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A written order issued by authority of the state and commanding the seizure of the person named.
An arrest warrant must be based on a complaint that alleges Probable Cause that the person named has committed a specific offense, and it must be issued according to the formalities required by the rules of the court. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure specify that the warrant must be signed by the magistrate and must describe the offense charged. The defendant must be named or described in such a way that he or she can be identified with reasonable certainty. The warrant must also command that the defendant be arrested and brought before the nearest available magistrate.
arrest warrant (warrant of arrest)
n. a judge's order to law enforcement officers to arrest and bring to jail a person charged with a crime. The warrant is issued upon a sworn declaration by the district attorney, a police officer or an alleged victim that the accused person committed a crime. (See: warrant of arrest)