so my questions are will a magistrate or judge grant an arrest warrant if a police officer only found out about a crime through an anonymous tip? what if the officer obtains an ip address and that leads to a more complex investigation in which it was discovered that a crime was actually committed? my point is that the officer never saw anyone in the act of committing the crime but later may have discovered it through anonymous tips. is that enough information for an arrest warrant? how long does he have to file and then issue a warrant and would this officer be the one to serve the warrant?
Can an officer obtain an arrest warrant based on anonymous tips and an ip address that lead him to investigate the crime?
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Yes. However, he will probably want to investigate further. I would assume the first thing he would do is get a search warrant to seize whatever computers are located at the residence. Then he would send them to the SBI for a forensic evaluation. Once his investigation is completed, he will take out warrants for the person's arrest.
Law Enforcement Officer's do not have to see the crime taking place in order to charge someone with committing the crime. Nearly all crime is committed outside the presence of law enforcement officers. As an example, most murders and rapes do not happen in front of law enforcement officers . . . yet people are charged with these crimes everyday. Best of luck!
The information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva is based upon the generic and ambiguous facts presented in short questions. Without a full consultation with an attorney, you should not rely upon any information presented in this forum. The intricate facts of every case are different. The information provided is not legal advice and should not be the basis of any decision without the actual guidance of an attorney. Further, any information provided by Attorney Matthew V. Silva should not be perceived as a willingness to represent you or actual representation.
An Officer need not witness a crime in order to obtain sufficient evidence for a search warrant. There only needs to be sufficient statements that establish probable cause that illegal items or evidence be present in the area or place to be searched. My experience is that anonymous tips are often enough, especially in conjunction with additional facts or observations to establish P.C. Once executed, the warrant must be served within 48 hours. Your attorney may attack the sufficiency of the warrant after service. Your concerns indicate that you should perhaps be more concerned about retaining counsel. Call an attorney.
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