A bench warrant is a legal order issued by a judge that directs law enforcement to arrest and bring an individual before the court. These warrants are typically issued when an individual fails to comply with a court order or fails to appear in court. The consequences of having a bench warrant issued against you can be severe and can include arrest, fines, and even jail time. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore what a bench warrant is.
What Is A Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant is a legal order issued by a judge that directs law enforcement officers to arrest an individual and bring them before the court. This type of warrant is usually issued when a person fails to appear in court as scheduled or violates the terms of their bail or probation.
Bench warrants are typically issued in criminal cases, but they can also be issued in civil cases. In criminal cases, the judge may issue a bench warrant if the defendant fails to appear in court for a scheduled hearing or trial. In civil cases, a bench warrant may be issued if a party fails to comply with a court order, such as failing to pay child support or failing to show up for a deposition.
Once a bench warrant is issued, law enforcement officers have the authority to arrest the individual named in the warrant and bring them before the court. The individual may be held in custody until their next court appearance or until they post bail.
It’s important to note that bench warrants are serious legal matters that can have significant consequences. In addition to facing arrest and potential jail time, individuals with bench warrants may also be subject to fines and other penalties. They may also have difficulty obtaining employment, housing, or other important opportunities due to their legal status.
If you have a bench warrant against you, it’s important to take prompt action to address the issue. This may involve contacting an attorney, turning yourself into law enforcement, or taking steps to comply with the court order that led to the issuance of the warrant.
Is There A Difference Between A Bench Warrant And A Regular Arrest Warrant?
Here is a mnemonic to get you started: A “bench warrant” typically refers to someone who wasn’t sitting with their back on the bench when they were supposed to. Not the park bench where pigeons can be fed, but the bench in front of the judge.
More specifically, when a defendant disobeys the court’s regulations, the judge will issue a bench warrant. The defendant has frequently merely failed to appear. Yet, once a bench warrant is issued, the police can utilize it to return the prisoner to court by treating it like any other arrest order.
In contrast, a police officer starts the process of obtaining an arrest warrant by submitting a statement to the judge outlining his or her reasons for believing that the person named has committed a crime (in legalese, the officer is showing “probable cause” to arrest the person). The judge signs the warrant and the police can make the arrest if they are persuaded. Police officers won’t need to rush to court to obtain arrest warrants for every purse thief they come across thanks to this approach. Several jurisdictions permit officers to phone the judge who is currently on duty to ask for a warrant, and many arrests can be made without one at all. When a police officer wishes to make an arrest at someone’s house, an arrest warrant is typically used. It would not be appropriate or permissible to simply break down the suspect’s front door in such a non-emergency circumstance.