In very simple terms, a Ramey Warrant is an arrest warrant that is obtained by a police agency by going directly to a judge and bypassing the district attorney.
Typically, in order for a police agency to get a warrant, they must submit a report to the District Attorney and, if the District Attorney feels there is enough evidence to file the case, the police agency can request that the case be filed and at the same time, an arrest warrant issued. This is referred to as a “Walk-through Warrant.” However, with a Ramey Warrant, the officer may skip the district attorney and go directly to a judge. The police agency must submit a declaration, along with a report, to the judge setting out their reasons for requesting that the judge issue the warrant. If the Judge believes that there is probable cause, and sufficient evidence that this person has committed a crime, then the judge will issue the warrant. These types of warrants are often requested and processed after regular business hours.
So why would a police agency choose to get a Ramey Warrant instead of just the traditional arrest warrant? Well for one reason, it is faster. The police agency may not want to wait for the District Attorney's Office to review the paperwork, which they have submitted. So, they bypass this and go straight to the source. However, most commonly, this is done when a police officer feels that he may not have enough evidence for the district attorney to actually file the charges. He doesn’t want to take the chance that the district attorney will reject the case. So, if he can get a judge to issue a Ramey Warrant, he can then arrest the person and question them with the hope of obtaining enough information and sufficient evidence to present it to the District Attorney for filing. Basically, the officer’s hope is that, once they have the individual in their possession, they will get what they need to make their case and end up with the sufficient evidence needed to get the case filed.
These types of warrants are of course legal but are fairly rare. One situation that may cause an officer to choose to go with a Ramey Warrant might be that they have previously tried to file cases against an individual but the district attorney keeps rejecting it for lack of sufficient evidence. The strategy then becomes to arrest the person, and obtain as much sufficient evidence as possible through questioning, lineups, and other investigatory techniques. However, if the individual refuses to talk, and provides them with nothing, then the officer must either file the case as is, or release the individual.
For someone who has been arrested via a Ramey Warrant, having this knowledge may make the difference in a case being filed and the agency being forced to release the individual, provided the arresting agency was unsuccessful in obtaining the information they needed.
If you would like to know more about arrest warrants, or any other criminal legal matter, feel free to contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William Weinberg at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.