Warrants are downright scary. They are even scarier if you do not know you have any, and you encounter a police officer and are suddenly being taken into custody. Imagine having an unpaid traffic ticket, it’s just a traffic ticket, right? The worst you may think is, it is unpaid and you will incur late fees. Incorrect. In criminal or traffic ticket cases, judges order bench warrants; these are usually issued when a defendant in a criminal case has failed to appear in court and what you may not have noticed on your speeding ticket, was a court date.
A bench warrant does not exactly mean that you are a wanted man or woman, but it does inform law enforcement that a judge wants you in their court according to a DUI defense attorney from our friends at the Lynch Law Group. An arrest warrant typically means just that, a judge wants you arrested. Arrest warrants are far more serious, these are also court ordered by the judge and in most cases, law enforcement comes after you to place you in custody, this is not the same as a bench warrant at all. With a bench warrant, any encounter with the police will result in you being taken into custody, even if you are not committing any crimes during the encounter. Your name will be in a database, and once entered they are informed. Bail in these cases typically is the amount of any fines or court costs that led to the bench warrant and must be paid to be released from custody and then you are granted a new date to appear in court. If you do not appear, the aforementioned will repeat.
If you are not certain there is a bench warrant out for you, you can contact the clerk of the court in which your case exists and confirm. They will also be able to tell how much you owe and what form of payment is accepted, this way, you can go in and make your payment so the bench warrant is withdrawn and a new court date is given.
Things happen, and sometimes life is overwhelming and some things escape us. In the event that there is a bench warrant out for you or someone you know, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your area that will be able to fight for you in a courtroom. With the right attorney, you can show the judge that you take your case extremely seriously and that you will do what it takes to make it right.
The moment you are aware of the warrant out for you or any charges being brought against you, reach out to an attorney. The sooner the better as they will be able to protect your case and your interests from the start. You can also reach out if you just have some questions in case you are worried about a potential warrant or potential charges. Find an attorney near you for help.