What is a Bench Warrant?
The actual definition of a bench warrant is the written order issued by a judge which authorizes the arrest of someone charged with a crime, misdemeanor, or contempt of court. Usually it is issued when a defendant fails to attend trial. They are usually issued at hearings for traffic tickets or violations and missing your trial can result in serious offenses. While it may not seem like, bench warrants need to be taken seriously. Failure to do so can lead to your arrest and detention until bail can be paid. When you need help with a bench warrant in Austin, TX, contact ATX Bail Bonds at 512.834.2245.
How to Handle a Bench Warrant
While bench warrant and arrest warrant are often used interchangeably here, the two actually have two different meanings. In most cases, failure to show up to court will result in an actual arrest warrant, meaning cops will most likely be actively pursuing you. With a bench warrant, however, there is no active pursuit essentially. Instead, your name will be entered into a database used by the whole of the law enforcement community. The next time you have any interaction with law enforcement, even for events that are not your fault, you will be taken into custody for an outstanding warrant. This means that a judge does not have to first issue a bench warrant to issue an arrest warrant second. Either can be issued depending on the severity of your crime.
So what do you do? There are several steps you can take if you have missed trial and have a bench warrant out.
- Pay bail: If you are arrested because of a bench warrant, the fastest way to get a new court date is to pay the bail. Typically, the bail is enough to cover all the fines and court costs for the original offense and failure to appear offense.
- Request an arraignment: Depending on the situation, you may be able to request an arraignment instead of being taken into custody. This is rare, but there are some judges that will allow it.
- Schedule a hearing: You may also have the option to schedule a hearing in regards to the bench warrant before an actual arrest takes place. If you have a bench warrant in another county, you will have to go there for the hearing.
- Turn yourself in: Sometimes the best thing you can do is turn yourself in to begin the process of addressing a bench warrant. Doing this is often preferred to being picked up by officers.
If you or a loved one has a been issued a bench warrant, ATX Bail Bonds can help. We can provide bench warrant assistance by helping to post bail. If the reason you missed your trial was because you lacked financial resources a judge cannot jail you. Your attorney can offer the court alternatives to how a fine may be paid, such as community service. This kind of information is difficult to figure out while in jail or being detained. Contact ATX Bail Bonds to help with your bench warrant in Austin, TX.
Bench Warrant or Probation
If someone you know is already in jail and needs Jail info, getting them bailed out as quickly as possible is necessary. For that, you can rely on ATX Bail Bonds. We can help get you or your loved ones back on solid ground to handle this situation at hand. Because bench warrants can be issued for violating probation. Rather than sit in jail, our team can help you post bail to right the situation. We work with you every step of the way through the process so you are not alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How serious is a bench warrant?
- A bench warrant needs to be taken seriously. It is considered an arrest warrant for failure to show up to trail. You can be jailed and face serious fines when issued a bench warrant.
- Can a bench warrant be dropped?
- The best way to clear up a bench warrant is to show up in court. Or, if possible, have an attorney show up on your behalf. But no, bench warrants cannot just be dropped off of your record.
- How long does a bench warrant last?
- Essentially as long as it takes for officers to either bring you in or for you to turn yourself in. There is no expiration date on a bench warrant.
- What is the difference between a warrant and a bench warrant?
- A bench warrant is often issued after a defendant has failed to show up for trial or is to be held in contempt. A warrant, like an arrest warrant, is issued if there is probable cause a crime was committed and law enforcement needs authorization to make an arrest.
- Can you pay off a warrant without going to jail?
- Yes, you will have to contact the court clerk to address the citation as soon as possible.
- Can a bench warrant for DUI be issued?
- Not for the violation itself, but if the defendant failed to show up for trail in regards to the DUI, then a bench warrant can be issued.
Contact ATX Bail Bonds When You Bail Bonds Assistance
When you or a loved one is in jail because of a bench warrant in Austin, TX, you need a reliable bail bonds company. Reach out to ATX Bail Bonds. We can help you get out of jail and onto your feet to make heads or tails of what is going on. Call us 24/7 at 512.834.2245 when you need help with a bench warrant in Austin, TX.