If you are curious about what receiving a bench warrant means and how to respond appropriately when one has been named against you, you need to hire the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. It is a serious issue to have a bench warrant out on your name and you need to be prepared with how to respond. Bench warrants are the most common type of warrant issued in the state of California, and they are named because a judge issues them from the bench.
Bench warrants are most commonly issued for failing to obey a court order, failing to pay a fine, and failing to appear in court. Doing any of those issues is classified as contempt of court, which can subject you to a bench warrant. A bench warrant in California can lead to enhanced fines, a California State prison or county jail sentence, a probation violation, or a suspension of your driver’s license in California.
A judge is also eligible to initiate a bench warrant if a California Grand Jury has indicted you, if you are not in custody at the time the indictment is received from the Grand Jury, the judge will issue the bench warrant for your arrest. You need to be prepared with how to recall and quash a California bench warrant using a criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer must appear in court in order to complete this process so that the bench warrant is cleared from the system.
If you fail to pay a fine in association with a misdemeanor offense, or fail to appear for a court appearance, your lawyer may be able to have the warrant recalled and quashed in your absence. However, you must be present to clear your warrant if it is associated with a felony case. California bench warrants have to be served within a reasonable time. If it isn’t, and if at any time your right to a speedy trial has been violated, you may be entitled to a dismissal of the case. You need to be prepared to discuss your options with an experienced California criminal defense lawyer immediately.