What Is a Bench Warrant?

Jul 19, 2018


You might receive a bench warrant if you failed to show up for your day in court. You might also find yourself faced with a bench warrant if you didn't meet your probation conditions. You might have missed signing up for a class that you were required to take, or you might have missed your community service.


If you have a bench warrant out, it is telling police officers that they can arrest you immediately. If you are pulled over by the cops, they can take you right to jail. They can also show up at your home or place of employment to take you to jail until you can meet with a judge.


It also means that your license is going to be suspended. The only way to get your license back is to go back to court and appear in front of the judge. 


In the past, many defendants may have thought it was no big deal, that they could just go back to court at any point without any worry of the cops showing up at their house to arrest them.  That may have been the way it was in the past, but now most counties, including Fresno, vigorously enforce these bench warrants and may very well show up at your doorstep to place you in handcuffs.


If you are only facing a misdemeanor, an experienced lawyer may be able to handle your bench warrant without you having to appear in court (see Penal Code section 977.) If you are facing a felony, you will need to be in court and at most court appearances thereafter.


Because of the seriousness of forgetting to show up in court or not completing your probation obligations, it is necessary for you to hire an experienced lawyer. A good lawyer will be able to talk to you about your options so that you can decide how you want to proceed. He or she may be able to get your charges dropped. If not, your criminal defense lawyer should work hard to get you a plea deal so you spend less time paying for your crime. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

Category: Criminal Cases

Michael Mitchell


Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.