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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 118201
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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If a police officer files for an arrest warrant without either

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If a police officer files for an arrest warrant without either being a witness to the crime or having a signed complaint from either a witness or a victim is that allowed under Massachusetts criminal code
Yes, he does not need a "signed complaint" all he needs is a report of a crime and some investigation to show that there is probable cause that the person being sought in the arrest warrant is likely the party who committed that crime. Police get warrants all of the time for crimes they did not personally witness and merely received a report about without any "signed" statements. There is no requirement in the law about obtaining signed statements I am afraid, the only requirement is probable cause, which is reasonable articulable information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that it is more likely than not that the accused committed the criminal offense. Probable cause is all that is needed for an arrest, even though for a conviction the prosecutor must prove the defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a much higher standard than probable cause.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What do you mean by the staement that all that is needed is some investigation is required. If the officer goes to a magistrate and files for an arrest warrant and states under oath that what he is filing is true and the only one he interviewed was the supposed victim without any corrobarating information is that sufficient

That is sufficient, he does not need any corroborating evidence if he has interviewed the victim and there is some articulable ground why the officer believes that the alleged victim is credible, then the officer can go to get a warrant for arrest.

The process you describe is what happens every single day in every single town and city in MA and other states. The officer based on a statement of an alleged victim that the officer can articulate as to why they believed the victim is credible goes to get a warrant based on that as probable cause for the warrant.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had been told that in Massachusetts if the Plaintiff does not sign off on the report that the police officer files in the Court that it is not true to Massachusetts Law Code requirements. Is their a particular GLA code that says the police officer does not need anything signed from the victim and that the victim does not have to request or ask for an arrest to be made but the officer can do it on his own.

I practice in MA, and what you "have been told" I am afraid is not correct and is not what happens in reality. There is nothing in the code at all saying the officer must have a signed statement or does not have to have a signed statement. By any chance from the tone of your questions it sounds like you are also talking about a domestic violence allegation or case, which is a completely different animal and it falls under MA General Laws Chapter 209A Section 6 and nowhere in that statute does it state the police need any signed statement and in fact the Commonwealth is the victim in a domestic violence case and the law says the police shall make an arrest (or get a warrant) in domestic violence cases.
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