If an individual has a bench warrant and goes the judge, he or she may need representation by a criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you get through this process without getting burned. Be sure to contact one to ensure that your rights are protected if a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest.
An arrest warrant is usually issued for a suspect after a crime has been committed and the individual is not already in police custody. Police will then obtain an arrest warrant that allows them to legally arrest the suspect and bring them in for questioning. To obtain a warrant of this type, prosecutors and police need to prove in a sworn, signed affidavit that a certain individual is the crime’s perpetrator. A bench warrant is typically issued by the court if a defendant or witness in a criminal case fails to show up in court.
A bench warrant may also issue if a defendant fails to pay a court ordered fine or order. The judge or court will serve the bench warrant, allowing the police to take the individual into custody and be brought before the court to answer the charges or testify.
In the court’s eyes, not showing up for court leaves the impression that a person is scared to answer the charges and is fleeing prosecution. In the majority of cases, the person is found and arrested. The bail is then set higher or no bail will be set since they are considered a flight risk.
Under Penal Code 1320, if an individual fails to show up for court on a misdemeanor charge he or she can get up to 180 days in county jail on a separate failure to appear charge. In felony cases, a defendant could face up to 16 months, two years or three years in prison, depending on the nature of the absconding.
Failure to follow court orders or pay fines can amount to a probation violation, a county jail or state prison sentence, increased court fines and/or a DMV hold on a driver’s license.
Whatever the reason for your arrest or bench warrant, you need to speak with an experienced defense attorney to find out your options regarding outstanding warrants.
Client charged with possession for sales and gang enhancement. Client faced 16 years in prison with the gang and prior strike allegation. Client turned down 8 year pretrial offer with prior attorney before going to trial. Not guilty on all charges at trial. (People v. Antwan B.)
Client charged with attempt murder, accessory after the fact and gang enhancement after shots fired at a dwelling. Client turned down 15 year pretrial offer. During trial, plea deal reached for probation with time served. (People v. Rudy B.)
Client charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice when cops performed a probation sweep at her residence. Client found not guilty on all counts at jury trial. (People v. Felicia M.)
Client charged with corporal injury to girlfriend after argument allegedly escalated. Client had significant exposure of 21 years because of prior strike, probation violation and GBI allegation. At trial, jury refused to convict client, returning hung verdict. (People v. Christopher P.)
Client charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale after traffic stop. Client claimed prejudice by prosecution’s delay in bringing the case to court. Motion filed on behalf of client asking the Court to dismiss the case as violative of client’s speedy trial rights. Motion granted and case dismissed. (People v. Shannon J.)