Georgia Warrant Searches

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It is not difficult to see how easy it is in the state of Georgia for an officer to have a judge issue an arrest warrant for an individual that has been accused of a crime.

Any judge of a superior, city, state, or magistrate court or any municipal officer clothed by law with the powers of a magistrate may issue a warrant for the arrest of any offender against the penal laws, based on probable cause either on the judge’s or officer’s own knowledge or on the information of others given to the judge or officer under oath.”

-Georgia Code Title 17. Criminal Procedure § 17-4-40

When there is a warrant out for the arrest of an individual the person named in the warrant is subject to be arrested and detained at any given moment. Officers claim to be more worried about the safety of the community than anything else so they will stop at nothing in order to arrest a wanted person.

An arrest warrant gives police permission to:

  • Arrest the suspect on sight
  • Search areas that the suspect might be
  • Detain the suspect and take them to jail

In most cases, a person with an active warrant will be arrested and booked into the county jail.

If you believe that you or somebody that you know has an active arrest warrant, we recommend that you do a Georgia warrant search to know for sure so that you can take action on your own terms.

Outstanding Warrants in Georgia

When a judge or magistrate signs a warrant into action it will remain outstanding until it is brought to fruition. A person with an outstanding warrant can also be considered ”wanted” by the law.

The only way for a warrant to become inactive, or nullified is when the warrant is satisfied by way of execution. What this means is that a warrant will stay valid and active until the person named on it is either arrested or dead. Other than these two options, the only person that can nullify a warrant is a judge or magistrate.

Types of outstanding warrants are usually:

  • Arrest warrants
  • Bench warrants

Depending on the severity of the warrant and the issue of public safety in regards to the suspect named in the warrant the law enforcement agencies that are involved with the case will either tirelessly hunt the suspect down, or they will simply wait for the suspect to encounter contact with law enforcement in some other manner.

Search Warrants in Georgia

Another type of warrant that leads to action due to suspected criminal activity is a search warrant. Although the Fourth Amendment is in place in order to protect the citizens from unreasonable and unauthorized search and seizure tactics by aggressive police officers, the balance between the right to privacy and public safety is sometimes tipped towards the favor of public safety.

Since police officers do not have the authority to conduct searches of a person or property unless they have permission from the suspect, or have a written warrant in place they sometimes have to creatively assess the situation for probable cause.

If the police officers that are involved with an incident that requires a search due to the discovery of probable cause, the officers can give themselves permission to search. However, this can end up causing problems later on in the case if the defendant has a good lawyer.

In any event, when a judge signs a search warrant into action the authorities can immediately carry out the search without giving any warning to the person named in the warrant.

Some of the situations that will merit a search warrant signed by a judge are:

  • Suspicion of having stolen property in possession
  • Suspicion of selling illegal narcotics
  • Suspicion of harboring felonious materials

A search warrant is a legal document that is signed by a judge. It has to be taken very seriously when it is executed by the police because if it is not done correctly it could be deemed as an illegal search and any evidence found could be thrown out of court.

Within the details of the warrant, a judge will write out information such as:

  • The name of the subject in the warrant
  • The address of the subject
  • The area that the police are allowed to search
  • What the police will be searching for

The majority of search warrants are issued in private between the judge and the officers that will execute the search. The only time a search warrant will become public information is after it happens. This way the person named on the warrant will have no way to know when and where the search will take place.

Arrest Warrants in Georgia

A judge will issue an arrest warrant in Georgia either by police requesting it or by the district attorney requesting it. Usually, when the police request an arrest warrant it is because it is the beginning of a weekend or a holiday break and the court will not be in operation.

When a district attorney requests an arrest warrant against an individual it is because they have already established enough evidence against the suspect to file charges against them. Once the DA files charges they will bring the charges to the judge and request an arrest warrant be issued.

Once an arrest warrant is issued in the state of Georgia, law enforcement agencies are expected to carry out the warrant and bring the subject into custody.

Grounds for an arrest warrant for an individual can be:

  • Police identified the suspect as being probably involved in a crime
  • An eyewitness to a crime identified and reported the suspect to the police
  • A video surveillance camera showed evidence that a suspect committed a crime

An arrest warrant will not go away until it is satisfied through the court system and signed off by a judge.

Bench Warrants in Georgia

If you have a bench warrant in Georgia it is because you failed to comply with a court order. When a judge issues a bench warrant they write it up and sign it into effect directly from their bench in the courtroom.

In most cases, a judge will issue a bench warrant against an individual because:

  • The individual failed to show up for a court appointment
  • The individual did not pay a court-demanded fine in time
  • The individual failed to report to their work detail or community service sentence

Bench warrants are a lot like arrest warrants in the sense that once they are issued the police have permission to take the individual named in the warrant into custody.

In some cases, bench warrants can be handled by a simple phone call to the courthouse to schedule a new date. In other cases, the defendant will have to be remanded into the custody of the court and go to jail.

Once a bench warrant is active the person named in the warrant will be subject to arrest and jail time whenever and wherever they are found by the police.

Why Regular Warrant Searches are Wise

The truth is that anybody can be subject to being issued a warrant. Old traffic tickets, mistakes from years ago, whatever. If you know that you have a warrant out for your arrest you have the option to contact an attorney and get it handled before you get hauled off to jail. Doing regular warrant searches will give you the information that you need to stay self, and protect the people that you care about.

***Regardless of which state you live in it is always wise to contact an attorney for any questions that you may have when it comes to warrant laws or any other legal concerns. The content found on this website is only for informational purposes and is not to be mistaken for legal advice.