What Is a Bench Warrant and What Do I Do if I’ve Been Issued One?
You may have heard of a bench warrant — maybe you heard it on a tv show or maybe you have one out against you. Either way, if you’re not really sure what it is and find yourself wondering, what is a bench warrant and what can happen to me I’ve been issued one, keep reading.
If you or a loved one has been issued a bench warrant, it’s important for you to have all the information about your specific situation. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and represent you in court. At Murphy and Rudolf, LLP, our Worcester, MA-based attorneys can discuss your options with you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation: (508) 570-3037.
What Is a Bench Warrant?.
So, what is a bench warrant? In short, it is an arrest warrant issued by a judge from the bench in open court that allows the police to take you into custody.
Why would a bench warrant be issued? If you have been charged with a crime, you may face several legal, financial, and administrative obligations related to your arrest. Should you neglect to carry out all of your legal obligations, you may have a bench warrant issued for your arrest.
Most commonly bench warrants issue when a person fails to appear for an ordered court date. They can also issue if you fail to follow a court order, such as performing community service, or if you do no pay fines or penalties, such as child support, fees, or payments you were ordered to make.
If you have had a bench warrant issued against you, make sure your rights are protected and have an experienced attorney by your side to represent you in court.
What Happens When a Judge Issues a Bench Warrant?
As soon as the warrant issues, law enforcement is notified and then you can be arrested anytime, anywhere, and for something seemingly minor and unrelated to your bench warrant. For example, if you are pulled over in a routine traffic stop, you will be taken into custody immediately even if your only current fault was a traffic violation.
Once taken into custody, you may be held without bail, or you may be released on bail until your court date. Because you failed to fulfill all previous legal obligations, the penalties and consequences may be very severe once you go to court. This is why it is important to hire an experienced lawyer.
The good news is that you will most likely be mailed a notification that a bench warrant has been issued and so once you receive that warning, you have an opportunity to employ an attorney to help clear up the warrant before you are arrested.
How a Bench Warrant Lawyer Can Help
Your previous criminal history, your record since the initial arrest, and other factors will determine your options regarding your bench warrant. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can analyze the facts of your case to determine the best course of action. With the right representation on your side, you can fight for your rights and have a better chance of limiting or minimizing the consequences of your pending bench warrant.
Being arrested on a bench warrant is an aggravation and a financial burden that you do not want to deal with. If you have a bench warrant issued against you or think one may issue, contact Murphy & Rudolf, LLP today at (508) 570-3037 to set up a free consultation to discuss your options.