The issuing authority must issue a warrant of arrest as opposed to a summons if a felony or murder is charged, if there is reason to believe that the accused will not respond to the summons, or if there is reason to believe that the accused poses a physical threat to themselves or others. Other situations where a summons is not appropriate are where the identity of the accused is unknown or where a summons was returned undeliverable. An arrest warrant must be attached to a sworn affidavit whereby the affiant swears to the truth of the facts as alleged. Similar to the criminal complaint, the affiant provides a factual description of the criminal episode. The affidavit must contain enough particularity such that the issuing authority can find probable cause for the arrest. The issuing authority must look only to the attached affidavit to establish the probable cause necessary for the issuance of the arrest warrant. The affiant may not supplement the affidavit with other written or oral statements.

Here at Seelinger Law we have successfully challenged the validity of arrest warrants showing that the affidavit did not establish the probable cause necessary for the arrest.

Contact Us


5148 Peach Street, Suite 330
Erie, PA 16509


Parkside Commons
847 N. Main Street, Suite 003B
Meadville, PA 16335


322 N. Shore Drive
Building 1B, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.