View Full Version : what is a bench warrant?

05-19-2010, 05:49 AM
Is a bench warrant a new case or something related to

the case that you are locked up on?

05-19-2010, 07:11 AM
I found this information online. It doesn't explain why one would be issued for someone incarcerated already. You may want to post your question on the legal Forum.

A bench warrant is an order issued by a judge for the arrest or apprehension of an individual who has committed some contempt against the courts. When a person fails to appear in court as required, the judge may issue a bench warrant authorizing his/her arrest. A bench warrant orders the police to find the offender, arrest them, and bring them before the issuing judge to answer the charge of contempt.
A bench warrant is issued for the sole purpose of apprehending an individual who has violated an order or requirement of the court. In this way, a bench warrant is different from an arrest warrant. Both of which are ordered by a judge and both authorize the arrest of an individual for legal violations. Arrest warrants, however, are issued for the arrest of a person suspected of committing a crime, whereas a bench warrant is issued for violations of court obligations.
When a judge issues a bench warrant, s/he will state the reasons it is being issued. The bench warrant should be presented to the individual upon arrest. Before issuing a bench warrant, a judge will often verify that the individual was, in fact, served with a written notice to appear before the court or comply with some other court request. The judge must have sufficient and appropriate cause for issuing the bench warrant.
When a person is arrested on a bench warrant, they are allowed the same rights as any arrested person. Violations of these rights may render a bench warrant or its consequences unlawful or inadmissible in a court. In many cases, a person who is arrested on a bench warrant will be brought before the issuing judge as soon as possible. When a judge issues a bench warrant, they will specify the conditions of an individual’s release and the bail amount, should the judge be unavailable at the time of the bench warrant arrest.
A bench warrant can be issued in both civil and criminal cases. Failure to pay child support, as indicated by a previous court ruling, is a common type of civil case where a bench warrant may be issued. If the individual fails to pay, they are in contempt of court, and a bench warrant can be issued for their arrest. In some civil cases, failure to appear before the court as ordered may result in a default judgment (not often in the defendant’s favor) as opposed to a bench warrant.
In criminal cases where a defendant fails to appear before the court as required, the prosecution may request that an arrest warrant be issued rather than a bench warrant. A bench warrant may also be ordered when a defendant fails to pay fines, or comply with bail conditions, probation requirements, community service, educational programs, or when the defendant commits a crime while on release pending the original trial.
In addition to a civil or criminal defendant, jurors and witnesses can also be named in a bench warrant for violations of their court obligations.

05-19-2010, 07:20 AM
I had a bench warrant in NJ a few years back. It was was a supposed unpaid traffic ticket. I got pulled over and taken in right then. I paid the ticket with the cops and they let me go. If he had 2 cases going at the same time and got arrested for one and couldn't show up for the other they can put a bench warrant out for him. Usually in situations like that if you can show proof he was locked up they usually dismiss it. For some reason I believe that if his time in jail is minimal one the first issue they will keep the warrant in place so onces hes out he already knows that he has to clear up the 2nd issue. I do not believe the warrant has anything to do with whatever he is currently in trouble for. I know in my case I was never sent saying anything saying they were looking for me. I actually thought I paid the ticket and found it odd that I never was sent anything saying the ticket was unpaid either. If you recieved some paperwork about it you should be able to call a number and see wha the issue is about.

05-19-2010, 06:50 PM
Bench warrant is a warrant for arrest issued by the bench, i.e. the judge. I've had this done when there's a FTA (if you appear, there's no need for a warrant, they take you right then). This has happened in numerous jurisdictions especially when a defendant is in one location and the jurisdiction can't get a hold of him. Example, a guy is sitting in jail in Wisconsin on his court date in Illinois. Or, defendant is in the hospital during an appearance date. Or, the guy got busted for a speeding ticket and in the interim shipped out with his unit to Afghanistan. I've had a bench warrant vacated because of a death in the family as well.

If there's a good reason why you didn't appear, like an emergency or you're sitting in jail or something, notify the court through your attorney. If you don't have an attorney, just notify the court. Generally, if you supply a doctor's note or a jail discharge summary showing you were in jail or the hospital, then the court will usually vacate the warrant and reschedule you. No guarantees, mind you, but it usually works.

05-21-2010, 08:00 AM
How can a inmate have a benchwarrant when serving time?
If a summons was processed in March of 2010,and the police try to serve the summons at the last now address.
The inmate has been locked up since July 2009.

05-22-2010, 07:12 AM
Because there probably was a court appearance in another jurisdiction and the inmate failed to appear. Of course he failed to appear, and the reason why he did not appear is because he could not appear even if he wanted to. It was the DA's responsibility to get a writ to have him brought in for the hearing in the other jurisdiction and the DA was too ignorant or lazy to do so. This happens all the time, and it is soooooooo stupid.

How can a inmate have a benchwarrant when serving time?
If a summons was processed in March of 2010,and the police try to serve the summons at the last now address.
The inmate has been locked up since July 2009.