Maryland Bench Warrant Lawyer

What is a Bench Warrant?  How is it different from an Arrest Warrant?

A bench warrant gets the name because of who issues the warrant.  The bench part refers to where the judge sits in the court room, “on the bench.”  The judge will issue a bench warrant to authorize a law enforcement official to bring a defendant into court.

An arrest warrant is usually issued on the basis of what a police officer states to a judge.  The judge then determines whether or not to issue the arrest warrant (on the basis of probable cause), alleging a crime was committed. 

Once a bench warrant is issued, it is treated very similarly to an arrest warrant because it authorizes the police to bring the defendant to court, just like an arrest warrant would.

Sometimes judges will issue the bench warrant and allow a District Court Commissioner to set bail.  However, a judge may decide to “pre-set” a bail amount.

 

Is there anything I can do to resolve the bench warrant without getting arrested?

If you have a bench warrant out for your arrest, an officer can detain you at any time.  For example, if you get pulled over for a traffic violation even when the officer only wants to warn you, they are bound to arrest you due to an open warrant.  You do have options to try to avoid the embarrassment or inconvenience of being arrested on a bench warrant.

 

Motion to Quash or Recall the Bench Warrant

An experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney can be instrumental in improving your chances of getting a bench warrant quashed (or “recalled”), and have your case set in for another session of court.  Time is of the essence though.  Keep in mind that you will have a bench warrant out for your arrest until the time a judge rules on the motion.  Fortunately, judges tend to review Motions to Quash or Recall frequently once they are filed with the court. 

It is important to consult with a Maryland criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you wish to have your bench warrant recalled.