The Law Dictionary

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I Have A Bench Warrant. Can I Have A Lawyer Appear For Me?

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A “bench warrant” is issued by the judge against a person who was issued with summons but failed to appear before said court. The purpose for the issuance of bench warrants is to bring the person, who was summoned or subpoenaed, to appear before the judge and explain the reason for his failure to attend the court hearing. If the reason for the failure to comply with the summons or subpoena is justified, the defendant will then be excused by the judge after the payment of the required fine. However, if the reason given is inexcusable, then penalties will be merited against the defendant which may include imprisonment.

There are two types of bench warrants. The first is bond warrant wherein the defendant may post bond in order for him to be able to prevent imprisonment and for the bench warrant to be deleted from his records. The second type of bench warrant is the no-bond warrant which is usually issued by the judge in serious offenses. In the second type, the warrant shall stand unless the defendant appeared before the judge and explain why he failed to appear on the date stated in the summons or subpoena.

Bond warrants are usually issued for traffic violations. This type of warrant ensures that after the payment of the fine and after appearance before the judge, the same will be taken care of by the court. However, the issuance of a no-bond warrant is a serious matter which must be dealt with by the defendant. Otherwise, the defendant may be apprehended by the authorities at any time and brought to court where he may be merited with the penalty of imprisonment. Since this type of warrant does not ensure complete deletion of the record after appearance before the judge. Instead, the defendant will have to spend some time in jail and will be compelled to pay the fine as imposed by law.

Due to the above mentioned circumstances, it is highly recommended that defendants with standing bench warrants be represented by their preferred counsels. Attorneys have the capacity to bargain before the judge in order to avoid any penalties, which may include fine and imprisonment, which the court may impose against their clients. The issuance of a bench warrant and the circumstances surrounding each case which led to its issuance is a technical matter which necessitates the hiring of lawyers. This is due to the fact that only lawyers have the legal know-how and argumentative skill to defend your case.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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