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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27757
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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About a week ago i was deer hunting in Meriwether co ga i

Customer Question

about a week ago i was deer hunting in Meriwether co ga i was walking on the property line of land i had permission to hunt on i was approached by another hunter screaming at me saying i had been on his leased property before dawn shining a light an that
i was on his property at the present time i told i had not and was not on his property at that time he then told me he was a deputy sheriff for the county and he wanted me to lay my rifle on the ground i told him he was off duty and did not have a badge and
i would not surrender my rifle i just turned an walked away he started yelling threats told i had a bad day i headed to my truck witched was parked on my friends private property when i got close he had drove his truck up the dirt road parked and was looking
in my truck taking pics of it he did not see me a few minutes later other people started arriving i waited about two hours in the woods watching the dept Nat resources ranger can up i decided to call a friend to pick me up when i got home i got a call for
the ranger they had found my rifle and other things where i had put them in the woods and that they had dogs looking for me i called the ranger told i was home over a hour away that the dogs had a long way to go ha ha he said he wanted my side of the story
i told him my side he said he would get back to me two days latter he call said he was in my drive way wanted to talk to me again wanted me to meet him some where i told him i 50 miles for home i could not meet him then he did not seam to happy he said he
take my statement over the phone i told him the same story he started ask me questions that were not relevant to what had happen i told him if he wanted to talk anymore it would have to be done in my attys office he was not happy about that said he had turned
my rifle over to the sheriffs dept for evidence pending his investigation he would get back to me Sunday will be a week have not heard anything from him can i find out if their is a warrant out for me and how long can he hold my things what do you think i
should do thanks MHJ
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


How long he can hold your things will depend on whether you are going to be charged with a criminal offense. If he is charging you, your property is evidence and it can be held until the conclusion of your case. There's no way for sure to find out if there's an arrest warrant for you because, unlike warrants ordered by a judge for your failure to report for a court date, arrest warrants like this are not matters of public record.

Your sheriff would know, but it would not be a good idea to call him and ask. In the first place it stirs up a pot that isn't boiling right now. In the second, he doesn't have to tell you the truth. What I can say, however, is that it ony takes a few hours at best to get a warrant and they have had a week. They also know where you are and would have no reason to wait to pick you up or show up with a summons or citation.

Georgia actually has two years to file misdemeanor charges with the court. So that's how long they are entitled to take under the law and how long it will be before you're entirely out of the woods with regard to this matter. That said, since they know where to find you, realistically speaking despite the two-year statute of limitations, the more time that goes by without you hearing anything, the better the chance that you never will.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
did i break any laws when i did not give up my rifle. how much authority does a off duty officer have
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

I think it perfectly reasonable of you not to surrender a weapon to a man out of uniform who claims to be a law enforcement officer but can show you no identification of that. I don't believe you did anything unlawful by refusing to give up your rifle.

That said, in general, so long as an off-duty law enforcement officer announces up front that he is an officer, he does have the power to arrest you. For that matter, even if he didn't announce it, even if he weren't an officer at all, he could still make a citizen's arrest.