How are arrest warrants processed?
The Sheriff’s Department has to follow a specific procedure to procure arrest warrants in Albany County, NY. The police cannot take an alleged perpetrator in custody without an arrest warrant; unless the crime is committed in front of a law enforcement official.
The process entails preparing an affidavit, which contains information about the crime and the alleged criminal’s role in the occurrence, and the evidence gathered up till that point in time. It is then presented to a sitting judge at the local criminal court, who will review the information’s sufficiency before he issues the warrant for the potential suspect’s arrest.
What happens once the warrant for arrest is signed?
Once signed, the document is deemed an Albany County active arrest warrant, which confers law enforcement officials’ right to make an arrest. If an active warrant is not used to take a person into custody, it does not expire but becomes an outstanding arrest warrant. However, the change does not impact the authority that the document grants to the police officials.
This means that an arrest can be made in NY and any other state if an outstanding warrant is out against an individual. Even in case of traffic violations (I often see people who have warrants for their arrest due to unpaid traffic fines), the police officer will run your driver’s license through a nationwide database of the warrant and arrest records, and if an active or outstanding warrant is in place against you, you will be arrested.
When you need a warrant search, I recommend going through the Albany County, New York Sheriff’s Department. You can visit them at their headquarters located in the County Court House, Albany, NY 12207; alternatively, they can also be contacted over the phone by dialing 518-487-5440. Another way to get arrest records related data is to browse through an online database, which can be accessed by filling the form given above.
Crime in Albany, New York
In the ten years that ended in 2008, there was an overall improvement in Albany’s crime rate with a decrease of almost 13%. However, this improvement failed to change the grim statistics of violent crimes, which rose from nearly 1000 to over 1200.
Of the approximately 108,000 crimes reported in the decade, most of them were theft and robbery related, including carjacking with over 77000 cases, while rapes and homicides were at the end of the crime spectrum with almost 600 and 90 incidents respectively reported.
How are criminal court records kept?
The clerks keep criminal court records at the Albany County clerks’ office. However, because court cases (by law) are required to be accessible to the public, some third-party databases can locate your name (provided it is in the system) and let you know whether or not you have any court dates listed on the court docket.
Unfortunately, the county clerks’ offices are routinely understaffed, causing delays in making these documents public information. What that means for you is that just because your name has not appeared in any of the databases that scrub public records for court cases in your name does not mean you are in the clear.
I would always recommend going to the Albany County Clerks’ Office or calling them at 518-487-5440 to ensure that you don’t have court dates coming up or any active or outstanding warrants for your arrest.
How does the police blotter affect us?
I stay up to date with our county’s activity by keeping an eye on the police blotter. A police blotter is essentially the same thing as police records. It’s the book that they use to keep track of everything that happens throughout the day.
Police logs are also required by law to be accessible to the public community. Why is this important? Transparency is critical in making sure the officers policing our community are doing so with integrity. These police reports go a long way towards keeping them honest.
Furthermore, I often advise people to keep an eye on the blotter because it is a useful tool for knowing what is going on in your city. It is beneficial if you know what to be prepared for. Like most of you, when I am looking at moving to a new city, I will look at crime rates to know how safe it is there. But public police records take this a step further and allow you to take a more analytical view of the area. Things like what kinds of crimes are common there and what times are they committed most. Police blotters are a handy tool that I highly recommend taking a look at every so often.