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Warrants for arrest

When it appears to a court that a person has broken a term or condition of bail the court can issue a warrant for the person's arrest. These are known as warrants of apprehension.

First Instance Warrants

These are warrants of apprehension issued by magistrates courts when a defendant has failed to appear in court on the date stipulated on either a summons or a bail agreement. If such a warrant is issued it is advisable for a defendant to surrender at a police station and ask to be brought before a court for a fresh application for bail. Bail can be more difficult to obtain if there is a history of breaches and subsequent warrants. It may therefore be advisable that the defendant attends the police station with a guarantor who can be present in court for the application. The defendant should also bring any medical certificates or evidence that supports a legitimate reason for non-appearance.

Bench warrants

These are warrants of apprehension issued in a higher jurisdiction (District Court or Supreme Court).

They are issued because the defendant either failed to answer bail in that jurisdiction following committal of an indictable matter or failed to answer a summons to appear in relation to estreatment of bond proceedings.

Parole warrants

These are warrants issued by the presiding or deputy presiding members of the Parole Board of South Australia or a Magistrate.

These are issued where there are reasonable grounds (on their own part, that of the Chief Executive of the Department for Correctional Services or a police officer) to suspect that a person has breached parole [see Correctional Services Act 1982 (SA) ss 76(1)(b), (2)(b)(i) and 76A(1)(a)]. The person is detained until they appear before the Parole Board [see ss 76(4) and 76A(2)].

Interstate warrants

Courts in other States may issue warrants that are enforceable in South Australia. These may be for unpaid fines or for offences not yet finalised. A person arrested on such a warrant has a right to apply for bail.

Warrants of commitment for unpaid fines

Warrants known as warrants of commitment were once issued in South Australia for unpaid fines. The power to issue such warrants no longer exists in this State.

Warrants for arrest  :  Last Revised: Tue Nov 20th 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.