Warrants for arrest in criminal proceedings in the Local Court

[54-000] Warrants for arrest — Table

Arrest warrants may be issued in the following circumstances under various Acts.

A magistrate may revoke a warrant issued by any other magistrate, but not a warrant issued by a judge: s 240 Criminal Procedure Act 1986.

It is advisable that warrants not be issued for defendants in matters punishable by a fine only.

Name Description Power
A Before conviction
Arrest warrant – for arrest before a matter comes to court Usually when police cannot locate the suspect. Not issued by the court but by a registrar or other authorised officer Criminal Procedure Act 1986
  • s 54: indictable charges

  • s 181: summary charges

At or during committal – fail to appear Magistrate may issue a warrant for arrest s 54(3A) Criminal Procedure Act
Before conviction in summary proceedings – fail to appear at court Magistrate may issue a warrant for arrest s 181(3A) Criminal Procedure Act
In AVO proceedings, to bring a defendant before the court Take into consideration the personal safety of the protected person. Magistrate or registrar of a court may issue the order s 88 Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007
To bring an adult to court where they are in custody but not bail refused Magistrate or registrar of a court may issue the order – concerns persons who are “inmates” as defined s 77 Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act 1999
To bring a juvenile to court where they are not bail refused Magistrate or registrar of a court may issue the order s 42 Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987
B After finding of guilt, conviction or committal
After finding of guilt or conviction in matters being dealt with summarily – offender is absent Magistrate may issue an arrest warrant to bring the person to court for sentence s 25(2) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999
After committal Warrant committing an accused to a correctional centre after committal for trial or sentence s 109 Criminal Procedure Act
Failure to appear after suspected failure to comply with intervention program Where the court is satisfied the person’s whereabouts are unknown, or if he or she fails to attend s 100R(2), (2A) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act
C After sentence
To correct a sentence Where the person does not appear or if the court is of the opinion that they will not appear s 43(3)(a) and (b) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act
Alleged breach of bond/suspended sentence – juvenile Where the court is satisfied the person’s whereabouts are unknown, or if he or she fails to attend s 41(1)(d) Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987
Alleged breach of CCO Where the court is satisfied the person’s whereabouts are unknown, or if he or she fails to attend. s 107C(2), (3) Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act
Alleged breach of CRO Where the court is satisfied the person’s whereabouts are unknown, or if he or she fails to attend. s 108C(2), (3) Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act
Alleged breach of CSO – juveniles Where a person fails to attend s 23 Children (Community Services Orders) Act 1987
Other circumstances
Where a witness fails to appear in response to a subpoena Discretionary. Must be an application to the court, and applicant must establish “no just or reasonable excuse” for failure to comply: see Peters v Asplund [2008] NSWSC 1061. The party applying for a warrant must have complied with the requirements for subpoenas in Ch 4, Pt 3 s 229 Criminal Procedure Act
In application proceedings under Local Court Act 2007, Pt 4 – where a respondent fails to appear Discretionary. Where magistrate satisfied that respondent had notice of the date, time and place of the proceedings s 65 Local Court Act 2007
Where a forensic/correctional patient:
  • escaped from a mental health facility and is outside NSW, or

  • is the subject of an apprehension order under Pt 5, Div 9.

Where the court is satisfied a credible person has shown reasonable cause to suspect the criterion identified in column 1. s 114 Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020

Warrants issued before 24 September 2018 under s 98 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (as in force before 24 September 2018) in respect of s 9 bonds and s 10 bonds continue to have effect: Sch 2, Pt 29, cll 74(6), 75(6).