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Is there a bench warrant out for your arrest?

You just received a notice from the court in your mailbox. You open it up, only to find out that there is a bench warrant out for your arrest. You try to think of a reason for the warrant, but you don’t come up with anything. Your heart begins to race,

Chances are if there is a warrant out for your arrest, you are feeling a lot of pressure and stress. Constantly looking over your shoulder and wondering when the inevitable arrest will happen can drive you mad.

Why are bench warrants issued?

A bench warrant is issued by the judge for the following reasons:

  • Failure to appear in court. If you were supposed to be in court but did not know it or you forgot, the judge will issue a bench warrant
  • Failure to obey a court order. If, for example, you are on parole and have not met with your parole officer at the court-appointed times, a bench warrant will be issued
  • Failure to pay a court-ordered fine. If, for example, you were on a payment plan for traffic tickets and you stopped paying, the court may issue a bench warrant.

It can be scary and frustrating to suddenly find yourself in this situation, but you don’t want to procrastinate with your response or (worse) just ignore the problem and hope it will go away. It won’t. 

Nor should you try to handle this situation on your own. You cannot resolve a bench warrant without appearing in court (although there are situations where your attorney can appear on your behalf). Experienced legal guidance can help you figure out the best way to surrender yourself to the authorities, how to obtain bail and how to respond to any charges without putting your rights or your future in danger.