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Posted on March 11, 2017

Bench Warrants Q&A

Do you have an outstanding bench warrant? Our Orange County warrant attorneys can help recall your warrant and relieve you from the stress of being arrested. This article will address some important questions often asked by those who have an outstanding warrant or wish to know more about the warrant process. If you should have any questions, contact us to schedule a free consultation.

What is a Bench Warrant?

A bench warrant is an order from a judge, magistrate, or commissioner commanding that you attend court. It does not ordinarily mean you are in trouble, but that your attendance is court is mandatory.

How are bench warrants issued?

Bench warrants are issued by the court when you fail to appear. Distinguishable from a search warrant or arrest warrant, a bench warrant does not require law enforcement to obtain authorization. However, a bench warrant is issued once the district attorney establishes their effort in notifying the defendant of the date to attend court. Once the court issues a bench warrant, the warrant is inputted into the court system by the court.

How do I find out if I have a Warrant?

There are several ways to search for a bench warrant. Typically, people discover an outstanding warrant after being pulled over for a traffic citation, traveling through an airport, or a prospective job employer informs the applicant of a warrant after conducting a background check.

  • You can search for a warrant by going to the clerk’s office at any Orange County Superior Court and asking that they run your name and date of birth in their system.
  • Several public websites offer warrant searches for a small fee. However, these websites have been known not to be accurate and often result in a waste of money.
  • You can contact a bench warrant lawyer and ask them to run a search through their attorney portal for any pending criminal cases. This process may take a day or so depending on the time availability of the attorney. Typically, a fee is involved for the attorney’s time to conduct the search.

How do I recall or clear a bench warrant?

A warrant is cleared once you attend court. Once the case is called, the judge will immediately order that the warrant be recalled and quashed. In any felony matter, you must attend the hearing. However, in infraction cases or certain misdemeanor crimes, your attorney may be able to recall the warrant without your personal presence.

Should I retain a warrant attorney to help me?

A person can move to recall a warrant without having counsel. However, it is not recommended that you conduct any legal matter without representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint the services of the public defender. Typically, the court needs to be ensured that you will attend each hearing. Retaining private counsel, it signals to the court that you are serious about litigating your case and that you will attend each hearing. Furthermore, a private attorney may have a respected reputation with the court and prosecutors, and could swiftly recall the warrant without any issue.

Will law enforcement arrest me?

A bench warrant commands that law enforcement agencies mandate your arrest upon discovery. Consequently, you could be arrested at a traffic stop, airport, or even when you are reporting a crime. Once law enforcement arrests you, you will be taken to court within 48 hours. However, you may not be eligible to post bail and you will be forced to stay in custody until you appear before the court.

What happens after the warrant is cleared?

If the judge recalls the warrant, the order will be transmitted to the department of justice to update their records. This process usually take a few hours or up to one day. After the judge recalls the warrant, the case is resumed where it left off when the warrant was issued. In other words, once a warrant is issued, the case is then suspended until you appear. Furthermore, if a warrant was issued while you were on probation, then you could face a more jail time as a result of a probation violation.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have an outstanding bench warrant, then there is no question that you need it recalled and quashed as soon as possible. The best option is to recall the warrant before being arrested by law enforcement and have to face the judge while in custody. If you have a warrant, contact a reputable and respected Orange County criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free confidential consultation. Our office will provide guidance on how to swiftly recall the warrant without suffering unnecessary consequences.

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