What is a Bench Warrant in Georgia?
A bench warrant is a type of arrest warrant that is ordered by a judge against the defendant in a criminal case. Bench warrants are issued when the accused fails to appear for trial. The reason it is called a bench warrant is because the judge issues the warrant and the bench is the traditional term for a judge's seat.
If the defendant fails to appear for a serious criminal case, then the judge will likely lead to a regular arrest warrant. Arrest warrants spur immediate attempts to find the accused and put them in jail. However, bench warrants do not usually come with the police knocking at your door. Instead, the defendant's name goes into a statewide computer system that all law enforcement uses. If you have to deal with the police for any reason such as if you are in an accident or a routine traffic stop, you will be taken into custody for the outstanding bench warrant.
What Happens When I Am Arrested Based On The Bench Warrant?
You will be taken into custody where you will have to post bail before you can be released. After you pay bail, then you will receive a new court date.
What Happens If I Know a Bench Warrant Is Out For My Arrest?
If you know or find out a bench warrant is out for your arrest, you can call the clerk of the court or the police department and arrange to come in and the pay the bail. Once you pay the bail, the warrant will be recalled. On a side note, not all places can credit cards so you should ask what type of payment they accept.
What If I Had A Good Reason To Miss Court?
Emergencies come up, and things happen. If you have an excellent reason why you did not show up at court without first informing the court, you might be able to persuade the judge into letting you get the bail back or having it credited against your fines and costs.
How Can Having a Lawyer Help Me?
Having an experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney could definitely assist you through this process. It shows the judge that you take the charges seriously and that you are genuinely remorseful about your failure to appear in court. Furthermore, your attorney can resolve your failure to appear without your active participation and then negotiation to settle your case or put it on the calendar for trial. This is particularly helpful for out of state clients because it saves them a trip to court.
If you are worried that a bench warrant has been issued for your arrest or if you missed court, contact our offices today. We can help present your case to the judge and efficiently resolve the issue. The Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lawson and Berry have decades of experience and are here to assist with your case. Contact us now!