Orange County Bench Warrant Lawyer
In California, warrants are issued by a judge or magistrate for one of three reasons: to arrest someone suspected of a crime or failing to appear in court, or to search a suspect’s property – e.g., home, vehicle, or office. If a warrant has been issued either mandating your arrest or police have searched your property, it is imperative that you retain a respected and quality Orange County warrant attorney.
Warrants are issued in all types of criminal cases: felonies, misdemeanors, and even infractions. If a warrant is issued, the orange county clerk transmits the warrant to the California Department of Justice commanding law enforcement to arrest you. In addition, the department of motor vehicles will automatically suspend your driver’s license and it will remain suspended until the warrant is cleared.
A warrant may be what’s restricting you from traveling or stopping you from obtaining employment. Contact our office today to discuss your warrant and how we can help you recall it and move forward with your life.
Overview of the Types of Warrants Issued by Judges
Arrest warrants are issued after law enforcement obtains written authorization from a judge to lawfully arrest a suspect. The warrant must be supported with probable cause that the suspect has committed a crime. Arrest warrants are commonly issued in serious cases otherwise law enforcement or the court issues notice to appear in the mail. If an arrest warrant has been issued, it is important to clear it right away. Optionally, you may turn yourself into any law enforcement agency, but more commonly, you surrender before the court.
A bench warrant of arrest may be issued whenever a defendant fails to appears in court. They can be served in any county in the manner as a warrant of arrest. Typically, bench warrants are issued when a person fails to appear at their arraignment, pretrial conference, motion hearing, jury trial, or sentencing. However, in misdemeanor cases, ordinarily, a criminal defense attorney may appear on behalf of the defendant without the judge issuing a warrant. Bench warrants can also be issued to witnesses who fail to show up to court after being lawfully served with a subpoena. The judge usually issues a “body attachment” which is the functional equivalent to a bench warrant.
Search warrants do not mandate an arrest of an individual. Instead, a search warrant allows law enforcement to search your property. The process entails law enforcement gathering evidence, such as witness statements, information gained through confidential informants, or physical evidence, and submitting an affidavit to a judge for a signature. In other words, police turn over the information gained through their investigation to a judge for review to determine whether there exists probable cause to search your property. There are several formalities that must be followed that could affect the validity of the warrant. Consequently, a skilled warrant attorney may be able to set aside the warrant and suppress all the evidence gained through the unlawful search.
Recalling and Removing Your Outstanding Warrant
Contrary to popular belief, a warrant cannot be recalled and quashed by mail or a telephone call to the court. Instead, the only way to recall a warrant is to appear in court. In certain instances, a lawyer may be able to recall the bench warrant without the presence of the defendant. This is common in misdemeanor and infraction cases and it will largely depend on several factors, including the severity of the offense, the present location of the defendant, the defendant’s prior criminal record, and the reason why the warrant was issued in the first place. In felony cases, your appearance is mandatory.
Our office ordinarily structures your surrender with a bail company first prior to surrender. This ensures that if the judge imposes a bail amount, the bail company can post the bond immediately without you being taken into custody.
What Happens After the Bench Warrant is Cleared?
Once the warrant is removed, the case will resume where it left off. For instance, if you failed to appear for your arraignment, then once the warrant is recalled, you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It could take up to 24 hours before the department of justice updates its database. Therefore, it’s important to handle your warrant if you have any travel arrangements as you may be subject to an arrest at the airport. Furthermore, you may be entitled to a dismissal remedy depending on how long the warrant was outstanding (see Serna Motion).
Contact an Orange County Warrant Attorney
If you have an outstanding bench warrant, there’s no question that you need to have it cleared. Contact an Orange County criminal defense lawyer at our office for a free consultation about removing your warrant. We will provide guidance on how to strategically recall the warrant without suffering the maximum penalties. Orange County Superior Court is a conservative court which is why you need an experienced and skilled attorney handling your warrant matter.