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View Full Version : What is a bench warrant?

08-20-06, 08:00 PM
hey i'm back, i have another question for you all...i was just talking to a friend of mine about our experiences with mips. (i posted about mine in a different thread) well this friend got cited for an mip about 5 months ago. she was never notified of a court date though. i told her that you guys had said that you can get a warrant for your arrest if you didn't show up, but so far nobody has come to cart her off at least i dont think...:p

so what happens when you get a "bench warrant"...? do they actually hunt you down and like come to your house or do you just get carted off to court if they pull you over or ticket you for something else? what if you travel abroad? (my friend and some other people are going to acapulco over spring break and hopefully ill come with them!) needless to say she is a little worried now. she says that what happened was they had a party at their house and their evil roomate (that was a whole other issue) called the cops on them, and like 5 of them got mips, but my friend and someone else there never got their court dates but the rest of them did.

thanks as always

08-20-06, 08:04 PM
If she got cited, she got a court date.

And yes we do go look for people who dont show up for court.

If you get stopped for a traffic violation and have a warrant,
we also tow your car.

She needs to go down to the court and get it taken care of.

08-20-06, 08:05 PM
I hunt down bench warrants all the time (though they are not all that common).

The extent of things all depends on the type of warrant. Ifg it is a FTA on a felony, then it is a felony and the game is on. If it is an FTA on a misd, then it is a misd and I wouldn't bother messing with it (though some locals working on a slow midnight may be all too happy). :)

08-20-06, 08:59 PM
A Bench Warrant is an order from a judge for the individual named in the warrant to be immediately arrested and brought before the judge that issued the warrant.

Like Switchback mentioned, for a felony warrant they may go looking for them. Sometimes on a particularly slow night officers may go looking for a misdemeanor warrant.

(Sometimes we get lists of local residents with active warrants from the sherrif's office for us to try to locate.) Once upon a time, I arrested a resident for a 12 year old warrant for "No fishing License" - it was so old he had forgotten about it. BUT WARRANTS DO NOT GO AWAY. Your friend should take care of it, quickly.

Super Six 5
08-20-06, 09:04 PM
i told her that you guys had said that you can get a warrant for your arrest if you didn't show up, but so far nobody has come to cart her off at least i dont think...:p

What are you, the designated legal advise seeker for the group?:rolleyes:

I'm glad you think that an FTA is so amusing. Hopefully your "friend" gets picked up on a friday night and gets to spend an adventurous weekend in lockup. I hear the food is quite tasty.

08-20-06, 09:49 PM
Usually a bench warrant specifies "no bail" (meaning no getting out of jail) until the Judge sees the offender (in jail coveralls) in Court and then decides if, and how much bail will be set. Sitting in the dock, handcuffed and chained to other smelly criminals can be a character-building experience.

08-20-06, 10:47 PM
I LOVE benches. We haul the person straight to jail, they get NO bail until after they see the judge and as was said , if it is a Friday night...court isn't back in until Monday.

That means a long weekend of 3 hots and a cot.

Tell your friend to wise up and get it over with. It is STUPID to get locked up for a MIP charge.

08-21-06, 02:32 AM
Thanks for reminding me about 3 day weekends, there is one of those coming up this next weekend.
I think I am going hunting friday night:D

08-21-06, 03:08 AM
We always seem to encounter people with FTA warrants on the Friday evening of a three-day weekend.

I don't think I've ever run into one at 0600 on a weekday when we could just process them and take them down to court.

08-21-06, 03:25 AM
BENCH WARRANT - An order issued by a judge for the attachement or arrest of a person. The name of a process sometimes given to an attachment issued by order of a court, against an individual for some contempt, or for the purpose of arresting a person accused; the latter is seldom granted unless when a true bill has been found.

If a person fails to appear in court when she has been properly ordered to do so, the judge is authorized to issue a warrant (a court order authorizing a law enforcement officer to arrest someone) for her arrest. A warrant issued this way is called a bench warrant.

E.g. X has fallen behind on court-ordered child support and is served with an order to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court for not complying. X failed to appear at the scheduled hearing; the judge may issue a bench warrant authorizing the police to arrest X and bring him before the judge to answer the charge of contempt.

08-21-06, 06:21 AM
as others have said, get stopped for another violation or a traffic stop, and they run their name, they'll pop a warrant and get arrested. They probably won't come looking for them for a violation warrant though.

Apply for a job that does a criminal background check, they might come up with a warrant, sorry, you're not hired, AND we're informing the police that you have an open warrant....

Also like other have said, no bail. So now instead of just paying the $25 fine (or whatever it is), if they get stopped again, for anything, they now will at least spend the night in jail.

08-21-06, 12:12 PM
so what happens when you get a "bench warrant"...? http://i7.tinypic.com/257g85e.jpg