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Bench Warrants

Bench warrants are issued by a judge to bring a non-appearing party before the court. If you have an outstanding warrant, it means that a police officer can immediately take you into custody to bring you before the court.

How do people get warrants?

There are many ways a person can have a warrant issued against them. Some of the most common things that I have seen in my practice are listed below:

1. Missing court your date. Whether you forgot, purposefully decided to not deal with your issue, don’t have the means to get to court, or are going through some personal issues, missing a date in court when you are suppose to be present will result in the judge issuing a bench warrant if you do not appear through an attorney or arrange for another court date.

2. Probation violation. Many times, people may miss an appointment with their work release or fall out of a program that was a term of their probation. This will often times result in a violation of probation. The person is then given a court date to appear to take care of the matter, if you miss the court date (see #1), a warrant will be issued unless you have an attorney appear on your behalf.

3. Failure to show up as a witness. If you are called as a witness when a subpoena has been issued (and served on you), your failure to show up can result in the issuing of a bench warrant.  Even if you don’t plan on testifying, a failure to show is a violation of a court order if you were ordered by the court to be present.

4. Court ordered you to be personally present. If the court ordered you to be personally present and you do not personally appear, a warrant can be issued against you.

Other Consequences:

If a person is released on bail or his/her own recognizance and does not appear at the arraignment (when such presence is required), the court can forfeit bail and order a warrant for your arrest. A willful failure to appear on a written promise in a case where the underlying charge is a felony, could result in an additional felony charge. A willful failure to appear in a misdemeanor case could result in a misdemeanor or infraction.

How do I get rid of a bench warrant?

You can get rid of a bench warrant by appearing in court. You should consult with an attorney to see what your options are when you have an active bench warrant.  If you have a bench warrant, an attorney may be able to appear on your behalf and handle the matter for you.

Contact the Law Offices of Lisa Wong today if you have an active bench warrant that you would like to get resolved.


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San Diego CA 92101

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