Over the past three months, the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office has been conducting a sweep through the county in order to collect on existing warrants. In total, the sweep resulted in 596 arrests. Out of that, 160 warrants applied to offenders who are already jailed. Although this is a great move in order to prevent people from reoffending, there are numerous criminal defense concerns.
There were 270 warrants cleared administratively, which means that the person appeared in court as a result. It is then up to the judge how to proceed. The only way to clear a warrant is to answer to the issuing authority. Warrants are written by a judge commanding the police to arrest the person named in the paperwork. When a person is arrested due to a warrant, the police are required to inform the person that they are acting under that authority. Officers are required to reveal their purpose and authority in conducting an arrest in the home of the accused.
Most people are not aware of their legal rights in regards to arrest warrants. Criminal law is a complex area of the law, and the average citizen is not educated on their rights. Fortunately, criminal defense attorneys are very familiar with the ins and outs of criminal law, including warrant execution.
For those who are concerned about a warrant against them or who are wondering if their arrest was made with the proper authority, consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney can present options. In addition, an attorney can help protect a defendant's rights as a case makes its way through the court system.
Southern Maryland Online, "Prince George's County Warrant Initiative Yields 596 Arrests" The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, Nov. 13, 2013