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California Bench Warrants

Arrest Warrant • Failure to Appear in Court
Reduce Bail • Recall a Bench Warrant

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
California Criminal Lawyer

A Bench Warrant is an Immediate Arrest Order

A Bench Warrant is issued to an individual for failing to appear in court at a required date and time, or failing to pay a fine. This person is in contempt of court, and the bench warrant authorizes law enforcement to bring him/her to court.

This is different from an Arrest Warrant, which is typically issued after a Grand Jury indictment (criminal charge) or when someone is suspected of a crime based on probable cause.

California Bench Warrant Law
Under California Code of Civil Procedure, a judge may issue a bench warrant if you fail to appear in court when required by law.

Required Court Appearances
  Superior Court fixed a date and place for your appearance following an indictment
  • You were ordered to personally appear before the judge
  • You were given a citation by a police officer
  • You were released from custody and promised to appear
  • You were scheduled to show proof of progress or completion of community service
  • You were scheduled for sentencing or conviction after a plea or trial

The Bench Warrant is valid no matter where you live—in California, another U.S. state, or anywhere else. You can be arrested on the spot and brought before the judge that issued the warrant.

Bench Warrant Consequences
A bench warrant is a serious matter.

• Your driver’s license can be suspended by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)
• You’ll have to pay a fine to get it reinstated if your bench warrant is cleared
• You could be denied bail if you have failed to appear in court multiple times
• This means you could face jail time depending on your case

Recalling Your Bench Warrant
In some cases, a criminal defense attorney may be able to recall the bench warrant (remove it from the system) without you being present if your case is a misdemeanor and the warrant isn’t too old.

With a misdemeanor, you may avoid bail altogether. With a felony, the judge may request bail or the defendant may be taken into custody.

In either case, you’ll improve your chances of having the bench warrant recalled by returning to court voluntarily, with an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side.

You Need a Los Angeles Bench Warrant Attorney
Representing yourself in court is risky because you have no experience with judges. Having the right attorney who can speak on your behalf puts you at a major advantage. It could improve your chances of avoiding jail.

Experienced los angeles criminal defense attorney Stephen G. Rodriguez & Associates can help you stay out of jail or arrange for reduced bail if the judge insists on putting you in jail.

We know the Los Angeles-area courts, judges, prosecutors and bench warrant procedures, and will help you by:
  • Preparing the exact documents and information the court requires to get a swift resolution
  • Explaining to the judge and prosecutor the reason for the warrant
  • Convincing the court to release you on your own recognizance (O.R. Release, which is your promise to return to court), without posting bail
  • Arguing for a reasonable bail and arranging for the bail bondsman to be present at court (if bail is required)
  • Resolving the underlying criminal case

Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Associates for a free consultation when you need an experianced los angeles crimes lawyer.
If you believe there is an outstanding Bench Warrant or Arrest Warrant, call us immediately to discuss your situation and strategy for taking care of your Bench or Arrest Warrant. All conversations are private and confidential.

Law Offices of Stephen G. Rodriguez
633 West 5th Street
26th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90071

(213) 223-2173

Frequently Asked Questions
California Bench Warrants
How do I know if there’s a warrant for my arrest?

With a bench warrant, you could contact the court where you had your previous criminal case and they’d tell you if one exists. You should consult with an attorney for the best outcome.

With an arrest warrant, you might not know until you’re arrested. In rare cases, a detective may call you and tell you there’s an arrest warrant. An experienced criminal defense lawyer could make a few calls and find out if there’s an arrest warrant.

What do I do if there’s a bench warrant for my arrest?

Make arrangements immediately to go to court and clear the warrant. To avoid being taken into custody, contact the attorney handling your case and make plans to go to court with the attorney. Until you return to court to recall the warrant, you’re at risk of being arrested and brought to court at any time of law enforcement’s choosing.

Do warrants (arrest or bench) expire?

No! Warrants are only cleared when the defendant appears before a judge in the court that issued the warrant, or when the defendant dies.





Law Offices of Stephen G. Rodriguez
633 West 5th Street
26th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90071
(213) 223-2173
[email protected]

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