Arrest Warrants / Bench Warrants
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is a formal document given to the police, ordering the arrest and detention of an individual. An arrest warrant typically will be issued after a Grand Jury indictment or when law enforcement reasonably suspects criminal activity has occurred. In most situations, people are not aware that an arrest warrant exists until the police are in the process of arresting them.
What is a Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant, the most common type of California warrant, is a court order that is issued after a person has failed to appear in court. The purpose of a bench warrant is to achieve the court appearance of a defendant who is involved in a pending criminal action.
Once a person is aware that a bench warrant or arrest warrant has been issued in his/her name, it is always in his/her best interest to retain the services of a qualified criminal defense attorney. A warrant can lead to enhanced legal consequences such as jail time, fines, and probation. For this reason, it is always advisable that people consult with a defense attorney once a warrant has been issued for their arrests or detainment.
If you believe there is an outstanding arrest warrant or bench warrant for you in California you are at risk of being arrested by the police and brought to jail or court at any time. Although you do not need an attorney to assist you with your warrant, you are at a huge disadvantage if you represent yourself.
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to have your warrant recalled and, in many cases, avoid you doing any time in custody. An attorney knows how to effectively explain your situation to the judge and prosecutor to avoid further penalties.