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ErylRavenwell
07-15-2007, 09:13 AM
Do you need an arrest warrant issued against a serial killer before a police officer is authorized to arrest him? Is the arrest warrant issued by the court? The head of RHD (LAPD) cannot issue an arrest warrant, now, can he? How long does it take for the court to issue an arrest warrant upon request?

Thanks.

katiemac
07-15-2007, 09:30 AM
In the case of a felony, if the police have probable cause, an arrest warrant usually isn't necessary. For misdemeanors the police witnessed (drugs, drunk driving), they also don't need an arrest warrant.

But the normal process where police didn't witness the event, which would be misdemeanors and the like, I believe goes something like this (simplified):

Warrants are issued on behalf of the state, usually a judge. But since it's a state-issued document, some Congress or other legislatures or politicians have the authority -- it's probably easiest to go through a judge.

To get a warrant, they must have probable cause that 1) a crime's been committed and 2) the person in question committed that crime. (IE: There's a dead body and some fingerprints, the fingerprints on the weapon match this guy.)

As far as time, I believe that a lawyer (or perhaps a police officer? I'm not sure about that) simply needs to supply the judge (in person) with the affadavit. If the judge believes probable cause exists, they just need a signature. And, if it's really pressing, they can approach a judge at home/at work/wherever they can to get that signature. If the judge doesn't think you have probable cause, they might decline or think about it.

ErylRavenwell
07-15-2007, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the help.

MarkEsq
07-15-2007, 08:08 PM
Just be aware that sometimes the rules differ from state to state, in terms of procedure. The search and seizure issues are pretty consistent throughout the states because of the 4th Amendment. I guess it depends on whether you are going into that stuff.
Bottom line, if a police officer has probably cause to believe someone has committed murder, you're in good shape. I'll tell you that if it's a case of the arrest coming after an investigation, the cops will almost always write a search warrant and have a DA approve it -- for something like a serial killer, you don't want to be making mistakes.

The Grift
07-15-2007, 09:43 PM
If they're in public, no warrant is necessary. Just probable cause. If it is an emergency situation, no warrant necessary, even if you bust into someone's house. The non-emergency arrest of somebody in their home requires a warrant.

Tsu Dho Nimh
07-15-2007, 11:19 PM
Do you need an arrest warrant issued against a serial killer before a police officer is authorized to arrest him?

Without a name, how would the cop know this person was a serial killer? And as soon as they have enough evidence to put a name to the crimes, there's a warrant.


Is the arrest warrant issued by the court? The head of RHD (LAPD) cannot issue an arrest warrant, now, can he? How long does it take for the court to issue an arrest warrant upon request?

Warrant issued by court.

Time it takes - can be a matter of minutes if there is good "probable cause" and an urgent reason to get a warrant out there.

ErylRavenwell
07-16-2007, 05:43 AM
Without a name, how would the cop know this person was a serial killer? And as soon as they have enough evidence to put a name to the crimes, there's a warrant.



Well, they certainly know who the serial killer is and have him under surveillance. They are just waiting for the incriminating piece of evidence before going in for the arrest. They have probable cause but the head wants a criminal conviction. For storyline's sake, the serial killer in question is very rich and shaky evidences won't do against him.

So, if you can name the suspect and you have probable cause as well, you can have a warrant? Good.

The Grift
07-16-2007, 09:24 PM
A name isn't actually necessary, but it seems like in your case that's irrelevant since they know all about the guy...

ideagirl
07-17-2007, 12:59 AM
Do you need an arrest warrant issued against a serial killer before a police officer is authorized to arrest him? Is the arrest warrant issued by the court? The head of RHD (LAPD) cannot issue an arrest warrant, now, can he? How long does it take for the court to issue an arrest warrant upon request?

FYI, it doesn't matter whether he's a serial killer or a serial shoplifter; the rules are the same. Generally speaking, an arrest warrant is only needed when the arrest is (1) to take place in the suspect's home AND (2) is under non-emergency conditions. The only point of condition (2) is just to clarify that although normally the police need a warrant to arrest someone in their home, they can arrest a person in his home without a warrant if it's an emergency--for example, if the police are called over on a domestic violence 911 call and there's a good reason to arrest him then and there, such as that his victim is still in danger so they need to get him away from her right away. (So in this sense only, it might matter whether he's a serial killer or a serial shoplifter: a serial killer is probably more likely to create an emergency situation, e.g. by taking a hostage, than a serial shoplifter, so a serial killer is MORE likely to be arrestable without a warrant.)

However, although the cops usually don't need an arrest warrant because they usually arrest people someplace other than in their homes, an arrest warrant may exist for other reasons (e.g., if the suspect can't be found, an arrest warrant might be issued just so that if a cop does happen to find the guy--say he gets pulled over for a traffic stop in another state--the cop's quickie background check will tell him he should NOT let the guy go with a ticket, but instead bring him in).

So the general rule is, the cops can get an arrest warrant if they have probable cause to believe the guy committed a crime, but they don't actually NEED one unless they're going to arrest him at his home, and even in that case, if it's an emergency they don't need a warrant. Or, to put it another way:
(1) If the police have probable cause to believe the guy committed a crime, they can either get a warrant or just go arrest him without needing a warrant,
(2)...unless they plan to arrest him at his home, in which case they need a warrant...
(3) ...except if it's an emergency, in which case they can arrest him at his home without a warrant; and
(4) Even when the police don't technically need a warrant, they might still ask for one to be issued by a judge if it would be helpful, such as if the suspect can't be found and they just want to flag his record with an arrest warrant so that if he has any minor run-ins with the law, those cops will know to detain him instead of letting him go.

ideagirl
07-17-2007, 01:01 AM
I believe that a lawyer (or perhaps a police officer? I'm not sure about that) simply needs to supply the judge (in person) with the affadavit. If the judge believes probable cause exists, they just need a signature. And, if it's really pressing, they can approach a judge at home/at work/wherever they can to get that signature.

The only time it would be a lawyer doing this is if it were the DA (or City Prosecutor, or whatever equivalent title is used in the jurisdiction). Most of the time it would be cops. Apart from DAs/prosecutors, lawyers aren't responsible for enforcing laws or bringing crooks to justice. That's on the cops. Other than that, you're right about the procedure involved.

ErylRavenwell
07-17-2007, 04:27 AM
Now that's thorough. Thanks, Ideagirl.