Using an electronic warrant system can help reduce the amount of time spent handling paperwork and give police officers more opportunity to use their work hours to focus on apprehension of criminals. It also helps law enforcement agencies save unplanned overtime that can be used to pay staff for time spent on clerical duties.
The Gwinnett County, Georgia police department was one of the first to use a computer-based system for applying for arrest warrants. This allowed officers to enter information about a potential crime into the system on a form that was designed for the purpose, and state codes showing the specific charges would then appear on a screen.
In addition to saving time, the system allows a judge to review a warrant application from anywhere on an internet-connected device. This is especially useful during emergencies when a warrant must be approved and signed quickly. The system also enables the issuance of search and arrest warrants by magistrate judges without the need to go to the courthouse.
However, some people believe that the law as written only authorizes magistrates to sign warrants in person. Some agencies believe that this provision should be changed to allow magistrates to fax a warrant for signature and receive it back by fax. This would significantly reduce the time spent on each warrant and help law enforcement officers get the evidence they need in a timely fashion. This is where an eWarrant system like that offered by BerkOne comes in. electronic warrants