This is the next post in our series on situations in which a Little Rock defendant may challenge their arrest on the grounds that the warrant was faulty. Our last post provided an overview of topics we will be discussing and stressed the need to contact a criminal defense attorney if you find yourself having been arrested. It is important to understand that this is a complicated area of law and that you need experienced counsel to assist you. In this post we will discuss another important topic – grounds upon which one may challenge the warrant after they have been arrested. If it can be shown that an arrest warrant should not have been issued in the first place then it may be possible to have the case dismissed.
A warrant for one’s arrest is only to be issued by a Judge or Magistrate if the officer, applying for the warrant, can articulate a set of circumstances to the Court demonstrating probable cause for the accused to be arrested. In determining whether the facts offered support a finding of probable cause the Court will consider the totality of the circumstances and the officer may even rely on hearsay.
It is important to understand that an officer may not lie or distort the truth when filling out their application for an arrest warrant. If it is shown that an officer intentionally misled the Court then the incorrect information may not be used as a basis for upholding the arrest. An officer also may not rely on information which they have reason to believe may be false. For example, as we discussed in our post on challenging confidential informants, if an officer has reason to believe that a confidential informant is unreliable then information from the informant should not have been used in applying for a warrant.
A warrant will not be automatically invalidated if it is shown that an officer misled the Court. After a showing that the officer was not truthful, the Court will analyze the warrant application with the untruthful information removed. If the warrant application still would have supported issuing the warrant then the arrest will be upheld. If, however, the application would not have been approved without the untruthful information then the arrest can be dismissed.
Again, this is a highly complicated area of law and it is crucial that you retain an attorney knowledgeable in Fourth Amendment law. Our Little Rock lawyers have handled many matters involving the challenge of a warrant. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.