Magistrates are a part of the judicial branch of government and are required to exercise independent judgment in the issuance of arrest warrants. The United States Supreme Court has determined that persons issuing warrants must be "neutral and detached" from the law enforcement function.
JURISDICTION OF THE PICKENS COUNTY WARRANT MAGISTRATE'S OFFICE IS AS FOLLOWS:
Misdemeanors - Offenses occurring outside police jurisdictions.
Felonies - Offenses that occur in Pickens County.
Traffic - Offenses that occur in Pickens County.
(Most often a traffic citation given by a State Trooper or County Deputy)
Worthless Checks - All Checks received in Pickens County
HOW TO OBTAIN A WARRANT:
Prior to obtaining a warrant, you will need to file an incident/offense report with the Pickens County Sheriff's Department (205) 367-2000, or if the offense occurred in a municipality, the report needs to be filed with the police department there. For misdemeanor charges (occurring outside a municipality’s police jurisdiction) you will need to obtain a copy of the report from the Sheriff's Department. In the case of a felony offense, you will need to get in touch with the municipality having jurisdiction or the Sheriff's Department and talk with an investigator. Since warrant matters are often complicated, feel free to call our office.
Note: Misdemeanor charges occurring inside the city limits must be handled through their municipal court. We will only handle their misdemeanor cases through county court if a felony charge is also involved in the same incident or if it is an extraordinary circumstance. Example: A misdemeanor charge involving a city employee or relative.
Bring your incident/offense report to the Magistrate and you will be put under oath and fill out a deposition of the alleged crime. The magistrate will then make a determination as to whether there is probable cause for the issuance of a warrant. If probable cause is found, an arrest warrant is issued. There is no cost involved in this process. Please make careful consideration before you have someone arrested as we do not drop charges except in extenuating circumstances and you may be required to pay costs of court. An arrest warrant is NOT a matter of public record until it is served. If someone suspects that a warrant has been issued against them, they should appear in person at the Pickens County Sheriff's Department or a municipal police department.