What Is The Difference Between An Arrest Warrant And A Bench Warrant?
Having a warrant out for you is never a good situation to be in, since it means that the police will arrest you if they find you. There are several types of warrants used by courts, and the two main types are bench warrants and arrest warrants. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, it's important to understand the difference between these two types.
A bench warrant
When there is a bench warrant out for a person, it generally means that the person did not appear in court on a date that was scheduled. When hearings are scheduled for any purpose, the person is required by law to show up. If the person does not show up, the court can and will issue a bench warrant. This warrant could be issued for something as minor as not appearing for a traffic violation hearing, or it could be as major as not appearing for your criminal trial. The purpose of a bench warrant is to get you into the courtroom in front of the judge; however, you may end up in jail until the court has time to hear your case.
If you have a bench warrant out for your arrest, the best thing you can do is turn yourself in. If you do not currently have a bench warrant out but have a court hearing on a date that you cannot make, you should contact your lawyer or the court in advance to let them know. By notifying the court, the court will not issue a bench warrant for your arrest. They will instead reschedule the hearing.
An arrest warrant
Courts issue arrest warrants for more serious matters. For example, if you are a prime suspect in a case and are hiding from the police, the court may issue an arrest warrant. With an arrest warrant, you will be taken to jail. You might be able to get out on bond, but there is also a chance the court will not allow you to get out. If the crime is very serious and if they believe you are a flight risk, the court may deny offering a bond option to you.
For a court to issue an arrest warrant, they must have a sufficient amount of evidence to prove you committed a crime.
If you have any type of warrant out for your arrest, it might be a good idea to contact a criminal law attorney at a law firm such as Barbour & Simpkins LLP for advice and assistance.