A bench warrant is a warrant issued by a judge for the arrest of a person who has violated court rules and is in contempt of court. The warrant gives police the powers to apprehend the defendant and bring him before the court to answer contempt charges.
A bench warrant is only used to arrest a person for being in contempt. An arrest warrant is issued to arrest a person who is a suspect in a crime.
If a defendant fails to appear at his court hearing, the judge will find them in contempt. Before issuing the warrant, the judge will cite the reason why the person is in contempt. Failing to appear in court is not the only reason why this type of warrant is issued. It may also be issued for:
No, a judge can issue a civil bench warrant too. For example, a civil bench warrant may be issued for someone who has defaulted on a judgment. This warrant can also be issued for a jury member who does not show up in court to serve on a jury. Other reason for a bench warrant include:
The court case proceeds like any other. The defendant must prove that they are not in contempt of court. One common defense is to show that they were not in court due to unforeseen circumstances, such as being involved in a car accident on the way to court.
Yes, you should contact a criminal attorney about the warrant. You still have the opportunity to prove your innocence and resolve the warrant.
Last Modified: 06-10-2015 03:26 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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