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What is needed to obtain a warrant for someones arrest after the crime has been comitted?

San Antonio, TX |

I understand that if one is caught in the act of comitting a crime no warrant is needed, but what if someone accuses you of comitting a crime such as theft $50-$500 how do they go about getting warrant and what is needed to get that warrant? I mean we cant just go to a police department and say Joe Blow stole this I want him arrested? If one is not caught in the act how can they be arrested for the accusation against them? If a cop thinks someone has comitted a crime but has no evidence how can they obtain a warrant? Do they have to fill out an affidavit? Does the cop have to show evidence or probable cause? And what would be probable cause of theft after the fact? Wittness? Items stolen? What if a cop lied on the affidavit?

Attorney Answers 1


If you are asking this because you are the victim of crime you need to file a police report. A police officer will take your statement and then someone should take the case to the District Attorney. At the District Attorney's Office an Assistant District Attorney will evaluate the case. If there is probable cause the ADA will file a case in County Court. A warrant will be issued for the person's arrest, and they will go from there.

This is a simplified answer. At every stage of the process one of these public servants can decide the case is not worth their time, or there is not enough evidence to move forward. The police will certainly want to know how you know who stole from you, you also want to be clear that you know who did it. The police are used to people reporting stolen property for insurance purposes make it clear that is not what you are doing. If you are worried about being accused of a crime, call me I would be glad to help you out.

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No Sir I want to know if it is that easy for one person to accuse another and that person be arrested.

Shannon Willis Locke

Shannon Willis Locke


Yes it is. But an accusation is a world away from a conviction. People are often stunned by this, but just because charges are filed does not mean the State will win. Check out my answers to other questions, and call me in the morning.

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