Bench Warrant vs Arrest Warrant

When you receive a ticket from a police officer, you should be informed of what fines you are required to pay, how/where to pay your fines, and by what date. Certain citations require you to appear in court. If you miss an appearance in court or do not pay your fines by the required date, the judge will issue a warrant from the bench, or a “bench warrant.” When a bench warrant is placed on your record, you are notified automatically.


An arrest warrant, on the other hand, is issued for a person who is suspected of committing a crime, which occurred out of the presence of an officer. Also, the court does not notify you of an arrest warrant; you likely won’t discover there is a warrant for your arrest until you are actually arrested.

The most important similarity between the two warrants is that law enforcement officers can arrest the named person at any time and at any place. Having a bench warrant issued can dramatically affect your rights and the consequences you will face. Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney, like Jeff Rubenstein, can possibly get the bench warrant recalled, fine reduced, and avoid jail time.

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