How to Deal with a Bench Warrant on a Misdemeanor or Felony Charge
You may not need to be arrested or taken into custody if there is a bench warrant for your arrest.
A savvy defense lawyer can negotiate to get the warrant lifted.
A bench warrant is an arrest warrant that judges orders against a defendant in a misdemeanor or felony case. The most common reason for a bench warrant is failing to appear in court (FTA). An experienced lawyer can usually find a way to get the warrant lifted and avoid the need for their client’s arrest.
A bench warrant does not usually mean the police will immediately look for you (although they can). Generally, your name will go into a statewide computer that serves the entire law enforcement community. Once your name is in that database, and you deal with the police for any reason – even something that is not your fault, they will take you into custody. Like Oakland County, Wayne County, and Macomb County, some counties have fugitive apprehension teams that will occasionally do sweeps where they look for those with pending bench warrants.
Posting Bond Following a Bench Warrant for a Misdemeanor or Felony
If you are arrested and taken into custody, you will likely have to post a bond to be released. Once that is accomplished, you will get a new court date. If you do not post bond, you will stay in custody until the court hearing. You should not take a bench warrant for misdemeanor or felony charges lightly.
You should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer if you know a bench warrant is out for your arrest. An experienced lawyer can deal with the court or the local police department. Many things need to be arranged, such as appropriate times to appear in court, the amount of the bond, and who will pay it, if necessary.
If you posted a bond previously, that money is probably forfeited. A good, experienced criminal defense lawyer may persuade the judge to reinstate the original bond or allow the new bond to be personal (meaning no money will have to be posted).
How a Good Defense Lawyer Can Help With a Bench Warrant
Naturally, having an experienced criminal lawyer arguing on your behalf during this process will show the judge that you take the charges against you seriously and that you are genuinely apologetic about your failure to appear in court. If you made an honest mistake, the lawyer would develop a persuasive argument to show the judge that incarceration is unnecessary to ensure your appearance at the next court date.
A Judge Might Understand and Rescind a Felony or Misdemeanor Warrant
Some judges are more reasonable than others. Even hard-nosed judges can understand when an influential, respected lawyer explains why their client might have been unable to appear for a scheduled hearing. Defendants frequently miss a court date because of any of the following reasons:
- a genuine mistake,
- court notice never sent or received,
- car accident or breakdown on the way to court,
- illness or hospitalization of themselves or a family member,
- family emergency, or
- complications with employment.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys who are Experienced with Bench Warrants, Bonds, and Bail
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. specialize in criminal defense. Defending people charged with crimes is all we do. If you face a bench warrant, it is essential that you resolve it as soon as possible. You do not want the embarrassment and humiliation of the police arresting you when you can voluntarily appear before the Court and get the warrant recalled. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience helping people charged with all types of crimes and with an outstanding bench or arrest warrant.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.