possession of illegal material such as drugs
  • Possession of illegal weapons

The warrant can be issued either in person by the court, or electronically if the judge, depending on the situation.

The search warrant itself is considered confidential until it has been executed in order to prevent the person named in the warrant from destroying evidence.

Arrest Warrants in Michigan

Although an officer in Michigan does not need an arrest warrant if they have enough probable cause to make an arrest, an arrest warrant may be granted for circumstances such as:

  • An eyewitness reports a crime
  • A crime was captured on video surveillance
  • There is enough evidence that suggests a person committed a crime
  • A person is witnessed fleeing from a crime scene

Only a judge or a magistrate can issue an arrest warrant. There must be enough evidence of probable cause for a judge to sign a warrant into activity. In the event of an active arrest warrant the warrant will remain active until the defendant is apprehended and brought in front of the court system.

The end goal of an arrest warrant is to apprehend the suspect and bring them into the custody of the jail to be booked and charged with a crime.

In some cases an arresting officer can give the defendant a promise to appear for a court date and allow them to face their charges after being released from custody on their own recognizance.

Bench Warrants in Michigan

In the state of Michigan, along with many other states in the country, a bench warrant is issued by a judge from the courtroom ”bench.” The primary causes for issuance of a bench warrant are:

  • Failure to appear for a court date
  • Failure to pay a fine within the boundaries specified by the court
  • Failure to complete a civil service duty

In most cases a judge will issue a bench warrant because the defendant has failed to accomplish a court order of some sort.

The court system is a complex entity that requires many parts in order to flow in an efficient manner that meets critical time constraints and deadlines. When a person fails to show up to a court date the judge can push the time of the session out later in the day, but if the person does not show up on the specified date, they will be held in contempt and remanded back into custody.

Once a judge files a bench warrant it will remain active and in effect until the person is held accountable, or the judge manually retracts the warrant for whatever reason. Usually there is no reason to retract a warrant, so they will remain active for an indeterminate amount of time.

How Arrest Warrants are Executed in Michigan

Once an arrest warrant is signed into order the law enforcement agencies that are involved with the case or are in the jurisdiction of the issued warrant will actively start to seek the defendant. Since each case will vary in details there is no set way that the execution will happen.

The person named in the warrant can be arrested at any time and in any place that they are apprehended.

  • At work
  • At home
  • At school
  • At social events

There are no ”free zones” where people with active arrest warrants can get a time-out and be safe…except for jail. The only way to reduce the harshness of an arrest is to contact a lawyer and allow them to make arrangements for you to turn yourself into the court peacefully.

Arrest Warrants vs. Bench Warrants in Michigan

Arrest warrants and bench warrants are very similar in the way that both of them demand a defendant be brought into custody to face the courts.

A bench warrant is issued by a judge due to a case involving an individual that is already active and in place. The person named in the bench warrant has already been processed in the court system and has an active case.

An arrest warrant, on the other hand, is a demand for the named individual to come to the courts and be processed for a court case. This means that there are not already charges filed against the defendant, they are merely wanted in court to face charges and determine whether or not there is enough evidence to move forward with prosecution.

In the event of a suspected warrant of any kind it is wise to do a warrant search to determine the presence of any active warrants that are available to see.

Regardless of which state that you live in it is always wise to contact an attorney for any questions that you may have when it comes to warrant laws or any other legal concerns. The content found on this website is only for informational purposes and is not to be mistaken for legal advice.