What is a warrant?
A bench warrant gives law enforcement the authority to go out and arrest the person named in the warrant. Trial court judges typically issue bench warrants when a person violates court orders, such as failing to appear at a required court date, failure to complete a court program, or failure to pay a court fine. After the issuance of the warrant, the person is vulnerable to arrest at any time, particularly during traffic stops after the police runs the driver's name. Technically, if a warrant is out for your arrest, you could be arrested any place or at any time, including while at home or work.
After arrest, the prosecution will likely argue that you cannot be trusted to appear in court for a future date, and you will likely remain in custody until the issue is resolved or after you pay expensive bail fees to be released.
When you know you have a warrant out for your arrest, you constantly have to live in fear of being arrested. You must take action to have your warrant recalled right away, so you do not have to continue worrying about getting arrested.
What should I do if I have a warrant?
An experienced defense attorney can get the court to recall the warrant. The first step is to contact an attorney. With outstanding bench warrants, an individual may file a motion with the court to recall (quash) the warrant. The court will then hold a hearing where the defense and prosecution can argue their positions. Ultimately, the court has discretion whether to quash the warrant or let it stand.
What is the process for recalling a warrant?
Your criminal lawyer will request the court to recall the warrant. In misdemeanor cases, your lawyer will often be able to appear in court on your behalf, so you will not be required to show up in court and you will not have to miss prior obligations such as work. However, if the warrant against you involves a felony offense, you may have to appear in court with your attorney.
In most cases, your attorney may be able to have your warrant recalled as long you are able to complete the actions you failed to perform that resulted in the warrant being issued. These missed actions often include missed fines or fees, showing proof that you engaged in or a request for more time to complete court ordered programs or counseling, any missed required court appearances, failure to meet with your probation officer as required by your probation order, or failure to make restitution as ordered by the court.
If your warrant involves a felony crime, then the court may require more from you. For example, you may be required to post bail in order to have the warrant recalled. In some felony cases, you will have to be taken into custody. However, once the violation of probation hearing is resolved, you may reach a deal for your release or after posting bond. You will need a lawyer that understands your case, as well as the circumstances for which the warrant was issued. Your attorney may also be able to argue to the court that your bail should be reduced or connect you to a bail bondsman who will give you reduced fees.
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, it is crucial to get it cleared. While there is a warrant for your arrest, you can be taken into custody at any time or at any place. Please do not wait until your arrest to take care of your warrant. Call immediately at (909) 480-8040.