Difference Between Detainer & Warrant

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Judges issue detainers and warrants in connection with criminal cases. Detainers are a type of warrant but deal specifically with people already in prison.


A detainer is a warrant placed against an inmate for pending charges.


A warrant orders police to carry out specified acts.

Types of Detainers

Detainers are issued to hold inmates who face charges in another jurisdiction. They also are placed against inmates facing a probation violation which has yet to be resolved, and against those who must serve a sentence in other jurisdictions.

Types of Warrants

Arrest warrants are issued for those suspected or accused of committing a crime. Bench warrants also are issued compelling people to appear in court. A third type of warrant is a search warrant which police use to search for evidence.

Legal Representation

You should consult with an attorney about your legal rights if you receive a detainer or warrant.


About the Author

Misty Barton has been working in the fields of composition and journalism for over 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in English education and a Master of Arts in English and composition. She has written for various online publications including a blog that specifically addresses the concerns of work-at-home mothers.

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