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Frequently Asked Questions

On what basis does a judge order a warrant?

When a person is deemed to be in contempt of court, a bench warrant (also called an arrest warrant) is issued by a judge. The individual is in contempt when he or she fails to appear at a specified court date or fails to pay an outstanding fine that was assessed by the court.

Judges have two ways of having a bench warrant issued. If a person fails to appear at a court date, then immediately afterwards the warrant is put into place for that person's arrest (the judge is actually sitting on the bench when he does this.) The other way is when the judge is presented with evidence by authorities proving that a felony has been committed. If the evidence is convincing enough that the judge believes it will hold up in court, he then, once again from the bench, issues a warrant for the person's arrest which is handed over to the authorities.

If there's a bench warrant for me, is it valid only in California?

No, a bench warrant is valid anywhere. If you move to another state, you can be arrested there and brought back to Los Angeles where the warrant was issued. Once a warrant has been issued, it is put into the systems of law enforcement agencies.

Can a bench warrant be removed from the system?

Yes, a bench warrant can be recalled in some instances. A criminal defense attorney may be able to have it removed if it is based on a misdemeanor and if the warrant is not too old. For more specific information, talk to our firm about your particular case.

How is bail set in a criminal case?

You may not need bail for a misdemeanor. For a felony, however, the judge may order bail or order that you be taken into custody. Bail ensures that you will make it to your future court appearances. Bail is usually set according to a court bail schedule with suggested amounts of money for misdemeanors and felonies. However, the judge makes the final determination of what the bail amount will be, taking into consideration the specifics of your case, if you have a previous criminal history, and what your flight risk may be. Being released on your own recognizance means that you don't need bail and promise to return for your court appearances.

To learn more about warrants and court procedure in regards to your case, contact our firm today!

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