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How arrest warrants work in Iowa

In almost every television crime drama you watch, arrest warrants are issued for suspects in criminal cases. Law enforcement goes before the judge to explain why they believe the court should issue an arrest warrant. It's a serious matter to have a judge issue a warrant for your arrest in real life, too.

What does it take for police to get a warrant?

There are a few things law enforcement must prove including probable cause that not only that a crime was committed but that you were the perpetrator of the violation. However, a judge may instead choose to issue a citation detailing a time and place for you to appear in court.

While the citation is different from an arrest warrant, the judge may still choose to issue an arrest warrant if you choose to skip your court date without good reason. If you skip this date, you are also guilty of a misdemeanor. Similarly, the judge can issue an arrest warrant after issuing a citation if they believe that you won't appear before the court.

Should the judge go ahead with the warrant, it will list your name or name unknown and a description of the offense leading to the warrant. The judge will then sign and date the warrant for the police to execute anywhere within state lines.

Having a warrant for your arrest is serious

You must remember that you have rights, including the right to speak to an attorney to avoid incriminating yourself after your arrest. After all, there is a fine line between cooperation and incrimination. Unlike warrants in those television crime shows, arrest warrants have real and serious consequences in real life.

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