Bench Warrant

A bench warrant is a type of arrest warrant.  A bench warrant authorizes the immediate arrest of a person.  Typically judges issue a bench warrant after a person fails to appear in court for a scheduled court date.  Judges also issue bench warrants for contempt of court accusations.  Usually people subjected to a bench warrant have intentionally avoided court or forgot about their court date.  Most judges will set aside a bench warrant if the accused has never missed a court date prior to the issuance of the bench warrant.  The likelihood of a judge setting aside the bench warrant is increased if the accused voluntarily appears in court and gives the judge a good reason why he/she missed the court date.  The importance of voluntarily returning to Court cannot be overstated.  An involuntarily return to court (police arrest) on a serious felony warrant is likely to cause a judge to set a high bond.  A voluntary return to court with the benefit of a lawyer has a much better chance of having a reasonable bond set and possibly ROR (Release on Own Recognizance).  If you believe there is a warrant for your arrest you need to contact a lawyer immediately.  A lawyer can check public records to discover if a judge has issued a warrant for your arrest.  A lawyer can also take steps to have the warrant set aside or removed.  As long as a warrant for your arrest is outstanding, you have an obligation to turn yourself in to the court.  You must recognize that any lawyer you call will advise you to turn yourself in to the police.  In fact a lawyer is not allowed to advise a client to hide or become a fugitive.  A lawyer is obligated to tell you to face the charges.