Chapter 08 - Warrant and Arrest
Chapter 08 - Warrant and Arrest
Except as provided in 46.0805 and 46.0806, no arrest may be made except upon warrant, duly issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(a) When a complaint is laid before the Chief Justice, the Associate Justice or any Associate or District Court Judge, for the commission of a public offense triable in American Samoa, the justice or judge must examine the complainant under oath and take his affidavit in writing and cause it to be subscribed by him.
(b) The affidavit must set forth the facts stated by the complainant tending to establish the commission of the offense and the guilt of the defendant. If necessary, such affidavit may be made upon the information and belief of the affiant, provided the facts and the source of the information are stated in the affidavit.
If the Chief Justice, Associate Justice or other judge is satisfied from an affidavit that the offense complained of has been committed, and that there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant has committed it, he shall issue a warrant of arrest and commitment in the case of felonies, and a summons in the case of misdemeanors; except that if it is made to appear in such affidavit that the safety of the defendant or the public so requires, the Chief Justice, Associate Justice or other judge shall issue a warrant of arrest and commitment in the case of misdemeanors.
(a) A warrant of arrest and commitment is an order in writing, in the name of the government, signed by the Chief Justice, Associate Justice or an Associate or District Court Judge, commanding the arrest of the defendant by the Chief of Police or any other police officer of American Samoa. The warrant must specify the offense charged and the name of the defendant. If the defendant’s name is unknown to the official issuing the warrant, the defendant may be designated therein by any name.
(b) The affidavit of the complainant or prosecutor shall be upon, or attached to, the warrant.
(c) If the offense is bailable, the warrant shall so provide, stating the amount of bail which may be posted, designating the particular court before which the defendant is to appear, and specifying that appearance is to be made at the next sitting of the court.
(d) The warrant may be in substantially the following form:
THE GOVERNMENT OF AMERICAN SAMOA WARRANT OF ARREST AND COMMITMENT
The Government of American Samoa to the Chief of Police or any other police officer of American Samoa:
Information on oath having been this day laid before me by________________, that the crime of________________ has been committed, and accusing_________________thereof, you are hereby commanded forthwith to arrest the above named___________________, and to commit him to prison to answer said charge, unless he shall give bail in the sum of $____________, to appear at the next sitting of the_____________________ (Name of court).
Dated this____day of, 20___ Signed:
Chief Justice of American Samoa
Associate Justice of American Samoa
Associate Judge of American Samoa
District Court Judge of American Samoa
(Cross out three of above)
A police officer is authorized, and it is his duty, to make an arrest without a warrant, in the following cases:
(1) when a felony is committed in his presence;
(2) to prevent the commission of a felony;
(3) of persons found near the scene of a felony and suspected of committing it, where such suspicion is based on reasonable grounds and the arrest follows the crime by a short time;
(4) when a misdemeanor is committed in his presence;
(5) to prevent a breach of the peace when he has reasonable grounds to believe that a breach of the peace is about to be committed;
(6) of persons who obstruct justice by assaulting him or otherwise interfering with him while he is discharging his duty;
(7) of persons who are in danger of life or limb and whose arrest is necessary for their protection.
Any person other than a police officer is authorized, and it is his duty, to make an arrest without a warrant when a felony is committed in his presence or to prevent the commission of a felony about to be committed in his presence.
(a) Any police officer or other person making an arrest without a warrant in accordance with this chapter shall immediately thereafter make an affidavit and apply to the Chief Justice, Associate Justice, District Court Judge, or an Associate Judge of the High Court for a warrant of arrest and commitment of the person under arrest.
(b) Nothing in this section may be so construed as to prevent the detention for not to exceed 36 hours of any person lawfully arrested by a police officer when the arresting officer deems the same necessary for the safety of the person arrested or the public.