Receiving tickets and failing to appear in court can result in what’s known as a Bench Warrant. A bench warrant is one of two different types of warrants that the judge issues in court when someone is in “contempt of court” by not showing up. Having a bench warrant in your name will result in your immediate arrest if a police officer were to run your record.
Reasons for Being Issued a Bench Warrant
There are many reasons why you would want to find out if you have a bench warrant, but the number one reason is that you would face immediate jail time without bail until you appear before the judge issuing the bench warrant. Having a bench warrant issued in your name for contempt of court means that you “willfully” disobeyed a court order. Examples include failing to appear before the court in a criminal matter, or failing to appear when subpoenaed to court. Another prime reason to determine if you have any types of warrants on your name is that you may have become a victim of identity theft, and someone had gotten traffic tickets and/or failures to appear in court. If you were pulled over and didn’t know this, the police officer will still arrest you regardless of your story.
Consequences and Penalties of Bench Warrants
As stated above, the main consequence of a bench warrant is that you will be held in jail without the opportunity to make bail until you appear before the court. When you do appear before the court, the likely remedy for your bench warrant will be to set a new bail amount if allowed, issuing fines/fees if needed, and set another court appearance to hear the matter you may have originally missed. If the bench warrant was issued as a result of identity theft, you need to speak with the court administration of the judge who issued it to resolve the matter, as well as contact the police department to make a report. In clearing the bench warrant, you can also have a lawyer make an appearance on your behalf to clear the issue or help resolve it.
Can a Lawyer Help?
A bench warrant needs to be taken care of immediately, because if you don’t take steps to remedy it you may eventually be arrested. Hiring an experienced criminal lawyer will help you in remedying your situation before the court, and ensure that your case is heard at the earliest time allowed. Your lawyer will also be able to negotiate on your behalf and explain you situation to the judge in a manner better suited for the court’s liking, rather than you standing before the judge making excuses for your bench warrant.