What Is a Misdemeanor Warrant?

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If you commit a misdemeanor crime, a warrant can be issued for your arrest. Warrants are issued by the county in which you either live or have committed the crime.


A misdemeanor crime is one in which the offense, and the effects of the offense, is less than a felony. It is usually punishable by up to 12 months in a county jail, payment of court costs and fines, or both.

Common Types

Common types of misdemeanor crimes include shoplifting, speeding, driving while intoxicated and public disturbances. In these cases, police officers can make an arrest immediately as they can be dispatched to the scene of the misdemeanor or observe the crime as it is being committed.

Bench Warrants

A bench warrant can be issued for any offender who fails to appear for his hearing on its scheduled date. If anyone disrupts a court proceeding, that party can have a bench warrant issued against her. The term, "bench warrant" is defined as a warrant issued by a judge while he is sitting in the courtroom.

Statute of Limitations

According to Robert Phillips of Legal Update, once a warrant has been issued, there is no statute of limitations during which it may be served. It will stay in the legal system until served or until the court cancels it.


A misdemeanor arrest warrant may be served at any time of the day and at any place, except when the suspect is either at home or otherwise not in public. In such a case, the warrant may not be served between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless it specifies "night service."

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