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Law Offices of John D. Lueck. Motto
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Rancho Cucamonga Bench Warrant Attorney

A bench warrant, occasionally called a “body attachment,” is a type of warrant that a California judge can issue against a defendant in a criminal case or in another court proceeding. Federal and state judges may also issue bench warrants after holding a defendant or other person in contempt for violating the rules of court. California judges will typically issue bench warrants when a defendant fails to show up to mandated court proceedings such as pretrial appearances while out on bail.

Bench warrants give police the authority to arrest someone on sight and take them to jail immediately. If you are a criminal defendant, being arrested on a bench warrant is likely to either raise your bail and subject you to additional conditions such as an ankle monitor or house arrest, or it could possibly cause you to forfeit the chance to be out on bail entirely while awaiting trial. Rancho Cucamonga attorney John D. Lueck is experienced and proficient at representing people facing bench warrants, even if he did not handle the initial case that led to the issuance of the warrant.

What Causes a Bench Warrant?

Unlike arrest warrants, bench warrants are not issued as a result of suspected criminal activity. Instead, judges issue bench warrants (i.e., issuing a warrant “from the bench”) when someone has violated a court order or otherwise violated the rules of court. Bench warrants are typically issued for:

  • Failing to appear in court for any reason, including testifying in a case, appearing at your own arraignment or other criminal proceeding, reporting for jury duty, or some other court proceeding
  • Failing to pay a fine, including speeding tickets
  • Violating probation
  • Disobeying any other court order

Bench warrants can be issued in civil matters as well as criminal. For example, if someone repeatedly fails to pay court-ordered child support or continually acts up in court, they can be held in contempt and arrested.

What Can Happen If You Are Subject to a Bench Warrant?

If you ignore a court order, fail to appear in court, or otherwise disobey a court’s orders, the judge may hold you in “contempt of court” and issue a bench warrant. Being held in contempt can have consequences including:

  • Probation violation
  • County jail or California state prison sentence
  • Enhanced fines
  • Bail revocation
  • Suspension of California driver license

What Should You Do If You Might Have an Outstanding Bench Warrant?

There may be legitimate reasons why you were unable to show up to court or otherwise follow a court order. You may have been traveling, or you may have suffered an unexpected illness or injury. You may be unable to pay your child support or alimony because of unforeseen financial hardships.

If you think you might be subject to a bench warrant, you can call the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office or, for civil, family law, or probate court matters, check the San Bernardino County Open Access warrant search database online. A dedicated Southern California criminal defense lawyer can help you determine if you are subject to a warrant and how best to respond.

Call the Law Offices of John D. Lueck for Help from an Experienced Rancho Cucamonga Bench Warrant Attorney

The Law Offices of John D. Lueck is a trusted Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense law firm with more than 42 years of service to clients in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. These cases are highly sensitive and require experienced representation to ensure your rights are protected. If you or someone you know has been arrested for a crime, contact Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense lawyer John D. Lueck at 909-484-1963 for a free initial consultation.

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