I just found out I have a Bench Warrant for my arrest! What does that mean?
Simply put, a bench warrant is a warrant for your arrest issued by a judge not necessarily for new charges, but because you either didn’t do something you were supposed to do or you did something you were ordered not to.
Why are bench warrants issued?
Most commonly, bench warrants are issued for one of the following reasons:
- Failure to appear (FTA) for a court date
- Failure to pay fines or restitution
- Being terminated from a program (DUI school, drug program, domestic violence classes, etc.)
- Failing to do something ordered by the court (such as community service, CalTrans, etc.)
How do you clear up a bench warrant?
First, warrants never expire. Many people find out they have an old warrant and wonder what the statute of limitations is on warrants. The statute of limitations has to do with how long the prosecution has to file charges against you. It doesn’t apply to warrants. The only way to clear a warrant is to be arrested or to have the judge recall the warrant when you (or your lawyer) appears in court. It is ALWAYS better to deal with warrants head on, rather than waiting to be arrested on them. You are in a much better position if you and your attorney voluntarily show up in court once you find out a warrant was issued for you, rather than facing the judge in handcuffs and in a jail jumpsuit.
If you have a warrant out for your arrest in Orange County, give me a call. Knowing why the warrant was issued will be important so we can take steps to minimize any consequences.