A bench warrant is a court-issued order that permits law enforcement to arrest an individual who is believed to have committed a crime or who has failed to make a court appearance. When a bench warrant is issued the individual may be arrested at any time or place. Bench warrants are the most common type of warrants issued in California.
If you think a bench warrant may be issued or if one already has been issued against you, the best thing to do is to consult with an attorney. Ignoring a bench warrant will only make things worse in the end. Trying to evade a warrant will certainly complicate your legal situation later on. A bench warrant is often issued as a result of failing to appear at a specified court date.
A good defense attorney will be able to work on your behalf to try to get the bench warrant dropped. If the warrant is dropped you will no longer be in danger of being immediately arrested. Your lawyer will be able to achieve better results if you cooperate and don’t try to avoid the warrant. If you do have a warrant, immediately contact an attorney quickly. Take the warrant seriously and don’t expect that you will be able to keep from getting arrested.
There are many reasons why a bench warrant may be ordered.
- Failure to Appear on an indictment or judge order
- Failure to Appear to show completion of community service (or other progress)
- Failure to Appear after receiving a personal citation
- Failure to Appear for sentencing after a conviction or plea
- Failure to Pay a court-imposed fine