There are a variety of reasons why you may have an arrest warrant issued against you. These include failing to appear in court, forgetting to pay a fine, or not complying with the terms of your probation or parole. You may have had one of several types of warrants issued against you. Bench warrants are the most typical kind and are given by a judge, typically for failure to comply with a court order or missing a court date. 

Whatever the case, you should take action to “quash” the warrant, which means having it withdrawn. When it comes to warrants, it’s best that you seek out advice from a legal professional to avoid making mistakes during the process. 

Quashing a Bench Warrant in Arizona

  • With a bench warrant issued against you, you’re considered a fugitive from justice no matter how minor the offense was
  • To have your warrant quashed, you’ll have to prove that you’ve fulfilled any obligations and the warrant is no longer needed or that it was issued improperly
  • You may need to make a pledge to follow your obligations or set a new date to appear in court
  • The sooner you take action on this matter, the likelier it is you can have the warrant quashed and avoid being arrested
  • Hiring an attorney to help you quash your warrant is advisable, especially if you don’t live near the court or have a complicated case

How to Quash a Warrant

Perhaps you never got your court summons, or you had to miss your court date due to other obligations. At any rate, it’s best to have your warrant overturned if possible. Here are the steps: 

Contact an Attorney

If a judge signs a bench warrant, it authorizes law enforcement to locate, arrest, and jail you for failing to appear in court. Your attorney may have relationships with the court staff in your local area, so their familiarity can help your case.

The Attorney will Work with the Court

In some cases, your attorney can quash the warrant by appearing on your behalf, meaning you won’t have to go to court. However, the procedure usually involves the attorney attending your hearing with you. In some cases, you can attend a telephonic hearing and explain your reasons for missing the court date to the judge over the phone.

Explain Why You Missed Court

Unforeseeable events happen all the time and can get in the way of court dates and other important events. Whether you had another engagement or simply chose not to appear in court at your scheduled time, it’s best to be honest about why you missed your date. Your attorney can help you figure out the best course of action once you give them all the facts.

Go to Your Future Hearings

The best way to avoid more trouble with failing to appear in court is to make sure it never happens again. From now on, showing up to your scheduled court dates is essential. In addition to helping you quash your bench warrant, your legal representative should be able to help you with getting your charges reduced or even dismissed. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Warrants

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding warrants:

Q: If I have a bench warrant, does it mean I have to go to jail?

If you follow the right steps, you shouldn’t have to go to jail or get arrested for a misdemeanor warrant. You can visit warrant court, which allows people to go to court to settle their outstanding warrants. Usually, you can resolve it without going to jail but a judge may suggest that you’re taken into custody under certain circumstances. Alternatively, you can hire an attorney to make the process simpler and to make sure your warrant is taken care of correctly. 

Q: What will happen if I take no action on my bench warrant?

If you’ve had a bench warrant issued in your name, you may eventually go to jail if you do nothing about it. While the police typically don’t go searching for individuals with warrants out for minor offenses, they may conduct a “warrant roundup” to find those who haven’t taken action. In most cases, when someone goes to jail due to a warrant it’s because they have contact with law enforcement for another reason (such as a traffic stop) and the warrant is discovered.

Q: How does an arrest warrant differ from a bench warrant? 

Arrest warrants typically happen when law enforcement officials receive tips or information on criminal activities or directly observe illegal behavior. In other cases, the police may discover information that incriminates you during their investigation process. This type of warrant usually lists an amount for bail, so you can go to your hearing without waiting in jail until the set date. 

If you don’t appear at your court hearing, you may receive a bench warrant. Bench warrants are one of the commonest types of warrants and result from failing to go to your trial or hearing. If you miss your court date, you may get a “no bail” warrant. This means you won’t have bail set after arrest and it’s intended to ensure you show up to court.

What to Do if You have a Warrant

If you have a warrant, hiring an attorney is a good idea to get it resolved. Many times, people are unable to attend warrant court or don’t live near the court in question. If one of these situations apply to you, an attorney may be able to appear on your behalf or file a motion to have the warrant quashed for you. Hiring a legal representative can show the court that you’re determined to resolve your case. 

If you voluntarily take action to resolve the situation, you should be able to avoid going to jail. By not taking action, you’ll likely end up in more trouble later. Contact one of our criminal defense attorneys today so they can help you with your situation. 

Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.

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