There are three main types of warrants used in Georgia. The first is a search warrant, which is permission from the court for the police to search for certain items of evidence that they believe are either the fruits of a crime or evidence of a crime. The second is an arrest warrant, which is for the person, who has been accused, to be taken into custody. The third is a bench warrant, which is issued by a judge most often for a person for failure to appear in court, but it also can be issued to a person, who has not been arrested, but has been indicted.
When facing a warrant in Atlanta, whether it be a search, arrest, or bench warrant, it is crucial to contact an Atlanta criminal lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you take the steps most beneficial to you in the future. An experienced warrants lawyer will help you have a firm understanding of how each type affects you.
If a search warrant is issued for an individual’s property in Atlanta, it means that a judge has decided that there is probable cause that evidence of a crime or the profits from a criminal activity can be found in a person’s property.
This gives the police the power to come onto their property and search for the items specified, but they must only search for the items specified. For example, if it is a search warrant for a stolen full-size piano, then the police would not be allowed to look in a dresser drawer because no one could reasonably believe that a piano is in a dresser drawer. They can only search places on the person’s property that are spelled out in the warrant and that could reasonably contain the evidence that they’re searching for.
If there is a warrant for a person’s arrest, that means that a judge or a magistrate has heard evidence from the police and has decided there is probable cause to believe that they have committed a crime. Only a judge or magistrate can issue warrants for an arrest, and thus only a judge or magistrate can lift them, meaning they do not just go away. Even if the statute of limitations has passed, an active warrant remains until a judge says that the warrant should be withdrawn. A warrants lawyer can help a person push to have the warrant withdrawn in the case the statute of limitations has passed.
If there is a warrant for their arrest in Georgia, that warrant will stay there until they have been arrested or until someone goes back to the judge and asks that the warrant be rescinded.
A bench warrant is a warrant that is issued by a judge for a person’s failure to appear in court on a scheduled court date. It is also used in Georgia to arrest people who have been indicted for crimes, but not previously arrested. To prevent a bench warrant being issued for your arrest, a warrants attorney will work to make sure you attend all necessary court dates and advise you on your role in the process.
If Atlanta police officers are in possession of a warrant for a person’s arrest, they are allowed to go into places where they have a reasonable belief that they may be hiding. With an arrest warrant, police can come into their home, and if police have sufficient probable cause to believe that the person is staying at their mother’s or brother’s house, they can also enter that home with the warrant.
Depending on the nature of the warrant, they may or may not be allowed to come in without knocking first. These are called no-knock warrants, and although they are limited in their use, the court will sometimes say that the person is so dangerous that the police can enter with the warrant without knocking first. It is important to contact a warrants lawyer in Atlanta if you feel your rights have been violated.
For a law enforcement officer to obtain a warrant in Atlanta, they must contact a judge or magistrate in the county in which they wish to obtain the warrant. They must testify to the judge about facts and circumstances from which the judge may determine that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed.
Many courts allow the police officers to do this testimony over the telephone so that they do not have to go back to the courthouse, but the officer must give sworn testimony about the evidence that supports the finding of probable cause.
If you feel that law enforcement did not follow proper procedure when obtaining a warrant, contact an Atlanta warrants lawyer to learn more.