Responding to Bench Warrants
Otherwise known as body attachments, bench warrants are the most commonly issued warrants in the state of California. These are warrants that are issued by the judge from the bench – hence their name.
Bench warrants are usually issued on the basis of suspected criminal activity. Some of the main reasons why bench warrants are issued are:
- failing to pay a fine
- failing to appear in court
- disobeying any other court order
Any of these reasons constitute contempt of court and could subject you to a bench warrant. In addition to this, a contempt of court may lead to:
- a prison sentence
- the suspension of your drivers license
- a prison sentence
- violation of a probation
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Other instances that might lead to the issuance of a bench warrant are if you are indicted by a grand jury. This means that you are not in the custody of law enforcement when the indictment is given and therefore the judge has to issue a warrant for your arrest.
How to Recall a Bench Warrant
Recalling a bench warrant means having the warrant cleared. To do this, you or your attorney will have to appear in court to finalize the process. Quashing of bench warrants is usually possible in instances where you might have failed to appear in court, or failed to pay a fee for a misdemeanor offense. In both these cases it will be possible for your lawyer to have the bench warrant recalled, however, if the bench warrant was issued on the basis of a felony, you have to be present in court along with your attorney.
Duties of an Officer of the Court
Law enforcement officers are authorized to take you into custody and bring you to court under a bench warrant. If this is a case then the judge can do one of two things:
• incarcerate you based on your criminal history, flight risk or circumstances that led to the warrant being issued in the first place
• release you with a warning
Restrictions of Time
Similar to all other warrants, a bench warrant has to be served within a practicable amount of time. In the event that it is not, you are entitled to having it dismissed. However, if you have a number of outstanding warrants the judge may allow the officers to serve the bench warrant at anytime of the day including the middle of the night.
Responding to a Bench Warrant
To avoid the embarrassment of getting picked up by law enforcement officers, it is best recommended that you go directly to court. However, to make certain that your rights are protected, you should take a lawyer with you. This will reduce your chances of going directly from court and straight to jail.
Our downtown LA law firm will offer you a strong court representation to fight a legal bench warrant. Contact any of our lawyers today to get the best legal representation.
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