How to Get a Warrant Lifted in Pennsylvania
If you fail to appear for court, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. Warrants can be issued in a variety of circumstances whether you are involved in a criminal case or a civil case. If you are required to appear in court for a case, it is best to play it safe and promptly arrive for your case instead of risking the possibility of a bench warrant being issued. If you or a family member was arrested for failing to appear in court, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal arraignment lawyer. Criminal lawyer Lloyd Long has extensive experience handling a variety of criminal cases, and he will use this experience to help you get your warrant lifted. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long explains how to get a warrant lifted in Pennsylvania.
What is a Bench Warrant?
A bench warrant is a court order that is issued by a judge that allows any law enforcement officer you encounter to arrest you on sight. The reason a bench warrant is issued is that an individual failed to make a scheduled court appearance.
Bench warrants are usually issued against criminal defendants for a variety of reasons. For example, if a defendant committed a probation violation, the judge in their case may issue a warrant for their arrest. However, it is also possible for bench warrants to be issued in civil cases. For example, if you were a material witness in a civil claim and you were subpoenaed to testify, the court may issue a warrant to force you to make an appearance.
It is also important to note that there are two types of bench warrants: normal bench warrants and judge-only bench warrants. A normal bench warrant is handled by the judge assigned to bench warrant court on a particular day. Judge-only bench warrants can only be handled by the judge that issued it.
If you are arrested for a bench warrant in Pennsylvania, law enforcement can hold you for up to 72 hours to schedule a hearing for your warrant. If you are unfortunate enough to be arrested on a weekend, your bench warrant hearing will be scheduled for the next business day.
You can check if you have a bench warrant by searching Pennsylvania’s public court docket sheets. However, if you missed a court date in a criminal case, it is almost guaranteed that there is a bench warrant for your arrest.
To learn more about how bench warrants work, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.
How to Get a Bench Warrant Dropped
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your best option to get your bench warrant dropped is to turn yourself into law enforcement at the Criminal Justice Center. However, before you turn yourself in, you should contact an experienced attorney. An attorney may be able to arrange a way to schedule a hearing without having to turn yourself in. Once you appear for your hearing, your attorney can help you avoid situations that may harm your case if you are a criminal defendant.
The judge who handles your case will lift your bench warrant once you appear for a hearing. However, the judge may also impose a penalty for failing to appear in court. For example, if the bench warrant judge decides to hold you in contempt for failing to appear for your drug possession case, you can be punished with a jail sentence of up to six months and receive a criminal fine. If the judge determines that you are a flight risk and you will not appear for your case, they may revoke or increase your bail.
The bench warrant judge also has the power to forfeit your bail. In Pennsylvania, the defendant must pay 10% of their bail to be released. If you violated your bail conditions by failing to appear in court, you might have to pay the remainder of the bail amount. For example, if your bail was set at $100,000, and you paid $10,000, you may have to pay the additional $90,000 if your bail was forfeited.
The consequences for failing to appear in court may be severe. This is why it is important to make all required court appearances.
Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You Handle a Bench Warrant
If you or a family member were arrested on a bench warrant in a criminal case, you should contact an experienced felony defense attorney today. At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, we are dedicated to providing you with unique legal representation that is tailored to your case. Having a bench warrant issued for your arrest can be a worrying ordeal, but criminal attorney Lloyd Long is here to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.