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Arrest Warrants

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law & Offences  > Arrest Warrants

Arrest Warrants

The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) gives police officers power to act in ways in which the law allows.

In Queensland, there are two main warrants:

  1. Arrest Warrants
  2. Search Warrants

This article relates to arrest warrants only. View our article on police search warrants here.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

Police may apply to a justice of the peace or Magistrate to get a warrant for the arrest of a person who has committed an offence. The police must make the application under oath and state the grounds in which the arrest warrant is sought. The justice of the peace or Magistrate may then grant the application.

After the police have obtained an arrest warrant, they may then execute the arrest warrant on that person.

The police have powers to arrest that person, detain them and charge them (if applicable).

If the person is to be charged with the offence, police may ask them if they wish to participate in a record of interview. Police must give that person their rights and cautions, including the right to silence. The police must give that person the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, we strongly encourage you to contact us immediately. We can assist you when dealing with the police to ensure that your best interests are kept.


What Does it Mean when a police officer ‘executes’ a warrant?

Once the police officer applies for the arrest warrant and they are successful, they may then ‘execute’ the arrest warrant.

Execute means to use the warrant to arrest a person.

It is an offence to run away from police if they wish to arrest you in any circumstance, especially if they have an arrest warrant for you.


Can I check if I have an outstanding warrant?

There is no online search function to allow you to search whether you have a warrant.

You may be able to request information from Queensland Police Service however if you attend your local police station, and you do have a warrant outstanding, you may be arrested and taken into police custody.

We strongly encourage that you get legal advice immediately if you or someone you know has or suspects that they have a warrant outstanding for their arrest.

You should call one of our criminal lawyers to arrange a consult today. We may be able to assist you if you believe that you have a warrant outstanding for your arrest.


Do I need legal advice if I have a warrant out for my arrest?

When executing an arrest warrant, the police have a number of powers.

The police may:

  • Detain you for questioning;
  • Detain you and charge you with an offence; or
  • Charge you with an offence and keep you in custody until you appear before a Court.

Before questioning you, the police officers must provide you with your rights and cautions. These rights and cautions will include, but are not limited to, your right to remain silent, your right to speak a lawyer, your right to notify a family member or friend, the caution that anything you say will be used as evidence against you.

Despite your right to silence, you still must answer questions relating to:

  • Your name;
  • Date of birth; and
  • Residential address

We recommend that you remain calm and polite when interacting with police. You may face further criminal charges if you are disrespectful towards police, resist arrest or run away from a police officer when they are trying to question you or detain you.

You should let the police officers know that you wish to speak to a lawyer immediately if you find yourself in a situation talking to police.


When will I get the opportunity to speak to a lawyer if I am detained?

Each case is different from the next. Police officers may give you the opportunity to speak to a lawyer immediately or they may keep you in custody for a period of time. Police must give you the opportunity to speak to a lawyer before any questioning.

Typically, police can only detain you for a period of 8 hours before questioning you. After charging you however, they can keep you in custody if police refuse you bail.

We strongly encourage you to contact us if you are in trouble with the police and require legal advice.

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