Folsom, PA asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Can a judge sign an arrest warrent when he is a relative to someone involved in said case.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Fishman
Brian Fishman
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Yes, a judge who is related to someone involved in a case can sign an arrest warrant in the case. Would I do it if I was a judge: Absolutely Not...No Questions Asked. There is nothing illegal with a judge signing a warrant in this situation. But why create even the impression of impropriety? The judge is only looking for trouble and it could effect the case down the road. Especially when I'm sure there are plenty of other judges in the jurisdiction to sign the warrant so there is no appearance of a bias or motive on the part of the judge.

I'm assuming the judge knows the victim as its unlikely that he/she would sign a warrant causing the arrest of a relative. If that's the case, it's likely to cast a shadow over the case & make others wonder, "Did the judge sign that warrant just because the victim was his/her relative and if it wasn't a relative he/she wouldn't have signed it?" There would be no reason for a judge to put him/herself in that situation intentionally.

If I can be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Brian M. Fishman

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.