Smyrna, GA asked in Criminal Law for Georgia

Q: If the date and time is wrong on an arrest warrant is the warrant invalid?

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1 Lawyer Answer

James Thomas

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Spartanburg, SC
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Generally, I'd say no. If the evidence at a probable cause hearing on an arrest warrant supports an entirely different offense, the court can amend the charge to reflect the correct crime rather than the crime listed on the warrant (O.C.G.A. § 17-7-29), and on the same theory, I've often seen them allow amendments to the dates, times, and other parts of the allegations wtihin the warrant as well. There are also a couple of Georgia cases that have addressed the issue and it seems like there really isn't much helpful relief for the defense if the date and time are wrong on an arrest warrant. See Jones v. State, 289 Ga. App. 767 (2008) and Blair v. State, 230 Ga. 409 (1973).

If the investigating officer is carelessly making errors like that on arrest warrants though, a good trial lawyer might consider pointing that out to a jury. Whether that's likely to be helpful would depend on the facts of particular case.

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