For minor offenses, such as a traffic violation, it might be tempting to not show up at your scheduled court date. Some may forget about it altogether and had no intention to skip their court date. Unfortunately, the state of Michigan isn’t very forgiving when a defendant fails to appear in court. In Michigan, if you miss a court date then the judge presiding over your case will issue out a bench warrant.
Bench warrants differ from arrest warrants because the defendant isn’t being accused of a crime. Instead they are being accused of committing offenses against the court by failing to appear. That means the police won’t actively seek the defendant out if they have a bench warrant against them. However, that doesn’t mean the defendant is out of the clear. If law enforcement stops them for any reason such as a traffic stop and learn they have a bench warrant, they will then be authorized to arrest the defendant immediately.
Oakland County Bench Warrant Attorney, Michigan
It’s common for defendants to not even be aware they had an active bench warrant. One second they are living their normal lives and the next they are swept up by law enforcement. Thankfully, you have options as a defendant to secure experienced legal counsel to fight your case. If you are searching for a Michigan bench warrant attorney, look no further than Dallo Law, P.C..
Dallo is an experienced fighter both in the courtroom and the ring. He has carried over the discipline and persistence learned from his fighting career to his legal firm by working tirelessly until his client receives the best possible result for their case. No case, or opponent, is too big for J. Dallo to take on. Set up your first consultation now free by calling Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000.
Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the Oakland County and Macomb County area including Clinton Township, Bloomfield Hills, Roseville, Utica, Fraser, Pontiac, Southfield, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Pontiac.
- What is a Bench Warrant?
- What is the Difference Between a Bench and Arrest Warrant?
- Additional Resources
What is a Bench Warrant?
When you receive a notice for an upcoming court date, it’s important you don’t take it lightly. Failure to appear at your scheduled court date may cause the judge to issue out a bench warrant in your name. Bench warrants are a court order from a judge to arrest a person because they are in contempt of court. While a bench warrant can be issued for other reasons, most people with a bench warrant have one because they failed to appear at their court date.
The warrant gives law enforcement the authority to arrest you on sight and bring you before court to explain why you failed to appear. Often law enforcement will discover you have a bench warrant because they stopped you for something minor, such as a broken taillight. They will then arrest you on the spot and schedule a court date to address your failure to appear to court. If your original charge was a misdemeanor, then you’ll be given the opportunity to avoid jail by contacting your court clerk or local police department. They can then give you instructions on how to come in and pay your bail to recall the warrant. You will then be given another upcoming court date to address the original misdemeanor or violation.
It’s important to note that if you’ve missed your court date, the money used to post bail is typically forfeited. If at the hearing you can give the judge a good reason for missing your court date (i.e. circumstances happened beyond your control such as a medical emergency), you may get your bail money back or have it credited against your court fines
What’s the Difference Between a Bench Warrant and Arrest Warrant?
Although they are both criminal procedures and types of warrants, there are various differences between an arrest warrant and a bench warrant. When a judge orders an arrest warrant against you, it’s a court order to law enforcement to actively attempt to arrest you. Officers may conduct surveillance around your house or frequent haunts and ask your family, friends and peers about your location. Arrest warrants are only issued for criminal cases and officers can break into a habitation or other building to make an arrest if it’s deemed necessary.
Bench warrants are issued for civil matters, such as failing to appear in court or pay court costs and fees. This differs from an arrest warrant as the person named isn’t being accused of a crime. Instead they are facing accusations of being in contempt of court and the arrest is simply to ensure they go to their next upcoming court date. Additionally, law enforcement will not seek you out after a bench warrant is issued. However, law enforcement can make an arrest if they stop you for something else and discover you have an active bench warrant.
Michigan State Police | Online Services – Visit the official website for the Michigan State Police to learn more about their online services for arrest warrants. Access the site to use their Internet Criminal History Tool to see if an active bench or arrest warrant is issued under your name. Use their other services if needed such as their Traffic Crash Purchasing System and the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.
Michigan Bench Warrant Laws – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to learn more about their laws surrounding bench warrants. Access their site to find reasons why a person may have a bench warrant, how to avoid jail with a bench warrant and more.
Bloomfield Hills Lawyer for Failure to Appear
It can be stressful to all-of-a-sudden learn you are subject to a bench warrant. You may now have to deal with a legal situation you weren’t prepared for. If you are in a similar predicament, we highly suggest you get in contact with the experienced Attorney J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C.. Attorney Dallo has been practicing criminal defense for years and have represented clients issued with all types of warrants. He has the knowledge, resources and time needed to help you avoid jail and get your bench warrant sorted out.
Set up your first consultation for free with J. Dallo by calling (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. represents clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area in the state of Michigan.