BENCH WARRANT

cuffs

If a bench warrant is ordered by the court, you could be arrested at any time, there are three things you can do:

1.) Do nothing,

The worst option of the three is the do nothing option.  A person choosing this option has no control over when and where they get arrested.  There will be no time to make any necessary arrangements, no time to empty pockets to keep the police from finding something that could bring new charges.  A person arrested after doing nothing about a warrant will be taken to jail and will see a judge the next court day.

2.) Call your attorney and set up a hearing,

The best thing you can do is call your attorney immediately to try to set a hearing to quash the warrant.  This allows the attorney to argue to the judge the reasons why you were not at the hearing and that you should remain out of jail while waiting for the new trial date.  Meeting with the attorney creates time to explain possible defenses to a bail jumping charge. 

Another benefit of this option gives you time to make any neccessary arrangements (arranging child care, emptying pockets, etc.) just in case the judge decides to take you into custody.  This is the option that gives you the most control, HOWEVER, you could still be arrested on the warrant before the hearing date, so it is best for you not to have anything in your possession at the time of arrest.

3.) Try to get the warrant quashed by yourself.

You can attempt to schedule a hearing to quash the warrant on your own, depending on the court, you may be able to schedule the hearing through the clerk’s office Be careful in choosing this option, however,  the clerk’s office might refer you to the prosecutor’s office.  Don’t fall for this!  If you go to the prosecutor’s office to schedule the hearing , you might be arrested immediately on the spot.  Sure, the person will get a hearing… it will be the following day and the person will be in jail.

In general, it is easier for you to stay out of jail if you are out of jail when the hearing happens, than it is to get released after being arrested on the warrant.  One of the best arguments at a bail hearing is that the person voluntarily showed up and didn’t have to be brought in by law enforcement.

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