There are hardly any circumstances that can top the fear and anxiety that comes with being wanted by the law. Whether a person has committed a minor offense or has acquired felony charges, a bench warrant can dampen every single aspect of your life. Any run-ins with law enforcement - whether it be a traffic stop or you just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time - has the potential to land you behind bars. However, with the help of an experienced defense attorney, you can address this issue and work towards a solution, rather than living your life on the run.
Many people have questions about bench warrants and their functionalities. For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) what a bench warrant is in Philadelphia, (2) what you should do if you have been issued with one, and (3) what happens if you are arrested on a bench warrant.
What is a bench warrant?
A bench warrant is a court order issued by a judge that gives law enforcement officers the authority to detain a person on sight. Typically, a bench warrant is issued when a person is ordered to appear in court but fails to obey that court order. In most cases, a bench warrant is issued against criminal defendants, but it can also be issued for people who were supposed to provide testimony in a case or show up to court for any other reason. Some officers take it upon themselves to actively seek out a noncompliant individual, but usually, people are caught when they have any type of encounter with law enforcement.
What should you do if you have been issued a bench warrant?
Once you receive notice that you've been issued a bench warrant, it's best that you take action to immediately resolve it. There are a number of ways to resolve this issue. One of the ways that people commonly resolve bench warrants is contacting the court and making arrangements to come back. But the best way to solve this issue is to contact a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney. An attorney has the authority to schedule a court appearance for you to address a bench warrant without the embarrassment of an arrest. A legal professional can help you effectively explain the situation that led to a warrant, and why you can be trusted to come back in the future.
What happens if I am arrested on a bench warrant?
A person who is arrested on a bench warrant is held in police custody until they are brought before the court to address a warrant. The amount of time that a person may wait depends solely on the circumstances. For example, if the person is arrested on a business day, they may be able to see a judge in a more timely manner. However, if they are arrested on a weekend or after hours, they may have to wait hours, or even days in jail before a warrant is addressed.
Philadelphia Bench Warrant Attorney
If you have been subject to an active bench warrant in Philadelphia, you should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience handling cases just like yours. Contact him today for help.