Failure to comply with court ordered appearance can lead to a bench warrant. Florida Rule 3.12. Arrest Warrant identifies a bench warrant as an order for arrest. Emergency or illness may be a common cause of a bench warrant, as it is not considered adequate excuse by the courts to not appear. In Florida, a stop for a minor traffic violation can lead to subsequent arrest if there is a bench warrant on your record. When a bench warrant is served, an officer will come to a defendant’s home or work unannounced. Arrest for a bench warrant is imminent.
Florida Bench Warrant Backlog
In the past decade, Southern Florida courts have processed a backlog of bench warrants in response to the higher than national average incidence of alleged code, misdemeanor, and felony crimes. Florida law outlines court procedure to bench warrant approval and appeal. Florida courts are active in pursuit of those cases, and arrests can be made any day, and at any time where the summoned party is located. Chapter 901.4 Direction and Execution of Warrant provides that all bench warrants be directed to all sheriffs in the state.
You Can Run, but You Cannot Hide
If a defendant is at home in another state, and unaware of bench warrant service, it may be possible to get a bench warrant recalled with assistance from an attorney. In some states it is possible for a criminal law attorney to have a warrant dismissed on behalf of a client living in another state without court appearance of the defendant. In such case, a bench warrant will be dismissed, eliminating the risk that the defendant will be arrested later.
Be Proactive, Stay Out of Jail
Defendants not taking proactive measures to dismiss a bench warrant by paying on fines or other incidentals to a case may find themselves arrested at the airport on their way to vacation. Record of a bench warrant stemming from a minor infraction can ultimately lead to incarceration or steeper fines if not met with adequate response by an attorney in court.
Avoid the risk of going to jail or being extradited to another jurisdiction by hiring an attorney to represent you in court in a bench warrant proceeding. Law enforcement is mandated to arrest any party with a bench warrant on their record. With attorney representation, you can resolve a bench warrant and re-establish legal standing with the courts.
Consult with a Criminal Attorney
Protect your job, reputation and ability to travel. An attorney will investigate the status of your bench warrant and represent you in court. Arrest orders are signed by a judge. Stay out of jail with an experienced criminal law attorney in a bench warrant case.