While a bench warrant and an arrest warrant are two different types of warrants, they share one important similarity: both authorize an officer of the law to arrest the person named on the warrant anywhere and at any time. The arrest is not limited to a traffic stop on the road; it could be at your place of employment, your home, or anywhere else a law enforcement officer may find you, and the consequences could be both costly and humiliating.
If you receive a traffic citation (for whatever reason), the officer gives you the ticket clearly explaining that you are required to either pay the ticket fine or appear in court on, or by, a certain date. After that, you may not be further reminded about your obligations, and if you miss your court date or fail to pay the fine in time, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest. It means you are considered in contempt of court for not appearing or paying, and a warrant is issued from the judge’s bench; hence the term bench warrant. If this happens, the consequences grow steeper as a result of your failure to appear. Fines will increase, and you could face suspension of your California driver’s license, or even time in jail. An arrest warrant is issued if you are suspected of a criminal charge (such as theft, murder, rape, etc.), and there was no officer present to apprehend you for the crime at the time it was committed.
If you have missed your court date or neglected to pay your fine on time, you should immediately contact a qualified attorney. A bench warrant may have already been issued and placed on your record. The court may not send you a notification when this happens. This means you can be arrested on the spot if you are stopped for another offense and the officer determines you to be under a bench warrant.
Without expert legal advice, most ordinary drivers are not able to sufficiently convince a judge to reduce or dismiss a case that has been brought up under a warrant. This is why you should consider contacting a knowledgeable California traffic attorney to handle your bench warrant case for you. We understand the technicalities of the law and have experience dealing with the intricacies involved in these types of cases.
We will do everything possible to keep you out of custody and to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t risk getting arrested under an outstanding warrant. Hire one of our experienced, qualified attorneys as soon as you realize you’ve missed your court date and let us go to work for you.