What is the Difference Between a Warrant and a Bench Warrant?

A Black and White Picture of the Symbol of Law and Justice in a Courtroom.

Bench Warrant Vs Arrest Warrant

If you have been issued a bench warrant, you are probably wondering, “what does bench warrant mean?” and how does it differ from a regular warrant. A bench warrant is a type of warrant, but the person who inaugurates the warrant determines whether its a bench warrant or a simple warrant. With an arrest warrant, a police officer has to provide a judge with substantial evidence that a crime has been committed and that whoever is listed on the warrant is responsible for the crime. When the warrant has been provided by a judge, the police officer has the right to arrest the suspected person. When it comes to a bench warrant, they are usually given out by a judge when a person doesn’t go to their scheduled court date. When the bench warrant is issued, the arresting officer must bring the person to the judge. Now that the different between a bench and arrest warrant have been determined, knowing more about bench warrants might give you more information if you are even in a position where you are issued a bench warrant.

Why is a Bench Warrant Issued?

The most common reason that bench warrants are issued is that someone failed to appear in court on their court date. However, a bench warrant can be issued for a couple of other reasons.

  • Violating Probation: If you violate probation, a judge can issue a bench warrant.
  • Committing Crime on Bail: If someone is out on bail and they commit a crime, that is a sure way to get a bench warrant.
  • Not Complying with Bail Conditions: People who are out on bail who do not comply with the conditions of their bail can be issued a bench warrant.
  • Failure To Pay Fines: If there are fines that you have to pay and haven’t a bench warrant can be issued.
  • Not Paying Child Support: For people who are thinking about not paying their child support, think again. It can get you a bench warrant.
  • Not Testifying After Being Subpoenaed: Not showing up to court when you have been subpoenaed to testify will get you issued with a bench warrant.

If you or a loved one have violated any of these, then you may very well have a bench warrant. It is important that when the court gives you a set of directions to follow, you follow them so that you don’t get in further trouble.

How Serious is a Bench Warrant?

If you have been issued a bench warrant, it is pretty serious as it means the police are looking for you in order to bring you to court. That doesn’t necessarily mean the police will be calling you or banging on your door, but your name will go in database, so if you are stopped for a traffic violation and they see that you have a bench warrant, they will take you in. Because of this, it important to take care of your bench warrant as soon as possible.

How Do You Know If You Have a Bench Warrant?

If you think that you have a bench warrant but are unsure, there are a couple of things that you can do. First, you can call your local police department to see if there is a record that you have been issued a bench warrant. Another thing you can do is check your mail regularly. The clerk of courts or even the police department might send out a notice. You can even call the clerk of courts to see if you have a bench warrant or you can call your attorney to see if they have been notified that you have a bench warrant. If you find out that you have a bench warrant, do what you can to get it taken care your bench warrant arrest.

How Do You Get Rid of a Bench Warrant?

A Picture of a Lawyer and a Man in an Orange Jumpsuit Talking To a Judge.

Can a Bench Warrant Be Dropped?

A lot of people ask, “What happens when you turn yourself in for a bench warrant?” that is honestly the best case scenario when you have a bench warrant. The best way to get a bench warrant removed is by showing up to court either by yourself or with your attorney. Depending on if your crime was a misdemeanor or felony will determine how the judge will handle your bench warrant. There is the possibility that you will be let go with a warning or you might be put in jail with or without the possibility of bail. Also, if you are sent to jail, you can expect to pay a hefty fine, as well. If you think you have a bench warrant in Mt. Clemens and Troy, MI, the bail bond agents at You Call Bail Bond Agency can help you. We are able to help you with our professional bail bond services. They can help you with anything from giving information on disorderly conduct bonds to assistance with DUI bail. Just give us a call at 844-YOU-WALK to learn more about how we can help you.