Weinstein Law Blog

Friday, October 21, 2016


            What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?

              It is always important to make all of your court dates.  However, sometimes you miss a date.  In a Criminal Court Case, if you miss a day you are to appear in front of the judge, it is highly likely that you will have a Bench Warrant issued for your arrest.

            What is a Bench Warrant?

              A Bench Warrant is an order, issued from a sitting judge stating that you have a warrant for your arrest and that after such arrest you are to be produced to that court from which the warrant issued.

            What Happens If I Get A Warrant?

              Once a Bench Warrant is ordered, the police will have access to it.  In New York City, there are groups of officers known as the Warrant Squad.  There sole purpose is to chase down people who are wanted for a warrant.  While there are many outstanding warrants and they cannot get everyone, they are good at what they do.

              Additionally, if you have a warrant for your arrest and get pulled over or stopped by the police, it will show up when they run your identifying information (name and date of birth).  In New York City, a Bench Warrant is a mandatory arrest.

              You can always self-surrender to the court, known as a voluntary return on a warrant.  This is the best option for your case.  It is best to contact an attorney to advise you and advocate for expungement of your warrant.  Your lawyer will make the argument that you should not be penalized by having a missed court date on your record forever.  The likelihood of winning this argument depends on your warrant history and the reason you missed your court date.

            Arrested on a Bench Warrant, Now What?

              If you have been arrest because of a Bench Warrant, you will be fully proceeded and taken before a judge.  If you were released before without bail or bond, that may not happen now.  Bail may be set and you will have to bailed out of jail. 

            Does a Warrant Stay on My Record?

              Unless expunged, a warrant will always stay on your criminal record.  This will affect you in future criminal court cases regarding bail requests prosecutors will make as well as the bail judges will set.  You need a strong and experienced attorney to properly argue for your warrant to be expunged. 

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As a former prosecutor, I fully understand the power law enforcement has. As a trial attorney, I know the law seems very scary.