A bench warrant is essentially a warrant for your immediate arrest. Any law enforcement officer who discovers that you have a warrant out for your arrest can take you into custody and bring you before the court.
A common way in which people with bench warrants are discovered and taken into custody is when they are stopped for traffic violations. The officer will run the person’s driver’s license in his or her computer and see that there is a bench warrant issued against them.
Why are Bench Warrants Issued?
The most common reasons that people have a bench warrant issued for their arrest are:
- Failure to appear in court for a traffic violation
- Failure to pay court ordered fees
- Failure to obey any court order (e.g., order to attend classes)
- A violation of the terms of your probation
The reason they are called “bench warrants” is because they are issued by the judge from the bench. For example, if the judge calls your case in court, but you are not present, the judge will likely issue a bench warrant.
If you believe that you have a bench warrant out for your arrest, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you resolve the matter. For warrants that involve a misdemeanor, you can hire an attorney to appear in court on your behalf without you being present in court. Your attorney may be able to have the warrant recalled and allow you to move on with your life.
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