What does a criminal charge of capias mean?

The Latin term capias literally means “you are to seize,” or “you should seize,” and is commonly used in the U.S. legal system to refer to a warrant issued by a judge directing law enforcement to arrest a specified person.

Capias warrants are most commonly issued when a criminal defendant fails to appear in court for a scheduled hearing. By having police officers take the individual into custody, a judge can guarantee he appears in court.

Although a capias warrant is generally not criminal in nature, someone picked up on this type of warrant may spend a brief time in jail until the court can address his refusal to do something he's been ordered to do.

Procedures for Issuance of a Capias Warrant

Capias warrants, or arrest warrants, may be issued in a wide variety of situations, though there are certain procedures for issuance of a capias warrant required by law. These types of warrant are commonly referred to as “bench warrants,” because they are usually issued by judges when a person did not show up to court. This may be in a criminal matter, or in a civil matter in which the judge had previously ordered the individual to appear at a specified time, and failing to appear amounts to contempt of court.

While this may vary slightly by jurisdiction, a valid arrest warrant must include the following information:

Identity of person to be arrested

The offense charged, or reason for the arrest

A command that the person be arrested and brought without delay before the court

Signature of a judge

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Thursday, August 31 2017
Source: https://legaldictionary.net/capias/