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Sheriffs no longer have arrest powers in Delaware

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by doktarZues, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. doktarZues

    doktarZues I'm anti-anti

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  2. Philippe

    Philippe

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    Considering the news sources, i'd say it is a bunch of bologna.
     

  3. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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    I don't know about Delaware, but in KY, Sheriff's have not only statutory arrest powers, but it's in the state constitution as well. Somehow, I don't think an Attorney General has the authority to revoke that authority.
     
  4. GD2J

    GD2J GoDirectly2Jail

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    Not a mandate, but rather a non-binding legal opinion.
     
  5. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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    Any link to this in mainstream media? I haven't seen anything that comes from a reputable news organization on this.
     
  6. GD2J

    GD2J GoDirectly2Jail

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  7. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    I don't see it covered in any credible source, BUT it doesn't sound crazy. Apparently the AG gave a legal opinion that neither the constitution, nor the statutes of Deleware have ever given sheriffs arrest powers. We have had similar issues in Kentucky with deputy constables and the authority of deputy sheriffs to carry concealed weapons.

    The only thing that makes it strange or hard to believe is that nobody noticed it until now. That's embarrassing to a lot of defense attorneys.

    A quick search shows that Delaware Code § 1313 calls sheriffs peace officers and grants them the powers of fish & wildlife agents. I don't see anything else with a quick google search, so it may be that people in Deleware didn't realize they didn't have peace officers powers until now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  8. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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    Huh. This is all I could find regarding arrest authority in Delaware; it looks like Sheriff's actually ARE NOT mentioned as having arrest authority, unless, as having the authority of a Wildlife Agent, they are covered under Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. Odd, and probably a major oversight on the part of the legislature.




    § 1911. Police officers; statewide authority.

    (a) For purposes of this section "police officer" means any police officer holding current certification by the Council on Police Training as provided by Chapter 84 of this title and who is:

    (1) A member of the Delaware State Police;

    (2) A member of the New Castle County Police;

    (3) A member of the police department, bureau or force of any incorporated city or town;

    (4) A member of the Delaware River and Bay Authority Police;

    (5) A member of the Capitol Police;

    (6) A member of the University of Delaware Police;

    (7) A law enforcement officer of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;

    (8) An agent of the State Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement;

    (9) An officer or agent of the State Police Drug Diversion Unit;

    (10) A state detective or special investigator of the Department of Justice; or

    (11) Delaware State University Police.
     
  9. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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  10. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    Maybe, but Biden just gave an opinion on what the law is - all the stuff about him taking away powers is nonsense. He (some attorney who works for him) just noticed they never had any.
     
  11. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

    But now what happens to all the defendants who were arrested by Sheriff's deputies? Is it now a false arrest? Will defendants challenge based upon this opinion.

    -Dana
     
  12. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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    That's a damn good question.
     
  13. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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    Oh, I'm not disputing that at all. It just seems like it started from a contest of egos, and somebody lost, big-time.
     
  14. Naelbis

    Naelbis

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    I searched everywhere in their Constitution and found several references to sheriffs as conservators of the peace, fish and wildlife agents and officers of the court. But their specific authority doesn't seem to ever be defined.
     
  15. bgreed

    bgreed

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    Check the US constitution only County Sherriffs and Federal Marshall are law enforcement meaning the only ones with the authority to arrest Beau is in over his head on this one.
     
  16. CJStudent

    CJStudent Fenced In

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    :headscratch:

    Which article is that in?
     
  17. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    ...someone is in over their head.
     
  18. In Philadelphia, the elected Sheriff oversees Sheriffs Officers who are responsible for court security, prisoner transport, etc. I don't know if they have Peace Officer status, or whether they have arrest powers, but I don't think making arrests is a typical function of their job. It is not like the Sheriff departments that have a patrol function and arrest powers.

    It is very possible (probable, considering the topic) that Delaware has a similar system, and their Sheriff officers don't make many arrests (if at all).
     
  19. CAcop

    CAcop

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    The same one that says you can make your own license plates and don't have to reg your cars with DMV.

    Duh.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  20. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    That's the most interesting question.

    The opinion could be wrong, if a court decides that the sheriff's arrest power is a common law power that existed before the constitution of the state.

    On the other hand, they could just follow it and start dismissing charges where necessary. It could have all sorts of interesting effects, both for and against criminals.