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a written order from a competent authority directing the doing of a certain act, especially one directing the arrest of a person or persons, issued by a court, body or official. See also bench warrant; search warrant.
The word warrant is also used in commercial and property law to refer to a particular kind of guarantee or assurance about the quality and validity of what is being conveyed or sold.
ARREST WARRANT: an order of a court directing the sheriff or other officer to seize a particular person to answer a complaint or otherwise appear before the court. if a defendant fails to appear as required in court, the judge will issue a bench warrant for arrest. For less serious offenses, it is common to issue a summons in lieu of an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant is constitutionally required to enter a person's home to effect an arrest except in exigent circumstances such as hot (fresh) pursuit. See arrest; search and seizure. Compare warrantless arrest.
BENCH WARRANT: see bench warrant
GENERAL WARRANT: see search warrant [GENERAL WARRANTS].
SEARCH WARRANT: an order that certain premises or property be searched for particularized items which if found are to be seized and used as evidence in a criminal trial or destroyed as contraband. See search and seizure; search warrant.
STOCK WARRANT: a certificate that gives the holder the right to purchase shares of stock for a specified price and within a specified time. Unlike subscription rights, stock warrants offer the holder the right to purchase shares of a different kind from those already held. Thus a holder of common stock may purchase preferred stock. Stock warrants usually originate as a bonus with new issues of bonds, notes or preferred stock where they sserve as an inducement to the buyer. Warrants so offered come attached to the new security and usually cannot be separated for a short period; once separated, the warrants can be traded like any other security.
WARRANT TO SATISFY JUDGMENT: an authorization issued by the judgment creditor's attorney to the clerk of the court directing the clerk to enter a satisfaction of the judgment in the official court records.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016