Worried about warrants?
This fact sheet explains what a warrant is and where to get help with warrants. Click here to download Worried about warrants? (.pdf 277kb)
What is a warrant?
A warrant is a court document that gives the police (or sometimes somebody else) the power to do things like:
- arrest you and take you to a court
- search you, your car, where you live
- take and keep your things found in a search
- put you in jail.
A warrant from interstate can apply in the NT.
When there might be a warrant?
- If you do not turn up at court.
- If you do not pay a fine.
If you get an infringement notice (fine) from court or police and you don’t pay it, the Fines Recovery Unit (FRU) can make an enforcement order. Enforcement orders can suspend your license or car registration or require you to do a community work order. If you keep ignoring enforcement orders to do community work, a warrant might be issued to take you to jail.
How can I find out if there is a warrant?
Have I got any warrants? You can ring up the police station or local court and find out.
You will need to provide your name and date of birth to find out if there is a warrant. There are different ways that you can find out if there is a warrant.
- Get legal advice and ask the lawyer to find out if there is a warrant.
- Go to the court or ring the court and ask if there is a warrant.
- Go to the police station or ask your local police but if there is a warrant they might arrest you straight away.
If you find out there is a warrant for your arrest, you should talk to a lawyer and get legal advice as soon as possible about what to do. Your lawyer might advise you to go to court and ask the magistrate to stop the warrant and give you bail so you don’t get locked up.
If you are arrested on a warrant it might be harder to get bail because the Judge might think you will not come back to court.
If the police think someone is breaking the law where you live or work they may get a warrant that lets them search places. This is called a search warrant. Sometimes police can search your house or your car without a warrant.
What do I do if the police come with a warrant?
- Read the warrant or ask the police to read it to you.
- Make sure that it is your name, address and date of birth on the warrant.
- Be polite to the police.
- If police ask you, you have to give your name and address but you don’t have to say anything else unless you want to.
- Call a lawyer as soon as you can for legal advice.
How do I get help from a legal service?
NT Legal Aid Commission has offices in Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. Call 1800 019 343.
North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency has offices in Darwin (1800 898 251), Katherine (1800 897 728), Tennant Creek (08 8962 1332), and Alice Springs (1800 636 079).
Disclaimer: The information in this fact sheet is current as at February 2019. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. It is correct at the time of publication, but laws change. If you have a legal problem you should seek advice from a lawyer.