A bench warrant is a court-issued document that gives law enforcement officials the authority to arrest and detain an individual who fails to appear in court. Bench warrants are issued by either the court or a judge, and become effective immediately after issuance. As soon as a law enforcement official obtains a valid bench warrant, he or she has the authority to arrest the person named on the warrant and bring him or her into custody.
Once the person named on the warrant has been detained by the authorities, he or she will be brought before the judge where he or she will be required to explain why he or she failed to appear in court. Bench warrants may be issued for a variety of reasons. As previously mentioned, most bench warrants are issued for a failure to appear. However, a bench warrant may also be issued for:
- Failure to pay a court fee
- Failure to pay a fine or restitution
- Failure to comply with a court order
- Failure to attend jury duty (on rare occasions)
If you fail to comply with any of the above legal matters that have been required of you, you will be considered to be “in contempt of court”. The court will see your failure to appear as fear of being found guilty. If a law enforcement officer detains you, then your bail could be reset at a much higher amount, since you are considered to be high risk. Secure an Atlanta criminal attorney at my firm to make sure that this doesn’t happen!
Consequences of a Bench Warrant
Whether a bench warrant has been issued in your name for failing to appear in court, failing to pay a fee, or failing to comply with a court order, you will be subjected to a number of penalties. Common penalties include:
- Detainment—sometimes without bail
- Higher fines
- Longer probation sentences
- Driver’s license suspension
- Bail denial
All of these penalties can have an adverse effect on your future, but being detained for a bench warrant can be avoided with the proper guidance from a knowledgeable defense attorney at my firm.
How an Atlanta criminal lawyer from my firm can defend you!
If you missed your court date and are now facing a bench warrant, then you need to contact my firm immediately so we can take the proper steps. A police officer can detain you at any moment, since you have already been expected to turn yourself into jail. With my help, however, I can petition the court to have your bench warrant recalled so a court date will be scheduled. Extenuating circumstances may have kept you from meeting your court date, and I can help clear your name with the law.