Bench Warrant Hearing: What Is It and What Happens During One

Most people don’t think that missing jury duty or failing to pay a fine for a traffic violation in the time allotted is a crime.

However, the court sees it differently.

The courts give you a specific time frame to answer anything the court system requires of you including paying fines or to appear in court to answer a summons or a charge against you.

Some people may just forget or maybe you misread the paperwork.

The court will give you another chance but after that they will issue a warrant for your arrest. You may not even realize that you have a warrant out for your arrest, especially if the crime is considered a misdemeanor or for not paying fines.

These warrants are known as bench warrants and are issued by the court to make you appear to answer for whatever issue you may have with the court.

A bench warrant is issued by a judge for law enforcement to locate, detain, and bring you to the court to answer for violating a court order. This happens when you fail to pay fines to the court, miss a court date that you were scheduled to appear at, or violate the terms of a court order or probation.

A lot of people don’t even know a bench warrant has been issued for their arrest and may only realize it when they are actually being detained.

If you have a bench warrant or you have been arrested on a bench warrant you need to contact a defense lawyer. The only way to get a bench warrant removed is to file a motion with the court and have a hearing in front of a judge.

Filing a motion and having a court hearing can be a difficult process and if not handled properly, could land you in more trouble than you’re already facing. Call The Defenders if you have a bench warrant in Nevada and need to request a hearing to have the bench warrant removed.

Can I Be Arrested If I Have A Bench Warrant

The straightforward response is that, yes, you can indeed be arrested for a bench warrant, and in certain cases, it is highly likely.

However, when the warrant is issued for a misdemeanor, law enforcement will not go out and actively search for you. Police are more likely to use police resources to search for people who are accused of felonies.

Many arrests for misdemeanor offenses that have a bench warrant happen during traffic stops.

You get pulled for a traffic violation like speeding or something. The police initially plan to issue a traffic ticket, but if they discover a bench warrant against you upon checking your information, they will immediately proceed with an arrest.

If you have an active bench warrant you should seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney can find out exactly what the warrant was for and request a hearing with the court to have the warrant recalled, also known as quashing the warrant.

If you have a bench warrant that involves a felony, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

When you have an outstanding bench warrant, your driver’s license may be at risk of being suspended. Before driving you should also check with the DMV.

How Do I Get a Bench Warrant Removed

In order to get a bench warrant recalled or quashed, you must file a motion with the court that the warrant was issued from. This motion asks a judge to hold a hearing on the matter and whether to remove the warrant against you.

Once the motion is filed, the court will usually schedule a hearing within two to five days.

Note, you can be arrested while waiting for your court hearing.

If a bench warrant has been issued for failure to pay a fine or other court payment then you may be able to get the warrant recalled by making the payments you need to. This may include other financial payments as added fines for missing the original payments.

What Exactly Are Bench Warrant Hearings

A bench warrant hearing is held at the court to ask the judge to quash the warrant against you. Your defense attorney like The Defenders will request the judge to remove the warrant. In most cases, the judge will comply with the request unless you have a history of missing court dates or failing to comply with court orders.

If your bench warrant has a bail amount that needs to be paid, your defense team will ask the judge to exonerate the bail or have it removed. If the judge agrees to this you will no longer have to pay the bail.

In some cases, you may not even have to appear in court as long as you have a defense attorney to represent you there. However, more serious charges will require you to attend.

For example, if your case is a felony matter, you have a substantial criminal history of offenses, or you have no excuse that the court deems appropriate to violate a court order.

Once the matter of the bench warrant is resolved, the underlying case against you can move forward. If your bench warrant was issued for non-payment of fines you can request a payment plan or the judge can set up a repayment plan for you.

Will A Bench Warrant Show Up On A Background Check

When you go to look for a job or for many other reasons, background checks are run on you by a potential employer or if you want to rent an apartment. Depending on the specific background check, a bench warrant might show up, turning off potential employers and even preventing you from getting that apartment.

Background checks can include previous arrest records, past and current criminal charges, and past convictions.

Getting an outstanding warrant resolved is the only way to really prevent it from showing up on a background check. It also might be possible to have a criminal record sealed from future background checks. If you think you have an outstanding warrant you should consult The Defenders to see how they can help you resolve the issue.

Do Bench Warrants Have A Statute Of Limitations

As with most things, the court system puts time limits on most things. There are very few exceptions, like murder, that don’t have a statute of limitations or a time frame where a criminal charge can be brought against someone.

Bench Warrants are one of those few exceptions that don’t expire.

Many people have bench warrants against them for years that they may not even be aware of.

How Is A Bench Warrant Different From An Arrest Warrant?

An arrest warrant issued against someone signals the start of the criminal process for a case. A bench warrant on the other hand can be issued at any time throughout the underlying criminal case.

An arrest warrant indicates what the charges against you are. Finally, law enforcement will request a judge to issue an arrest warrant.

On the other hand, judges called “The Bench” hence the name bench warrant, can issue these warrants on their own at any time without The District Attorney having to request them.

How Can The Defenders Help You

If you have a bench warrant or even think you have a bench warrant it is best to first seek the advice of legal counsel. The Defenders legal team has expertise fighting against bench warrants in Nevada.

We can first find out if you have a bench warrant issued against you. If you have already been arrested we will request a hearing to have you released pending the outcome of your bench warrant hearing.

Our team of expert attorneys will attend all court appearances either on your behalf or with you depending on the circumstances.With proper investigation we might be able to get your bench warrant quashed or removed and help you move the underlying criminal complaint to a favorable outcome.

If you think you have a bench warrant out for your arrest or have been arrested for a bench warrant contact The Defenders today for a consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bench warrant hearing?

A bench warrant hearing is a court proceeding where you or your defense attorney can request for the judge to recall or quash a bench warrant issued against you. This hearing must be requested with the court that issued the warrant.

Will I need an attorney for my bench warrant hearing?

It is highly recommended to have an attorney represent you at your bench warrant hearing, especially if you have a history of missing court dates or failing to comply with court orders. An attorney can advocate for your rights and work towards getting the warrant removed or quashed.

Can I be arrested while waiting for my bench warrant hearing?

Yes, it is possible to be arrested while waiting for your bench warrant hearing. It is important to address the warrant as soon as possible to avoid any further complications or legal consequences.

How can a bench warrant affect my background check?

A bench warrant can show up on a background check, potentially affecting your chances of employment or renting an apartment. It is important to resolve the warrant in order to prevent it from appearing on future background checks.

Is there a time limit for bench warrants?

Unlike other criminal charges, bench warrants do not have a statute of limitations and can remain active for years. It is important to address the warrant as soon as possible in order to avoid any further legal complications.

How can The Defenders help with bench warrants?

Our legal team at The Defenders has the experience in dealing with bench warrants and can assist in resolving your issue. We can help determine if you have a warrant and work towards having it removed or quashed. We can also represent you at your bench warrant hearing and help move the underlying criminal case towards a favorable outcome. Contact us at (702) 333-3333 for a consultation if you think you may have a bench warrant out for your arrest or have been arrested for one.

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