If a bench warrant is ever issued for your arrest, your first likely reaction will be panic. However, there are many reasons for you to take a deep breath and move forward calmly despite your panic.
Bench warrants are often issued after individuals either forget to attend a court hearing or are unexpectedly delayed for a hearing. All humans make mistakes. And with the help of your attorney, you will likely be able to navigate a future bench warrant calmly, professionally and with minimal negative consequences.
Bench warrant basics
If you are not already working with an experienced criminal defense attorney at the time that your bench warrant is issued, it is important to contact one as soon as possible. Because a bench warrant grants law enforcement the authority to search for your whereabouts and arrest you when they track you down, it is important to allow an attorney to guide you through the process of responding to a bench warrant.
Should you find out that a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest from a law enforcement officer, please remember that you can generally refuse to answer questions until your attorney is present. Thankfully, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you to understand the particulars of your situation.
What comes next?
After you are made aware that a bench warrant has been issued and you have spoken with your attorney, you will need to address the warrant proactively. You may be required to spend a few hours or days in jail while your case is sorted out, especially if you are arrested on a Friday night or a holiday weekend.
However, if your bench warrant is tied to a relatively minor infraction like a speeding ticket, your attorney may be able to clear the warrant without any such intervention. Ultimately, the outcome will depend on the specifics of your case.