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The Difference Between a Bench Warrant and an Arrest Warrant

Posted on : December 9, 2016

It can be very frightening to discover that you have been issued an arrest warrant or a bench warrant. What does this mean and what should your next step be? Here’s what you should know about the two types of warrants and how to get the legal help you need.

What is an Arrest Warrant?

An active warrant for an arrest means that the police have enough evidence to charge you with a crime. It also means they can look for you and detain you. They may go to your home, place of employment, or other places in an active attempt to find you and arrest you.

What is a Bench Warrant?

A bench warrant is a warrant for an arrest that is issued from “the bench,” or the judge’s seat. These warrants are issued for minor grievances like failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket or a probation violation. A bench warrant does not give law enforcement officers the authority to actively look for you. However, if you come into contact with them, they may arrest you. Many people do not know they have a bench warrant until they are stopped for a minor traffic offense and taken into custody.

Will You Go to Jail Immediately?

In some cases, you may be able to avoid jail with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. For example, you may negotiate to appear at an arraignment in lieu of being taken into custody. Alternatively, if you have a bench warrant and know about it, you may be able to schedule a hearing to address the matter before an arrest. If you must be taken into custody, your lawyer may be able to arrange a voluntary booking at the jail. You can then discuss how you will meet bail requirements and prepare for your upcoming trial.

Contact Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer Jennifer Mouzis Today

Whether you were issued an arrest warrant or a bench warrant, it’s important to take the matter seriously and get legal help. At Mouzis Criminal Defense, we have the skills and resources to aggressively represent you. Call today for a consultation at (916) 822-8702.

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