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Police WarrantsPolice Department SBPD

Do you know a wanted person? If you know the whereabouts of any wanted person, do not take action on your own! Please call the Santa Barbara Jail at 805-681-4260.

Are you a wanted person? If there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, we will allow you to turn yourself in at a specific time in order for you to get your affairs in order. We can assure you that your treatment will be handled in a highly professional manner with the dignity that it deserves for taking the responsibility to turn yourself in. You can be accompanied by your attorney or loved one to the police department prior to arrest. Your cooperation will be duly noted and properly recorded.

Court-Issued Warrants

The Court will generally issue a warrant when:

  • Failure to Meet the Orders of a Judge
  • If you have appeared before a judge and have agreed to a payment plan, community service or other judicial orders, you must complete these orders as specified or a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
  • Failure to show up for a scheduled court appearance.
  • Failure to show up or be represented by an attorney for any court appearance will automatically generate a warrant by the court.

Getting Specific Information About Outstanding Warrants

  • To find out whether you have an outstanding warrant, you may call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff at (805) 681-4330. Choose the Warrants option from the voice menu.
  • To find out which courtroom your appearance is scheduled, you may call the court located at 118 E. Figueroa Street in Santa Barbara during normal business hours at (805) 568-2780.   


Warrant Process Overview

There are different types of warrants which may be issued, with different procedures outlined by the courts.

Bench Warrants

A Bench Warrant of arrest may be issued whenever a defendant fails to appear in court as required by law including, but not limited to, the following situations:

  • If the defendant is ordered by a judge or magistrate to personally appear in court at a specific time and place.
  • If the defendant is released from custody on bail and is ordered by a judge or magistrate, or other person authorized to accept bail, to personally appear in court at a specific time and place.
  • If the defendant is released from custody on his own recognizance and promises to personally appear at court at a specific time and place.
  • If the defendant is released from custody or arrest upon citation by a peace officer or other person authorized to issue citations and the defendant has signed a promise to appear in court at a specific time and place.
  • If a defendant is authorized to appear by counsel and the court or magistrate orders that the defendant personally appear in court at a specific time and place.
  • If an information charge or indictment has been filed in the superior court and the court has fixed the date and place for the defendant personally to appear for arraignment.
  • The bench warrant may be served in any county in the same manner as a warrant of arrest.

Arrest Warrants

A warrant of arrest may be issued when a complaint is filed with a magistrate charging a public offense, if the magistrate is satisfied from the complaint that the offense charged has been committed and that there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant has committed it, the magistrate shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.

  • The warrant of arrest shall specify the name of the defendant or, if unknown, the defendant may be designated therein by any name. It shall also state the time of issuing it, and the city or county where it is issued, and shall be signed by the magistrate issuing it with the title of his office and the name of the court or other issuing agency.
  • At the time of issuing a warrant of arrest, the magistrate shall fix the amount of bail which in his judgment in accordance with the provisions of section 1275 PC. (this section deals with considerations the magistrate makes when determining the setting of bail). The amount will be reasonable and sufficient for the appearance of the defendant following his arrest, if the offense is bailable, and said magistrate shall endorse upon said warrant a statement signed by him, with the name of his office, dated at the county, city or town where it is made to the following effect "The defendant is to be admitted to bail in the sum of ______ dollars". (Stating the amount).

The Santa Barbara Police Department actively works outstanding fugitive cases and will arrest and extradite fugitives anywhere with the Continental United States. On more serious cases the Santa Barbara Police Department has worked with Interpol and many Foreign Countries in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office in order to track down and bring to justice Felony Fugitives anywhere they may hide.

Entering Homes to Serve Arrest Warrants

Is a search warrant needed if the home belongs to someone else?

The officer must have a valid reason to believe that the named offender will be present in the home.

Most police officers know that when an arrest warrant has been issued, they can enter the home of the person named in the warrant, without a search warrant, to make an arrest. But can they make a warrantless entry into the home of a person not named in the arrest warrant?

Recently, the Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County, Ohio, addressed that issue. In State v. Tolbert (1997), officers from the Cleveland Police department had a capias (bench warrant) for the defendant's arrest on a probation violation. After receiving a tip that the defendant was in his girlfriend's apartment, officers went to that apartment and arrested the defendant. The court ruled that the warrantless entry into the home was proper because the police officers had a valid arrest warrant and reason to believe that the defendant was in the apartment. Quoting the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Ohio court stated:

United States v. Underwood (1983).

Last Updated: Jan 9, 2019
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