What Is a Bench Warrant?
An arrest warrant or search warrant is based on probable cause that a crime has been committed or evidence of a crime can be obtained, respectively. However, there is another type of warrant a judge can sign called a bench warrant. This type of warrant can be issued for a number of reasons and can result in your arrest and incarceration if not dealt with promptly. These warrants require the police to bring you before the court in order to address the reason the warrant was issued.
Reasons for a Bench Warrant to Be Issued
There are several reasons why a bench warrant may be issued, including:
- Failure to pay court fines
- Violations of parole or probation
- Criminal contempt of court
- Failure to pay child support
- Violation of a bail condition
However, the most common reason for a bench warrant to be issued is when a defendant fails to appear (FTA) in court when ordered to do so.
Repercussions of a Bench Warrant
Once a bench warrant is issued, it remains in effect until the court recalls the warrant or the defendant is arrested. Unlike an arrest warrant, the police will not necessarily actively pursue your arrest. However, if you come into contact with the police for some other reason, like a traffic violation, the officer will arrest you in order to bring you before the court to address your outstanding warrant. Once in police custody, the defendant will remain in custody until they make bail, the warrant is recalled or the conditions of the warrant are satisfied.
In addition to the aforementioned repercussions, a bench warrant often comes with a driver’s license suspension. This is one of the methods the court uses to coerce a defendant into appearing before the court to address outstanding issues. This suspension remains in effect until the conditions of the bench warrant are satisfied and any related court issue or case is resolved.
Learn more about NJ Licence Restoration
Lifting a Bench Warrant
Resolving a bench warrant is crucial and anyone who has an outstanding warrant should seek the expert counsel of an NJ criminal defense attorney. At Schneider Freiberger, we will work to have the warrant lifted and help you resolve the initial issue that caused the bench warrant. Contact us to get started on resolving your bench warrant today.