The Invisible Wound
Assistance for Victims and
Witnesses Crime Victims' Rights
The Criminal Justice System
FAQ'S Testifying in Court
Services for Crime Victims
Victims Rights Board
The period following a crime can be very difficult. Although everyone reacts
differently, many victims and witnesses report that they feel shock, confusion,
numbness, disbelief, anger, or other emotions after the incident. You may be
having similar feelings, in addition to dealing with physical, financial, and
psychological concerns related to the crime. At the same time, the criminal
justice system is likely to need you to take part in the court process, so that
the person(s) responsible for the crime can be held accountable.
It can all be trying, but there is help. As a crime victim in Wisconsin, you
have rights providing certain privileges and protections, which will be outlined
in this brochure. Additionally, crime victims in the state of Wisconsin are to
be treated with fairness, dignity and respect for their privacy.
This booklet is designed to give you information about these rights, how to
exercise them, and who to call to find out about services. It will also give an
overview of the criminal justice system, tell you about what might happen if you
have to go to court, how to prepare to speak in court, and what can happen
afterwards. There is also a glossary to help you become familiar with words
commonly used in the justice system. This booklet does not provide legal
This is one experience that one does not plan for, is not
prepared for, has no knowledge of who or where to turn. –a victim
The Invisible Wound
Crime often destroys victims’ sense of trust in their surroundings and their
sense of control over their lives. This impact has often been described as an
invisible wound on the crime victim’s life.
Just as a physical injury takes time to heal, the invisible wound inflicted by
crime takes time. The healing process will be different for everyone. It can
take weeks or months for victims to regain a level of emotional balance. Time
and understanding are two important factors when dealing with the emotional and
life altering impact of a serious crime.
For some victims, talking about the event and how it has impacted their lives
can be very healing. Other victims are reluctant to express how the event has
affected and changed their lives. It is important that victims are given the
opportunity, and as much time as needed, to tell someone what happened to them.
Sometimes victims need to recount the incident a number of times. Victims need
to have non-judgmental support. They also need to have family and friends
understand the importance of individual healing time and that no one recovers at
the same pace.
When one has been brutally attacked and injured, even a friendly
and understanding voice on the phone can help overcome some of the sense of
physical and psychological helplessness brought on by being a victim. -
Coping After the Crime
In our daily life, we respond differently to events that touch our lives and the
lives of people we care about.
Emotional reactions to crime can be very different. Not everyone feels the same
or responds the same. However, victims and witnesses report some similar
responses. The list below identifies some common reactions to being a victim or
witness of crime.
You may experience a variety of emotions after the crime,
including anger, guilt, distrust and loneliness. Family members and friends
can also experience these feelings. Your feelings are
Many crime victims experience similar reactions, but there is
no right or wrong way to feel. You are not alone in
When your sense of personal safety has been violated, it is
normal to feel that the world is dangerous or unsettled for a time. You
are not crazy.
Sharing your feelings and concerns with a non-judgmental
person, such as a friend, family member, or a counselor helps to sort out your
emotions and can decrease feelings of isolation. Talking
with others about your feelings can help.
As you try to explain or understand the crime, it is easy to
say, “I should have...” Remember that you are not to blame for what happened
to you. Nobody asks to be victimized. It is not
Feelings such as fear, anger and anxiety will generally
diminish over time. As you deal with the aftermath of crime, time and
non-judgmental support are important. There is hope.
Assistance for Victims
Victim/Witness (V/W) Programs are located in most Wisconsin District Attorneys'
(DA) offices. Most V/W Programs provide:
Information about how the justice system operates.
Specific information about when and where the case will be
Notice of cancelled or rescheduled court hearings and the final
outcome of the case.
Support for your appearance in court by providing a separate
waiting area, someone to go with you to court.
Help in the return of personal property.
Referrals to other sources of help, including domestic abuse
programs, sexual assault programs, social service agencies, support groups and
crime victim compensation.
Help with preparing a victim impact statement.
Information to the court about your financial losses
Assistance with safety concerns.
Services are provided free of charge.
Finally my case was assigned to another district attorney who
spent a great deal of time explaining to me what was happening in the case.
just being informed of all the facts reduced my anxiety greatly.
