If you find yourself involved in a criminal case, an arrest or any other part of this process, it may all be brand new to you. You have no experience, it feels overwhelming and somewhat foreign, and it’s hard for you to navigate this entire process on your own.

One thing that can help is breaking down different parts of the process and examining how they work. For now, let’s take a look at some of the main types of warrants that could see use in your case.

Search warrant

This is the type of warrant that police have to get to enter your car, apartment or home without your permission. While there are some exceptions for clear probable cause or fear that evidence is being destroyed, most searches carried out without permission or a warrant are illegal. This can invalidate all of the evidence gained.

Arrest warrant

This warrant simply says that the police have the right to take you into custody. You can get arrested without a warrant, but police will often get one if they did not catch you in the act.

Bench warrant

This is also an arrest warrant, but it’s slightly different. It means you have been indicted or held in contempt of court. The judge can then give out the bench warrant to have you brought back to court. If you’re ordered to arrive, and you skip the hearing, for instance, they may issue a bench warrant to force you to come.

No matter what type of case you get involved in, it may be complex and confusing. Make sure you take the time to break it all down and understand your legal defense options.