Glossary

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This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A lawyer is in the best position to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. For legal terms not referred to in this glossary, or for more comprehensive definitions, you may wish to refer to a legal dictionary or to an internet resource.

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Warrant
A judicial order directing a peace officer to do something such as arrest someone, search or seize something, or enforce a judicial order.
Arrest Warrant
A document authorizing the police to arrest an individual where the court orders it.
Bench Warrant
An order issued by a judge to a police officer for the arrest of a person who has failed to appear, or remain in attendance, at a hearing or trial. Bench warrants are a form of arrest warrants.
Discretionary Bench Warrant
In circumstances where a person does not appear in court, the court may extend a courtesy by issuing a bench warrant "with discretion". The matter is adjourned to a future date and, if the person appears at that time, the warrant is cancelled.
Executed Warrant
A warrant that has been carried out.
Search Warrant
An order issued by a justice under statutory powers, authorizing a named person to enter a specified place to search for and seize specified property which will provide evidence of the actual or intended commission of an offence.
Unexecuted Warrant
A warrant that has not been carried out.
Warrant of Committal
An order requiring that a party be committed to prison for a specified period of time.
Warrant for Witness
A document requiring that police arrest a person who has failed to appear as a witness as ordered.