What is a Capias Warrant?

What is a Capias Warrant?

Capias warrant in basic U.S. law is about arresting someone to ensure they appear in court for the relevant charges. While you might interpret the term as taking something or the like, it’s more about a letter given for an arrest warrant. To find out more about capias warrants, you can check out this article.

About Capias Warrant

This warrant is closely related to defendants who fail to appear at certain criminal trials. If they fail to appear when they are supposed to, then a capias warrant is used to arrest the accused. We can consider this warrant to be quite coercive.

Because of such characteristics, judges or legal authorities need to ensure that the evidence they have is strong enough for a capias order. For some, the term “capias” may be quite unfamiliar as it is Latin. Although it means “taken”, it describes the arrest of a person, not the confiscation of goods.

A capias warrant is a warrant to detain a defendant so that they can be guaranteed to attend to their business with the judge on their scheduled court date. Capias warrants are issued for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is the failure of the accused to appear in court. If the case involves a criminal offense, it is obvious that a capias warrant needs to be used.

When the defendant does not cooperate enough by attending court, the court has the right to issue a capias warrant as an arrest order. In addition to the non-attendance of the defendant/offender at court sessions, capias warrants are also about the defendant’s unwillingness to pay certain fines or other court-related offenses.

Thus, a capias warrant may be issued when a defendant does not complete an offender counseling session that they are required to attend or does not perform community service obligations. So, there are many purposes for the use of capias warrants although the main one is the absence of the defendant from court sessions.

From the explanations above, we know that a capias warrant is different from the usual warrant used to arrest a suspect. The purpose of a capias warrant is around the jurisdiction of the court.

Several Reasons for Issuing Capias Warrant

Due to certain situations, the court may issue a capias policy for someone with legal issues. We all must follow the legal process as it can get worse when we are guilty but don’t follow the procedures required by law enforcement.

For more details about capias warrants, here are some of the reasons why capias warrants are issued to people:

1. Extradition Case

One of the reasons why capias warrants are enforced is because of extradition. Capias warrants can help extradition cases to be completed under applicable law, so what is extradition? This is a case of an individual being transferred between countries or between jurisdictions so that they can get a trial under the laws of the country concerned.

Not all conditions allow extradition because some countries cannot apply extradition to the US for either criminals or defendants. Some other countries have certain extradition agreements or rules with legal policies in the US. In that way, the country must surrender the defendant or criminal to the legal authorities in the US so that they can be tried with the appropriate legal policies.

There are times when a capias warrant can be used to ensure that a party remains in custody until the court session.

2. Violation of Probation

Another potential reason for a capias warrant is the violation of probation. Compared to extradition, this case is more common and a capias warrant could be the policy to apply. Several post-conditions can occur after a person appears at a court session. That person can either have to go through prison time or probation and can be a combination of both.

Although a person is given a certain period of probation as their punishment, it is possible to violate it. A violation of probation can occur when a party fails to fulfill the conditions of probation.

When this happens, the court has the power to use a capias warrant against the defendant. One possibility is that law officers will issue a capias warrant but it could be more serious than that. Whether or not the law is bad for probation violations will depend on the intensity of the violation.

3. Not Following the Rules of the Trial Schedule

Capias warrants can also be obtained when a person fails to follow the requirements of the court schedule. It’s not about whether or not you forgot about the court schedule. Whatever you say about why you did not attend the court session will not be taken into consideration.

If you are not physically present in front of the judge at the scheduled court time, it is considered a waiver of trial. When this happens, the concerned party may want to seek the help of a lawyer to know what is the best thing to do.

4. Committing a Felony

Capias warrants will apply to misdemeanors as well as felony cases. But, keep in mind that this warrant is enforced when the relevant felony offender is not willing to attend a court hearing called for by law enforcement.

With a capias warrant, the court has the power to prosecute offenders when they fail to cooperate. Offenders who have been granted a capias warrant will be detained so that they can attend court.

Exploring Types of Warrants

To understand more about warrants, you need to know the different types because each type of warrant can serve a different purpose:

1. Capias Pro-Fine

One of them is a capias pro-fine, if the relevant defendant fails to follow the terms of the judgment that they are supposed to follow, then they can get this warrant. Capias pro-fine is more about how a defendant fails to pay a fine or they are not on time with their fine payment obligations.

In the case of capias pro-fine, those who get a warrant, are not directly detained in jail. Capias pro-fine will take the defendant to the relevant court that ordered the punishment. Defendants who fail to pay the fine must also explain why they did not fulfill their obligations.

