If you have been accused of a crime and have a bench warrant issued against you, then you likely have questions. The easiest way to get the specific answers you want is to contact Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 for a free legal consultation. In the meantime, keep reading to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get about bench warrants in California.
How Do I get a Bench Warrant Cleared?
While the answer will depend in part on the charge and the specifics of the warrant, there are generally two answers. First, by appearing in court before the judge. Second, by having your criminal defense attorney appear on your behalf. If you are planning to appear yourself, know that it is possible that the judge will place you in custody. This is just one of the reasons that we strongly advise you contact an attorney as soon as you learn you have a bench warrant issued against you.
Do Bench Warrants Expire?
No, in the state of California, bench warrants do not expire. They will remain in effect until you die or until the warrant is cleared.
What is a Bench Warrant?
Of course, the first question you may have is about what a bench warrant is in the first place. Also sometimes referred to as a “body attachment,” it is a warrant issued by a judge and is the most common type of warrant issued in the state. They are not issued for criminal activity but rather because the party in question did not appear in court, did not pay a fine, or otherwise did not obey a court order.
What Are My Best Defense Options?
It will depend on what the charge is. You may argue that you did not receive any notice to appear in court, that you did comply with all conditions and requirements as laid out in a court order, that you were not aware that a case had been filed, or that there was a mistake in identity and you are not the involved party in the first place.
Do I Need an Attorney to Clear Up a Bench Warrant?
Technically no, but we would recommend it. We have seen cases where a person had a simple vehicle code violation and had not paid the ticket. They then were issued a bench warrant and went to court on their own to clear it up, only to end up being remanded to jail for something they did not know about their case.
It is likely that clearing your bench warrant is relatively straightforward but unless you are 100% sure, then it is worth talking to a defense attorney who can assess the case for you. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 now to get started.