Capias Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Capias, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Capias?

Another term for arrest warrant.

History and Meaning of Capias

Capias is a term that has been used in the legal system for hundreds of years. It comes from the Latin term "capere," which means "to take." In the context of law, a capias is an arrest warrant that orders a law enforcement officer to bring a person in custody to court to answer for a crime or to testify as a witness.

The use of the term "capias" dates back to medieval England, where it was used in the common law system. At that time, a capias was used to order the arrest of a person who failed to appear in court or comply with a legal order. Today, the use of capiases is still prevalent in many legal systems, including the United States, where it is often used in criminal proceedings.

Examples of Capias

  1. A judge issues a capias for the arrest of a suspect who failed to appear in court for their trial.
  2. The police obtain a capias to arrest a suspect who is believed to have committed a crime.
  3. A capias is issued for a witness who failed to appear in court to testify.
  4. The judge orders a capias to be issued for a person who violated their parole.
  5. A capias is used to enforce a civil judgment against a debtor who failed to pay their debt.

Legal Terms Similar to Capias

  1. Arrest warrant - A legal order issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement officers to arrest a person.
  2. Bench warrant - An arrest warrant issued by a judge for someone who failed to appear in court.
  3. Subpoena - A legal order that requires a person to testify or produce evidence in court.