They can provide evidence or reasons why they have not been able to fulfill their obligation to pay the fine. If the reason or evidence they provide is not valid enough, then their opinion will not be accepted and they will have to pay the full fine.

If they are unable to pay in full, the consequence is to remain in the cell until they can settle the fine. There are times when the relevant court imposes installment payments to facilitate the settlement of the defendant’s obligations. This is usually the case when the cost of the fine is too high.

When you have no chance of paying, the court will issue a capias pro-fine so that the defendant can visit the court for clarity. The defendant needs to convince the best reason why they cannot pay the ticket. If the reason is not convincing enough, then you need to pay for the ticket.

2. Alias Capias

Another warrant for you to know is alias capias. The basic concept of alias capias is when a defendant misses a court date for a particular felony. In quite a few cases, alias capias is applied to those who are out on bail. Usually, any defendant who is required to appear in court will be informed of the next court date they are required to appear.

If for some reason they cannot attend the scheduled court session, the court has the right to issue a capias as a warrant for this condition. Usually, the defendant will need to stay in jail until the next scheduled court session. They will also be questioned by the judge about why they were unable to attend the previous court session. The judge has the right to send the relevant party to jail if there is an element of willfulness in their actions.

You must note that this alias capias has a different function from a common warrant. The function of alias capias is more for court jurisdiction, one of the main ones is to present the relevant defendant to take care of his obligations in court. It is different from an arrest warrant which requires a strong reason regarding someone who commits a felony and has the right to be arrested.

If you do receive a capias warrant, you must take action as soon as possible so that the situation listed on the warrant can be resolved. To make things easier, you can enlist the help of a lawyer if you need guidance in the legal process.

Lawyers can convey what your rights are and then effectively and thoroughly help resolve what you are experiencing around the issuance of alias capias. If you fail to meet the demands of the capias, you may face non-trivial consequences.

Possible consequences that a person can get when not fulfilling alias capias include being restricted from working, restrictions on traveling activities, detention, or being fined. Therefore, it is advisable to immediately resolve the problem on the alias capias warrant that you received.

3. Civil Capias

It is quite different from civil capias because this warrant is more of a civil case. The issuance of a civil capias warrant is done when the defendant does not follow what the court has ordered him to do. Another use of civil capias is when the defendant is asked to appear to take care of a civil case, but he does not appear.

Another name for civil capias is “bodily detention”. Each jurisdiction may have different terminology about this warrant. When a person is ordered to pay a fine as per a court judgment but that person chooses not to comply, then civil capias can be issued.

Civil capias means a warrant that forces defendants with legal problems to attend court sessions and then the court will explain the non-compliance clearly. Civil capias do not directly punish crimes.

With a civil capias issued by the court, it can ensure a person’s compliance with what the court orders.

What to Do When Receiving a Capias Warrant?

Everyone who receives a capias warrant is encouraged to follow the law. Every court case is a matter that must be followed. If any of you somehow received a capias warrant for some reason, then it is better not to worsen your condition.

One thing that should be your guideline is to try to comply with each of these demands. For more details, check out some of the steps a person needs to take about capias warrant.

    • There will be times when law officers will come to your home to deliver about capias warrants and you should cooperate as much as possible. It is better not to think about hiding at home or even running away to another state. That could make your situation even worse.
    • Before law officials take further action, it is better to surrender first.
    • Consider keeping your family or friends away from the situation until things settle down.
    • Get help from the experts by consulting about your warrant with a reliable lawyer. Discuss how you can successfully free yourself from the situation or charges contained in the capias warrant.

With the above guidelines, you already know what is wiser and ideal to do in the face of a capias warrant, which is not to run away and solve it intelligently. At times when you cannot follow the orders of the court, you can try to find a lawyer that suits the type of case.

Every legal advisor has the knowledge and the best methods to handle each of your legal cases. When the lawyer’s performance is good enough, the court may revise the sentence.


A capias warrant is a different type of warrant that arrests a person for committing a felony or being suspected of committing a crime. To arrest someone and put them in jail, there needs to be clear evidence so that there is no hesitation to arrest that person.

It is different from a capias warrant which is more about the person who does not follow what is ordered in the court decision. The reason for the capias warrant can be because the person did not successfully fulfill the probation conditions, did not pay the fine, and so on.

If you are one of the people who received a capias warrant, then it is better to cooperate well with law officials. Fleeing to another region or state can only make things worse and there are times when you need legal assistance from a reliable lawyer to deal with a capias warrant.

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