Warrant, in law, a written order issued by a judge or magistrate that directs a police officer (or in some instances a citizen) to perform a certain act that would otherwise be illegal. Warrants are issued in both criminal and civil cases as a result of an indictment or upon a complaint or affidavit sworn by an injured party. The most common warrant is one directing the arrest of a person accused of a crime. Other warrants include those directing search of a building, seizure of property, or extradition. A warrant is not necessary for arrest when a police officer has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.
The United States has one of the most sophisticated judicial systems in the world. Every day, courts across the country hear thousands of cases and make important rulings. Find out with the judicial system quiz.
When an anthrax attack just after Sept. 11 killed five people and infected 18 more, U.S. residents were sent into a bioterrorism panic. Bioterrorism has actually been around for many centuries, but we keep finding new ways to combat it.