Mittimus Definition

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Mittimus Definition

An arrest warrant is an order signed by a judge authorizing law enforcement to take a suspect into custody. The person is not considered guilty of the criminal charge of which they are being accused. However, a judge can also sign a mittimus.

What Is the Definition of Mittimus?

Mittimus is Latin for “we send.” It refers to a court-ordered warrant directing the county sheriff to arrest a convicted person.

What Happens After the Arrest?

The individual goes to jail or prison until the legal matter is resolved.

What Is a Mittimus Judgment?

It is a formal document that contains a written order issued by the court authorizing law enforcement to arrest a convicted person. The judge directs law enforcement to take the arrested convict to the local department of correction for incarceration. Law enforcement officers are ordered to keep the convict safe until they are returned to court.

Can a Mittimus Be Issued For Me If I Have Not Committed a Crime?

A mittimus is also used in civil court. For example, a magistrate can issue a mittimus for a person who is not in compliance of a child support order. The arrested person will go to jail until the police take them to the child support court hearing.

Is a Mittimus the Same as a Capias?

Yes. The term “capias” is now used more than mittimus. Many people refer to “having a capias.” It simply means a warrant was issue and outstanding. Once the arrest is made, the person will remain in jail until the court hearing. Many people have a capias out for their arrest for issues such as failing to pay child support, outstanding traffic tickets, and failing to appear in court.

Will the Mittimus Expire?

No. The warrant will remain active until the person is arrested and taken to jail.

Should I Talk to an Attorney About Mittimus?

If you currently have a warrant out for your arrest, it is vital that you talk with a criminal attorney. You attorney will discuss the issue and explain your legal options. 

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Last Modified: 06-16-2015 02:07 PM PDT

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