What is a Bench Warrant and How Do You Get One?

Anybody who has ever watched a crime drama on television is familiar with what a warrant is — it’s generally something that a police officer asks a judge to provide so that they can search a property or make an arrest based on probably cause that they provide.  A warrant is not needed when an officer sees a perpetrator in the middle of committing a crime – rather it is needed for non-emergent situations. But a bench warrant is an entirely different thing. Rather than being issued at the request of the police, a bench warrant is issued by the judge in response to a defendant violating a court rule.  If you have failed to appear in court and a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest, then you need legal representation. Call the attorneys at Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law today for immediate help.


Usually the rule violation that spurs the issuing of a bench warrant involves not appearing in court at a scheduled time. The police response to a bench warrant often depends upon the seriousness of the crime that the defendant has been accused of. For a serious criminal offense, the police will generally respond quickly, immediately seeking and jailing the defendant. For more minor offenses, the bench warrant puts the defendant’s name into a computerized system so that if there is any contact between law enforcement and the defendant, they will automatically be arrested. This means that you can be arrested as a result of having been in a minor accident that is reported to the police, or when you go to pay a parking ticket. If a bench warrant has been issued then you will not be released again without posting bail and paying the fines and court cots that have been generated by your initial non-appearance. You will also be given a new date to appear in court on the initial charge.


Failing to appear does not endear a defendant to a judge, but there are things that can be done to minimize the damage that has been done. Having an experienced and skillful attorney representing your interests is the first step. The lawyers at Erik B. Jensen Attorney at Law will walk you through the appropriate steps, which generally will include contacting the clerk of the court of the local police and making the necessary arrangements for you to pay the fines and post bail so that you no longer have to live your life looking over your shoulder. If you had posted bail to secure your release initially, your failure to appear will have resulted in the forfeiture of that money, but depending upon the reason for your failure to appear, we may be able to negotiated for you to get it back or have it credited against the fees that you have incurred. One way or another, you put yourself into a much better and less fearful position by addressing the issue head on, and we can help. Contact us today for the knowledgeable legal representation and counsel that you need.

Learn more about Bench Warrants here –