Understanding the Difference Between Bench and Arrest Warrants
Both a bench warrant and an arrest warrant can result in you being taken into legal custody. However, these warrants are issued under different circumstances, and the implications for each type of warrant differ. Any time a warrant has been issued and you are facing arrest, it is important you understand your legal rights and make informed choices about how to protect your interests.
A New York City criminal defense lawyer at Bukh Law Firm, PLLC. can provide legal representation in responding to both bench and arrest warrants in Manhattan and surrounding areas.
What is a Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant is issued if you have failed to comply with an obligation to appear in court, or if you have not responded to a court order. A bench warrant may be issued:
- For nonpayment of traffic tickets.
- For failure to appear for a court date in a criminal case.
- For failure to respond to a subpoena to come to court in a civil case.
- For failure to come to jury duty.
- If you fail to pay child support according to a support order.
After a bench warrant has been issued against you, you may be arrested by a law enforcement officer at any time. If you are pulled over for any traffic crime or stopped for any reason and the office sees that there is an outstanding bench warrant when running your name you will be immediately taken into custody.
New York Penal Code Section 530.70 makes clear that a bench warrant issued by a superior court, district court, or New York City criminal court may be executed anywhere in the state. If the bench warrant is issued by a town court, city court, or village court, it may be executed in the county where it was issued as well as adjoining counties. If there is a written endorsement from a local court where a defendant is taken into custody, it can be executed state wide.
This means no matter where you are in New York, you can be arrested if any judge in New York has issued a bench warrant. You do not want to wait until you have been taken into custody to respond to a bench warrant.
A New York bench warrant lawyer can help you to try to clear your warrants before you find yourself behind bars. Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
Top Rated Criminal Lawyer
Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC
TOP RATED ON: SUPER LAWYERS, AVVO, NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYERS
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is issued if there is probable cause to believe you committed a criminal offense. A warrant for your arrest may be issued if a judge has heard witness testimony or reviewed a police investigation and believes there is probable cause. If you have been indicted by a grand jury, including a federal grand jury, an arrest warrant will be issued.
The basis for the arrest warrant is an underlying misdemeanor or felony offense. While both a bench warrant and an arrest warrant can result in being taken into custody, an arrest warrant often means you are facing more serious legal trouble.
A New York City arrest warrant attorney can negotiate the terms of surrendering to the police to face criminal charges, rather than going through the process of police coming to your home or work to arrest you. Your attorney can also assist in responding to charges that led to the arrest warrant.
Arrest Warrants vs. Bench Warrants
One of the most fundamental differences between a bench and an arrest warrant is the degree to which police will pursue your arrest. If a bench warrant was issued because of nonpayment of traffic tickets or some minor violation of court rules, law enforcement is unlikely to devote resources to actively searching for you. However, if an arrest warrant is issued because of an indictment or if there is probable cause of a crime, police typically will conduct an investigation to find and arrest you.
Arrest warrants also mean you will need to respond to underlying criminal charges, while this is not always the case with a bench warrant. If you simply did not pay a traffic ticket, a NY bench warrant lawyer may be able to help you negotiate to resolve the bench warrant by paying the fine and any additional associated costs. An arrest warrant, however, almost always means your case will proceed to a full criminal trial where you could be found guilty, be left with a criminal record, and face penalties including possible jail time.
How a New York City Warrant Lawyer Can Help
The right approach to take when a warrant is issued for your arrest is going to vary depending upon whether you face an arrest warrant or a bench warrant.
A New York City criminal defense lawyer will review the circumstances of your particular case carefully and help you to make informed choices about resolving your legal problems in the most advantageous way possible under the circumstances.
Contact Bukh Law Firm, PLLC. today to learn more about how a NYC warrant lawyer can help you.