Summons vs Warrant

In legal terminology, the words warrant and summons are used quite often making us want to understand the difference between summons and warrant. A warrant is when a court order has been given to law enforcement authorities such as the police to perform an act such as an arrest. A summons,on the other hand, is when an individual has been informed through a court order to be present for a charge that has been made of him or her. These are not the same. A summons can be considered as an initial step where if the individual does not respond, a warrant is usually authorized. This article will provide a basic understanding of the two terms and highlight the differences.

What is a Warrant?

A warrant is usually issued by a judge or a judicial officer for the purpose of securing justice by creating a framework for law enforcement officials to carry on with the procedure of action. Warrants within the legal vicinity are used for a variety of purposes. Mainly there are three types of warrants that can be issued. They are arrest warrants, search warrants and bench warrants. An Arrest warrant is a written document which gives the authority for officials to arrest an individual on whom a complaint has been lodged regarding a crime. A search warrant is issued when there is a necessity to search certain premises for evidence or criminal activity. For example, a search warrant can be issued for the search of drugs, weaponry or else on a murder scene with the intention of gathering evidence or convicting a person for a crime. However, in order to gain a search warrant from the judicial officers there should be a rational, as well as logical argument, that the premise s are of importance for the crime. A bench warrant is issued to bring about a person before the court. This could be mainly because the person has not responded to a summons.

Difference Between Summons and Warrant

What is a Summons?

A summons is when a law governing authority demands the presence of an individual to be present at a particular time and date before the courts in order to inquire after a complaint that has been lodged on him or her. This comes in the form of a legal document with information such as the names of the individual who makes the complaint and the person on whom it has been lodged. These two individuals are referred to as the plaintiff and the defendant in the legal framework. The document also provides the necessary instructions for the defendant. In this sense, a summons is a bit different from a warrant because whereas a warrant addresses the law enforcement authorities a summons would address the individual in question.

What is the difference between Summons and Warrant?

• A warrant is an official authorization which gives the power for law enforcement officials to engage in an activity.

• A warrant can be an arrest of a suspected individual, searching of premises or else bringing an individual to court.

• A summons, on the other hand, is also an official request made by a court for an individual to be present on a specific date and time to inquire after charges that have been made.

• The main difference between summons and warrant is that while a warrant gives authority for law enforcement officials to perform an action, a summons requests of the individual to be present for an inquiry.

• If an individual ignores the summons then the next step would be the issue of a warrant.

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