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If a Grand Jury indicts someone, is an arrest warrant typically issued or do they simply go arrest the person?

Tucson, AZ |

I'm wondering if they have to go through the process of issuing an arrest warrant.

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Attorney answers 3


Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 9 requires the district court to issue an arrest warrant - or a summons at the government's request - for all persons who have been indicted by a federal grand jury. An arrest warrant commands federal law enforcement agents to arrest the defendant and bring him or her before a judicial officer in the district of arrest. A summons is simply an order, delivered in person to the defendant by the United States Marshals Service, requiring him or her to appear before a judicial officer for an arraignment on a certain date and time. The issuance of an arrest warrant often can be avoided if the defendant's attorney remains in contact with the federal prosecutor to arrange the defendant's voluntary appearance at arraignment; in that situation, the attorney also may accept service of the summons. - Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq., National Federal Defense Group.


It all depends on what method of service the prosecutor requested at the time of the grand jury proceedings. If the prosecutor requested a summons, then the summons would be served either in person or by certified mail. If the prosecutor requested an arrest warrant, then the arrest warrant would be issued by the court. Once the warrant is in the system, the police may or may not attempt to arrest the person right away.

The answers provided are for general information purposes only. They do not establish an attorney-client relationship and should not be construed as legal advice

Laura A McDermott

Laura A McDermott


Clarification: My response pertains to Arizona Grand Juries, not Federal Grand Juries. Please see the other attorneys' responses if your question is related to federal grand juries. The federal crime practice area showed up under AVVO's Arizona's criminal defense practice area, which I didnt notice until the other attorneys responded. I apologize for any confusion.


Mr. Lowther's answer is spot on. Whether or not a warrant is issued, the indictment will yield a lawful arrest depending on the situation.

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