Crime Victims' Rights
Wisconsin law directs law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and other criminal
justice officials to inform victims of their rights and how to exercise those
rights. If you have specific questions about your rights or would like to
receive a complete list of rights, please contact the Victim/Witness Program.
Counties vary in their practices, and it will be important for you to clarify
and discuss the rights you have and how to exercise them. It is important to
know which rights you need to request and how to request them.
In order to receive information, it is important that you keep the appropriate
agency informed of your current address and telephone number.
As the victim of a
crime, Wisconsin law provides you with the following rights:
To receive written
information from law enforcement within 24 hours of their first contact with
To be informed of
your rights and how to exercise them.
information to find out if the offender is in custody.
To notice of a
decision not to prosecute if an arrest has been made.
To speak (confer)
with the prosecutor about the possible outcome of the case, potential plea
agreements and sentencing options, if you request it.
To attend court
To notice of the
time, date and place of upcoming court proceedings,
if you request it.
To a waiting area
separate from defense witnesses.
To a speedy
disposition of the criminal case.
To have the court
consider your interest before deciding to grant a request for a delay
To notice if charges
To request help with
talking to an employer about court appearances and meetings with the
prosecutor (in an attempt to avoid work problems).
To be contacted
about the right to make a statement at the disposition or sentencing (victim
To provide to the
court at the time of sentencing, a written and/or oral victim impact statement
concerning the economic, physical and psychological effects of the crime.
To have the impact
of the crime on you included in a pre-sentence investigation.
To sentencing or
dispositional information, if you request it.
To a civil judgment
for unpaid restitution.
To apply for crime
To have property
returned when it is no longer needed as evidence.
To be notified if a
prisoner is released or escapes.
To contact the
Department of Justice to complain about any concerns you may have about your
treatment as a crime victim.
To request an order
for an offender to submit to a test for sexually transmitted diseases or HIV
test. The right to request this is limited to offenses where the law allows.
To receive a
complete list of rights or for information or explanation about these rights
or any other rights, please contact the Victim/Witness Program.
I thought people would understand my anger, my rage, but they
didn’t. I found instead that the anger felt by a parent of a murdered child is
too strong an emotion for our society. It is too threatening to most people,
and yet if this anger is not worked through, is not channeled and is not
dissipated, it will fester forever. ‑
In Wisconsin, witnesses have the following rights:
To request information from the district attorney about the
final outcome of the case.
To notice that a court proceeding to which a witness has been
subpoenaed will not go on as scheduled, in order to save an unnecessary trip
To receive protection from harm and threats of harm arising
from witness cooperation with law enforcement and prosecution efforts, and
information as to the level of protection available.
To information about financial assistance and other social
services available as a result of being a witness of a crime, including how to
apply for the assistance and services.
To information on the procedure to be followed in order to
apply for and receive any witness fee to which a witness is entitled.
To be provided a waiting area.
Although many of the rights of victims and witnesses are the same, the juvenile
court system has a different process. Contact the Victim/Witness Program for more information about the juvenile justice
system and victims’ rights. A separate informational brochure is available.
Being a crime victim adds a new dimension to the definition of
‑ Morton Bard, sociologist
The Criminal Justice
For many, the criminal justice system can be very confusing. This information
will give you a general overview of the process. If you have additional
questions, contact the Victim/Witness (V/W) Program.
You may be unfamiliar with some of the legal words. Many of the terms used are
included in the glossary at the end of this booklet.
What happens after the crime?
Within 24 hours after the first contact with law enforcement, victims should
receive information from law enforcement regarding victims’ rights, crime victim
compensation, victim assistance services and information on how to reach the DA.
If someone was arrested, but not charged with a crime, the DA’s Office should
inform the victim that no charges will be issued. If charges are filed against
the defendant, the victim should get written information within ten days after
the initial appearance or 24 hours before the preliminary hearing including:
The procedure for prosecution.
A list of rights and how to exercise them.
Who to contact to update address or telephone information (to
receive notices and information about services).
Crime Victim Compensation information.
The person to contact for more information about prosecution of
What is a plea agreement?
plea agreement is a way to resolve a case without a trial. Plea agreements are
worked out between the DA, the defense attorney and the offender. In most
cases, an agreement can be reached to hold the offender accountable, but avoid a
trial. Victims have a right to confer about potential plea agreements. It is
important to inform the V/W Program of your request to confer. The V/W
Program can provide more information about how plea agreements are handled.
