Arrest Warrants 101: What You Need to Know
If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to understand the implications of arrest warrants. An arrest warrant is an official document that has been signed by a magistrate or a judge, which enables a police officer to arrest the individuals or the person named in the warrant.
Usually a warrant will identify the crime for which an arrest has been approved and can also restrict the manner through which an arrest can be obtained. Police can obtain a warrant by submitting a written affidavit to a magistrate or judge. This has to be given under oath and must include factual information to establish the crucial element of probable cause.
Probable cause must show that a crime was indeed committed and that the suspect in question could potentially be the person who committed it. A description that is so broad that it could apply to many different people will not suffice for an arrest warrant. Sometimes arrest warrants contain inaccurate information; the wrong crime may be specified, or the name may be misspelled, however, errors like this will not result in the underlying charges being dismissed. In an ideal situation, the police officer who claims to have a warrant will show it to you directly. But there are other times when the police will not show the warrant to the suspect for a variety of reasons and any mistakes are sorted out later.
Clerical errors are not enough to invalidate a warrant, but other issues with the mismanagement of an arrest warrant could prove critical in your own criminal defense case. If you believe that your warrant was not handled properly, you need to talk with a dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This information could be used to protect your interests in a court of law.
Not sure of your rights? Schedule a consultation to speak with experienced attorney John Tumelty from the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty. He can be contacted via phone number 609-390-4600 or via our online contact form.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.