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13 Arrest Warrants


Summary

An arrest warrant authorises a police officer (complainant) to arrest a particular person (defendant) and bring them to court. The warrant consists of two parts:

  1. the application (complaint) with the information to substantiate the issuing of the warrant, and should contain:
    • full name, rank and station of the police officer
    • full name, date of birth, occupation and address of the defendant (if known)
    • full details of the single offence, or if related offences Charge 1 of 2, Charge 2 of 2, and the relevant Qld Act
    • grounds and evidence upon which the warrant is sought, and how the evidence was obtained
  2. the actual warrant which should contain:
    • full name, rank and station of the police officer
    • I, a Justice, (cross out Magistrate) after hearing a sworn application
    • full name, date of birth, occupation and address of the defendant (if known)
    • grounds and evidence upon which the warrant is sought
    • the current date

Check

  • the defendant is not known to you, or is not related in any way, otherwise refer to another JP
  • the offence has occurred in Qld
  • the offence exists in Qld law
  • the warrant has not been refused by another JP, if so only a magistrate may issue it

Process

  1. Check and note the identification of the police officer (full name, rank and station).
  2. Place the police officer under oath/affirmation:
    • Oath: I swear that the contents of this document and any further information I may supply either orally or in writing are true and correct, so help me God.
    • Affirmation: I sincerely and solemnly declare and affirm that the contents of this document and any further information I may supply either orally or in writing are true and correct.
  3. If the officer wishes to keep a copy of the application, then two copies of the application are needed.
  4. Read the application carefully in its entirety. Check that it includes the information listed above.
  5. Ask the police officer any questions needed to clarify the offence and the evidence offered and its source. Ask and record questions and answers in logbook. Some suggested questions: Source of the information, reliability of informant, how identity and location of defendant discovered, evidence that offence was committed, all elements of the offence present.
  6. If satisfied, have the police officer sign the application, check signature, then sign application, date, affix seal and registration number. Ensure each page is signed and dated by the JP. Retain a copy of the application and store in a safe place.
  7. Check the warrant contains the information listed above.
  8. Complete the warrant with the current date. Sign the warrant, affix seal and registration number. If a name is requested use 'I, the undersigned'. Hand the completed warrant to the police officer.

Notes

  1. A warrant is valid until the defendant is apprehended but the Disposal of Unexecuted Warrants Act 1985 (Qld) allows for warrant cancellation within 2 years of the issue date. The warrant may be reissued for the same purpose.
  2. If you refuse to issue the warrant, draw 2 lines through the application and write between them the word 'Rejected' and write the reasons on the application. Contact the applicant's superior officer ASAP and inform them of the reasons for your decision. Record the reasons in your logbook.

References

  1. JP Handbook, Chapter 14.
  2. QJA Guide, Chapter 18.