What does the “opportunity to confer”
To confer with the DA
means to discuss the case and its possible outcomes. If a victim requests to confer, the discussions can include potential plea
agreements, sentencing recommendations and disposition information. The DA may
consider your input, but makes a final decision based upon all factors of the
What can I do
if I receive any threats or am being harassed?
In most cases, victims
and witnesses are not threatened or harassed by the defendant. However, if
you are being threatened, contact the police or other law enforcement agency
How do I get
property held in evidence returned to me?
The DA will know when
your property is no longer needed as evidence. Any questions about your
property should be directed to V/W Program.
What do I do
if the offender’s investigator or attorney wants to talk to me?
Always make sure you
know with whom you are talking; you can ask for identification. You can choose
not to speak to the person, and you may also ask to have a police officer or
district attorney with you during the interview. If you decide to talk with the
person, give clear and precise statements and be aware that anything you say may
be used in court.
Subpoenas and the Court
If you receive a
subpoena (notice to appear in court), you are being asked to serve as a witness
in a criminal court hearing. A subpoena lists the date, time, place and
proceeding in which your testimony is required. Do not ignore a subpoena. If
you fail to appear, you could be charged with contempt of court. Every attempt
will be made to contact you if it is known that the hearing is cancelled.
What should I do with the subpoena?
Read the subpoena
carefully. It may ask you to call the District Attorney’s office or the Victim
Witness Program the day before the court appearance or it may provide other
information or instructions. Please bring the subpoena with you to court
and be prepared to provide your social security number in order to obtain
Where do I go?
The subpoena will tell
you where to report. You can call the V/W Program for help; they may provide
maps, directions, parking information, and arrange a waiting area for you.
Do I need to
bring anything with me to court?
Unless your subpoena
gives you specific instructions to bring records, books or other items to court,
you do not need to bring anything. Be prepared to wait. Often there are
a number of scheduled court events on any given date. You may want to bring a
book or magazine.
will I be required to appear in court?
The only time you must
go to court is when you receive a subpoena. Victims have a right to be present
at any court hearing. As a crime victim, you have a right to request notice
of all hearings for your case.
If you are subpoenaed to a
court hearing, you may not be able to attend the entire hearing as the court may
You will be notified
each time you are needed, and told, whenever possible, if the case has been
delayed or cancelled.
Therefore, it is very
important that the V/W Program have your current address,
telephone number or contact number.
As a general guide:
If the case is a
misdemeanor, you will usually only be needed at the trial.
If the case is a
felony, you may be needed for the preliminary hearing and the trial.
In some cases, you
may be required to appear for motion and/or sentencing hearings.
You may want to appear at the sentencing and provide the court
with a victim impact statement about how the crime affected you and your
family emotionally, physically and financially.
What if the court dates conflict with my
Wisconsin law forbids
employers from firing employees because they have been called to testify in a
criminal proceeding, even if the employee's testimony is against the employer or
involves a work‑related incident. Employees are required to give their
employers prompt notice of the subpoena. If you need assistance with an
employer about being subpoenaed to court, contact the Victim/Witness Program.
Why are there delays in holding the
An attorney may ask
for more time to prepare the case or to locate an important witness. Trials are
sometimes also delayed, because the judge or one of the attorneys has a schedule
conflict. Sometimes court must be cancelled at the last minute. Every effort
is made to notify you in advance.
Who do I
contact if I have questions about the case?
You can call your
local Victim/Witness Program. It is helpful to
have the case number or the offender’s name when calling about a specific case.
This information will appear on your subpoena.
Will I he paid for my time spent as a witness?
You will receive a
nominal witness fee for each day you are subpoenaed to appear in court. You may
be entitled to a transportation allowance. The Victim/Witness Program can
provide assistance with applying for witness fees. If you do not receive your
witness fee within two months after your appearance in court, contact the V/W
Program for further assistance.
Testifying in Court
The judge or jury
needs to know the facts about the crime. They will consider all of the evidence
presented in court. Because you have seen, heard, or know something about the
crime that has been committed, your testimony is one way they get this
information. Testifying in court can be scary, but you can get assistance from
your local V/W Program. Prior to testifying, the judge’s clerk will ask your
name and ask you to take an oath. The oath is your promise that you will tell
the truth when testifying.
The following are
helpful tips when preparing to testify in court:
memory. Think about what happened and when the events occurred. If you
gave a written statement, ask to see it; this may help you remember things.
Try to remain
calm. Take a deep breath before speaking and take your time to answer.
If you don’t
understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or explained. If you
don’t know the answer, or can’t remember, it’s okay to say so.
Try to give
simple, factual answers. If a question can be answered with a “yes,” or
“no,” answer “yes” or “no”.
Speak loudly and
clearly. The court reporter needs to hear your answers to record them.
Do not nod your head.
if an attorney ‘objects.’ Either attorney can object to a question. Do
not answer the question until the judge tells you what to do. If you are told
to answer the question, you may ask the attorney to repeat it.
Always tell the
If the offender is found guilty or pleads guilty, the defendant will be
sentenced. Prior to the sentencing of the defendant, if you are a victim, you
have a right to provide the court with a written and/or oral Victim Impact
Statement. If the offender is found not guilty at the trial, this is the
end of the court proceedings.
What is a
victim impact statement?
victim impact statement is a written and/or oral statement provided to the court
at the time of sentencing. It may include information about how the crime
affected you physically, financially and emotionally. The V/W Program can
assist you in preparing your statement.
I know what happens to the offender?
As a victim, you have the right to be informed of the disposition (sentencing)
information. If you requested disposition information, the DA’s office will
provide that information to you after the sentencing. If the offender was
sentenced to prison you also have a right to receive information about his/her
release from prison. In order to be contacted about an
offender’s release from prison, you must register for notification of release.
For more information about registering to receive release information call the
Victim/Witness Program. For general information about probation or
release of the offender, call The Department of
Corrections Victim Advocate, toll‑free at 1‑800‑947‑5777.
What happens when a judge sentences
someone to prison?
Any person who commits
a felony on or after December 31, 1999, and is sentenced to prison will serve
the total amount of time that the court orders, and will not have the sentence
reduced for good behavior (‘good time’). Offenders who violate prison rules may
have additional days added to their prison sentence. This is called ‘bad
time’. Once an offender completes his/her prison sentence, he/she will be
released and will be supervised by a Department of Corrections (DOC) agent.
This is referred to as extended supervision (ES).
Although sentenced to
prison, some offenders enter a Challenge Incarceration Program (‘Boot Camp’).
If the offender completes the program, the court must release the offender from
prison and place the offender in the community under the supervision of a DOC
agent. This is done even if the full prison sentence has not been served. This
program is the only means in which a prison sentence can be reduced. For more
information, please contact the DA’s office.
Department of Justice has a program to reimburse crime victims, or in the case
of death their dependents and family members, for certain expenses incurred as
the direct result of a crime. The Crime Victim Compensation (CVC)
Program can reimburse for medical and mental health expenses, lost wages, loss
of support, funeral and burial expenses, cleaning up the crime scene, and
clothing and bedding held as evidence as long as these expenses are not covered
by another source, such as private insurance or public funds. The program does
not reimburse for property loss or damage. There are requirements that must be
met in order to be eligible for the program. CVC may
make awards even if no one is arrested or prosecuted.
If you want to learn
more about eligibility requirements or to request an application, ask the V/W
Specialist or call the Office of Crime Victim Services, toll‑free at
1-800-446‑6564 (264‑9497 in the Madison area). You can also request information
and application forms by writing to:
Office of Crime Victim Services
P.O. Box 7951
Madison, WI 53707‑7951
What about restitution?
If found guilty, the court may order the offender to pay for financial losses
you suffered as a result of the crime. During the sentencing hearing, the DA
should ask the judge to order restitution as part of the sentence.
How do I apply for restitution?
You will be asked to provide documentation about your out of pocket expenses.
Contact the Victim/Witness Program for further information and assistance.
I get paid restitution?
When restitution payments begin, the offender will give the money to their
supervising agent. The agent forwards the money to the Wisconsin Department of
Corrections cashiers office, which then sends it to you. Offenders who are not
supervised by DOC, but owe restitution, will make payments to the local Clerk of
Court or District Attorney’s office. Either department will then forward the
restitution payment to you.
If you have questions about restitution, ask the V/W Program. You can
also call the Community Corrections office that is supervising the offender.
Is there any other way to recover my
Filing a lawsuit is another option for recovering losses. Civil recovery is an
action that is separate from the criminal prosecution. Filing a civil action
does not stop you from requesting restitution at the time of sentencing in the
criminal case. If you are interested in filing a civil action you may want to
consult an attorney who has experience in civil law; however, you are not
required to have an attorney. You may want to contact your local clerk of
courts and learn about filing instructions and fees, damage limits and the time
frame in which you have to file.
Dealing With the Media
In high profile cases,
dealing with the media can add stress to you and your family. Many victims and
family members of victims have found it helpful to have one family member or a
family friend deal with the media.
No matter who responds
to media requests, you should know that you can:
Say ‘NO’ to an
interview (even if you have given other interviews).
Agree to an
interview, but refuse to answer certain questions.
Select a time and
place for interviews. You may protect the privacy of your home by giving
interviews elsewhere or providing your point of view through a spokesperson
and/or a written statement.
from interviews. A child may be re-traumatized by having to talk to the
photos not be printed or aired.
Grieve in private
and ask reporters, photographers or others to respect your privacy.
Request a retraction
or correction of inaccurate reporting.
Request to be
treated with dignity and respect at all times.
If you have questions or concerns about the media, call the V/W Program for further assistance.
Other Services Available
to Crime Victims
If you are experiencing difficulties as a result of the crime, you may ask that
the Victim/Witness Program in your area provide you with referral information
for other services, such as counseling, support groups or advocacy.
Additionally, the Wisconsin Department of Justice,
Center provides services
and can be reached by calling 1-800-446-6564 or 608-264-9497.
Wisconsin Victim Resource Center provides the following statewide services to
victims of crime:
Information and referrals for crime victims who are
Victim/Witness assistance in matters the Attorney General’s
Office is prosecuting or when no other county victim/witness services are
Informational materials on victims' rights in Wisconsin.
Victim Appellate Notification Services (VANS).
Assistance in understanding and participating in the criminal
Help in resolving problems with the justice system.
Aid to victims in exercising their rights.
Enforcement of victims' rights.
What can be done if I believe my rights
as a crime victim have been violated?
crime victim who has a question about possible crime victims’ rights violation
or wishes to complain about a rights violation must first contact the Victim
Resource Center, a program of the Office of Crime Victim Services, Wisconsin
Department of Justice.
The Victim Resource Center may assist a victim by raising concerns on behalf of
the victim, and taking steps to resolve the problem. Once the Victim Resource
Center has addressed the problem, sought a solution, and completed its action to
resolve the problem, the victim will be informed of the outcome. After this
process is completed, the victim has the right to seek a review of the complaint
by the Crime Victims Rights Board for formal action.
The Victim Resource Center can be reached by calling 1-800-446-6564
What can the Crime Victims Rights Board
The Wisconsin Crime Victims Rights Board (CVRB) has the authority to review and
take action on complaints relating to violations of the rights of crime victims
(not witnesses). The Board can review complaints and provide remedies in cases
where violations of victims’ rights have occurred. The CVRB cannot address or
change the outcome of a case.
The Crime Victims
Rights Board has the statutory authority to offer certain remedies in cases
brought before it. The Board may:
Issue public or
private reprimands of public officials, employees or agencies.
against judges to the Judicial Commission.
Seek other relief
that may be ordered by a court as necessary to protect the rights of victims.
Bring civil actions
to assess forfeitures (not to exceed $ 1000) for intentional violations.
Issue reports and
Although you may be
dissatisfied with some aspect of how your case was handled, the Crime Victims
Rights Board will only address complaints in which a victims’ rights violation
may have occurred.
Thank you Judge for
allowing me to finally have my say in this matter even if it is after the fact.
I needed to say these things to the one person whose job it is to see that
justice is done. It is part of my struggle to put this horrible ordeal behind
‑ a victim
A B C D
E F I J
L M N P
R S T V
‑ A court appearance
at which the defendant is formally charged and is asked to enter a plea of
guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In felony cases, an arraignment follows a
The amount of
money a judge determines sufficient to release an accused and assure his or her
attendance at later hearings. The accused can lose the total amount of bail if
he or she fails to appear for court.
Bail or Bond Review
‑ A hearing to review
bail or bond conditions to determine if there should be changes.
Challenge Incarceration Program/”Boot
Camp” ‑ A
program, that if completed, requires the court to release the offender from
prison before completing the
the District Attorney
prepares a criminal complaint based on the evidence and witness statements
developed during an investigation.
document prepared by the DA based on police reports. It lists the charges and
some of the evidence against the offender. The complaint is filed with the
Clerk of Court.
the district attorney about the criminal case. The discussions may
include plea agreements, sentencing recommendations and possible outcomes.
Court ‑ To
court order which can result in a fine or incarceration.
charged with a criminal offense. This is the person alleged to have committed a
‑ An agreement to suspend prosecution for a specific period of
time if the offender complies with certain conditions. Prosecution may resume
if the offender fails to comply with the conditions. Upon successful completion
of the agreement, charges against the offender are dropped.
process by which the
prosecutor and defense attorney each learn of the evidence the other will
present at trial.
charge(s) against the
offender are dropped.
final result of
a criminal case. This may be a finding of guilty, not guilty, dismissal or a
plea of no contest.
District Attorney ‑
officer who is an elected official and who represents the State in each of its
prosecutorial units. Also called a prosecutor or DA.
Due Process ‑
right of accused
persons (defendants) to receive notice of the charges against them, be present
at the trial, provide evidence to the court, and face a jury of their peers.
Due process rights, guaranteed in the United States Constitution, can also be
described as every person's right to a fair trial.
Extended Supervision (ES)
‑ A period of
supervision that follows a prison sentence, also known as community supervision.
ES must equal at least 25% of the length of the time in prison (for example,
for a 20-year prison sentence, ES must be at least 5 years).
‑ A crime that may be
punishable by confinement in a state prison, generally for a term exceeding one
‑ A defendant’s first
appearance in court. A judge reads the charges, sets bail, and appoints an
attorney if one is needed. In felony cases, a date is often set for arraignment
or preliminary hearing.
‑ A proceeding in
which a panel of citizens who are selected to listen to the facts of the case
and decide whether the State has proven its charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
‑ An offender who is
sentenced to life for an act committed on or after December 31, 1999 must serve
at least 20 years in prison before being eligible for release on extended
‑ A crime that may be
punishable by confinement to a county jail, generally for one year or less.
‑ An oral or written
request about a legal question made by the prosecutor or the defense attorney
before, during, or after a trial. Motions are filed to make a decision about
some legal aspect of the case.
No Contest Plea
‑ When the defendant
accepts the criminal charges, but does not admit guilt. In turn, the court
usually finds the defendant guilty.
the offender is
released from prison and placed on supervision (parole) with conditions.
Offenders who committed an offense prior to December 31, 1999, are eligible for
‑ A proposed
resolution to the case. A plea agreement is between the district attorney, the
defense attorney and the offender and is done in an effort to resolve the case
and hold the offender accountable without holding a trial.
‑ A hearing at which
the prosecutor attempts to establish that a crime was committed and the
defendant committed that crime. If probable cause is established, the case will
proceed. If not established, the case is dismissed.
‑ An opportunity for
the attorneys to review the case, exchange discovery and discuss any possible
offers and/or recommendations the State would give if the defendant were to
‑ A determination by
the court that more likely than not, a criminal act occurred and was committed
by the defendant accused.
‑ An alternative to
serving time in prison. The person convicted of a crime is allowed to remain in
the community, but have restrictions on daily activities and are supervised.
Violation of probation can result in a prison sentence, additional
restrictions, or a change in conditions of supervision.
Attorney, Assistant District Attorney or Special Prosecutor who has been asked
or appointed to review and handle a specific case.
‑ An amount of money
set by the court that the offender is ordered to pay the victim(s) of a crime.
‑ An order by the
court that witnesses not speak to one another during the course of a court
proceeding, and may include exclusion from courtroom during other testimony.
‑ A legal order
requiring a person to appear in court to testify as a witness.
‑ An official hearing
of the facts in court. With physical evidence and testimony, the DA attempts to
prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Victim Impact Statement
‑ An oral and/or
written statement that is presented to the court at the time of sentencing. A
Victim Impact Statement is a victim's opportunity to tell the court how the
crime affected them emotionally, financially and physically.
‑ A legal order to a
law enforcement agency to arrest the person named in the order. A warrant is
usually issued for an offender who fails to appear in court.